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Title: A Publisher and His Friends - Memoir and Correspondence of John Murray; with an - Account of the Origin and Progress of the House, 1768-1843
Author: Smiles, Samuel, 1812-1904
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Publisher and His Friends - Memoir and Correspondence of John Murray; with an - Account of the Origin and Progress of the House, 1768-1843" ***









When my Grandfather's Memoirs were published, twenty years ago, they met
with a most favourable and gratifying reception at the hands of the
public. Interest was aroused by the struggle and success of a man who
had few advantages at the outset save his own shrewd sense and generous
nature, and who, moreover, was thrown on his own resources to fight the
battle of life when he was little more than a child.

The chief value of these volumes, however, consists in the fact that
they supply an important, if not an indispensable, chapter in the
literary history of England during the first half of the nineteenth
century. Byron and Scott, Lockhart, Croker, George Borrow, Hallam,
Canning, Gifford, Disraeli, Southey, Milman are but a few of the names
occurring in these pages, the whole list of which it would be tedious to

It may be admitted that a pious desire to do justice to the memory of
John Murray the Second--"the Anax of Publishers," as Byron called
him--led to the inclusion in the original volumes of some material of
minor importance which may now well be dispensed with.

I find, however, that the work is still so often quoted and referred to
that I have asked my friend Mr. Thomas Mackay to prepare a new edition
for the press. I am convinced that the way in which he has discharged
his task will commend itself to the reading public. He has condensed the
whole, has corrected errors, and has rewritten certain passages in a
more concise form.

I desire to acknowledge my debt to him for what he has done, and to
express a hope that the public may extend a fresh welcome to "an old
friend with a new face."


_December_, 1910.




The first John Murray--An Officer of Marines--Retires from Active
Service--His marriage--Correspondence with William Falconer--Falconer's
death--Murray purchases Sandby's business--John Murray's first
publications--His writings--Mr. Kerr--Thomas Cumming goes to Ireland on
behalf of Murray--Prof. J. Millar--Mr. Whitaker--Defence of Sir R.
Gordon--Ross estate--His controversy with Mr. Mason--The Edinburgh
booksellers--Creech and Elliot--Dr. Cullen--The second John Murray--His
education--Accident to his eye--Illness and death of the elder John



John Murray the Second--"The Anax of Publishers"--His start in
business--Murray and Highley--Dissolution of the partnership--Colman's
"John Bull"--Mr. Joseph Hume--Archibald Constable--John Murray a
Volunteer--The D'Israeli family--Isaac D'Israeli's early
works--"Flim-Flams"--Birth of Benjamin D'Israeli--Projected periodical
the "Institute"--The "Miniature"--Murray's acquaintance with Canning and



Archibald Constable & Co.--Alexander Gibson Hunter--The _Edinburgh
Review_--Murray's early associations with Constable--Dispute between
Longman and Constable--Murray appointed London Agent--He urges
reconciliation between Constable and Longman--Mr. Murray visits
Edinburgh--Engaged to Miss Elliot--Goes into Forfarshire--Rude
Hospitality--Murray's marriage--The D'Israelis



Murray's business prospects--Acquires a share of "Marmion"--Becomes London
publisher of the _Edinburgh Review_--Acquaintance with Walter
Scott--Constable's money transactions--Murray's remonstrance--He
separates from Constable--The Ballantynes--Scott joins their printing
business--Literary themes



Canning's early schemes for a Penny Newspaper--The _Anti-Jacobin_--The
_Edinburgh Review_--John Murray's letter to Mr. Canning--Walter Scott's
assistance--Southey's letter to Scott--Review of "Marmion" in the
_Edinburgh_--Murray's conditions--Meeting with James Ballantyne at
Ferrybridge--Visit to Scott at Ashestiel--Letters to Scott--Scott's
letters to Murray, Ellis, and Gifford on the _Quarterly_--Arrangements for
the first number--Articles by Scott--James Mill--Mrs. Inchbald--Dr. Thomas



Meeting of Murray and Ballantyne at Boroughbridge--Walter Scott's interest
in the new _Review_--Publication of the first number of the _Quarterly_
--Scott's proposed "Secret History of the Court of James I."--_Portcullis_
copies--"Old English Froissart"--Opinions of the _Quarterly_--Scott's
energy and encouragement--Murray's correspondence with Mr. Stratford
Canning--Murray's energy--Leigh Hunt--James Mill--Gifford's
unpunctuality--Appearance of the second number--Mr. Canning's
contributions--Appearance of No. 3--Letters from Mr. Ellis to Isaac
D'Israeli--John Barrow's first connection with the _Quarterly_--Robert
Southey--Appearance of No. 4



Murray's and Ballantyne's joint enterprises--Financial
difficulties--Murray's remonstrances--Ballantyne's reckless
speculations--And disregard of Murray's advice--Revival of Murray's
business with Constable--Publication of the "Lady of the Lake"--Murray
excluded from his promised share of it--Transfers his Edinburgh agency
to Mr. William Blackwood--Publication of No. 5 of the _Quarterly_
--Southey's articles and books--Unpunctuality of the _Review_
--Gifford's review of "The Daughters of Isenberg"--His letter to
Miss Palmer--Dispute between Murray and Gifford--Attacks on the
_Edinburgh Review_ by the _Quarterly_--Murray's disapproval of them--The
Ballantynes and Constables applying for money--Nos. 8 and 9 of the
_Review_--Southey's Publications--Letters from Scott--His review of the
"Curse of Kehama"--Southey's dependence on the _Quarterly_--His letter
to Mr. Wynn



Increasing friendship between Murray and Gifford--Gifford's opinion of
humorous articles--Mr. Pillans--Gifford's feeble health--Murray's
financial difficulties--Remonstrates with Constable--Correspondence with
and dissociation from Constable--_Quarterly Review_ No. 12--Gifford's
severe remarks on Charles Lamb--His remorse--_Quarterly Review_ No.
14--Murray's offer to Southey of 1,000 guineas for his poem



Lord Byron's first acquaintance with Mr. Murray--Mr. Dallas's offer to
Cawthorn and Miller--Murray's acceptance of "Childe Harold"--Byron's
visits to Fleet Street--Murray's letters to Byron--Gifford's opinion of
the Poem--Publication of "Childe Harold"--Its immediate success--Byron's
presentation to the Prince of Wales--Murray effects a reconciliation
between Byron and Scott--Letters to and from Scott--Publication of "The
Giaour," "Bride of Abydos" and "Corsair"--Correspondence with
Byron--"Ode to Napoleon"--"Lara" and "Jacqueline"



Murray's removal to Albemarle Street--Miller's unfriendly
behaviour--Progress of the _Quarterly_--Miscellaneous publications
--D'Israeli's "Calamities of Authors"--Letters from Scott
and Southey--Southey's opinions on the patronage of literature--Scott's
embarrassments--Recklessness of the Ballantynes--Scott applies to Murray
for a loan--Publication of "Waverley"--Mystery of the authorship--Mr.
Murray's proposed trip to France--His letters to Mrs. Murray--Education
of his son--Announcement of Lord Byron's engagement--Mr. Murray's visit
to Newstead Abbey--Murray in Edinburgh--Mr. William Blackwood--Visit to
Abbotsford--Letter to Lord Byron--Letters from Blackwood--The "Vision of
Don Roderick"



Murray's drawing-room in Albemarle Street--A literary centre--George
Ticknor's account of it--Letter from Gifford--Death of his housekeeper
Nancy--First meeting of Byron and Scott--Recollections of John Murray
III.--Napoleon's escape from Elba--Waterloo--Mr. Blackwood's
letter--Suppression of an article written for the _Edinburgh_--Mr.
Murray's collection of portraits of authors--Mr. Scott's visit to
Brussels, Waterloo, etc.--Mr. Murray's visit to Paris--Return
home--Important diplomatic correspondence offered by Miss Waldie--Miss
Austen--"Emma"--Mr. Malthus's works--Letters from W. Scott



Charles Maturin--His early career--His early publications--And
application to W. Scott--Performance of "Bertram" at Drury
Lane--Published by Murray--"Manuel, a Tragedy"--Murray's letter to
Byron--Death of Maturin--S.T. Coleridge--Correspondence about his
translation of "Faust"--"Glycine," "Remorse," "Christabel," "Zapolya,"
and other works--Further correspondence--Leigh Hunt--Asked to contribute
to the _Quarterly_--"Story of Rimini"--Murray's letters to Byron and
Hunt--Negotiations between Murray and Leigh Hunt



Thomas Campbell--His early works--Acquaintance with Murray--"Selections
from the British Poets"--Letters to Murray--Proposed Magazine--And
Series of Ancient Classics--Close friendship between Campbell and
Murray--Murray undertakes to publish the "Selections from British
Poets"--Campbell's explanation of the work--"Gertrude of Wyoming"--Scott
reviews Campbell's poems in the _Quarterly_--Campbell's Lectures at the
Royal Institution--Campbell's satisfaction with Murray's treatment of
him--"Now Barabbas was a publisher"--Increase of Murray's
business--Dealings with Gifford--Mr. J.C. Hobhouse--His "Journey to
Albania"--Isaac D'Israeli's "Character of James I."--Croker's "Stories
for Children"--The division of profits--Sir John Malcolm--Increasing
number of poems submitted to Mr. Murray--James Hogg--His works--And
letters to Murray--The "Repository"--Correspondence with Murray--Hogg
asks Murray to find a wife for him



Lord Byron's marriage--Letters from Mr. Murray during the honeymoon--Mr.
Fazakerly's interview with Bonaparte--Byron's pecuniary
embarrassments--Murray's offers of assistance--"Siege of
Corinth"--"Parisina"--Byron refuses remuneration--Pressed to give the
money to Godwin, Maturin, and Coleridge--Murray's remonstrance
--Gifford's opinion of the "Siege of Corinth" and Mr. D'Israeli's
--Byron leaves England--Sale of his Library--The "Sketch from
Private Life"--Mr. Sharon Turner's legal opinion--Murray's letter on the
arrival of the MS. of "Childe Harold," Canto III.

[Transcriber's Note: two pages missing from source document]



Works published by Murray and Blackwood jointly--Illness of
Scott--Efforts to help the Ettrick Shepherd--Murray's offers of
assistance--Scott reviews the "Wake"--Hogg's house at Eltrive--Scott and
the _Quarterly_--"Rob Roy"--The "Scottish Regalia"--"The Heart of
Midlothian"--Appeal to Scott for an article--"Lord Orford's
Letters"--Murray and James Hogg at Abbotsford--Conclusion of Hogg's
correspondence--Robert Owen--Increased number of would-be poets--Sharon
Turner--Gifford's illness--Croker and Barrow edit _Quarterly Review_



Mr. Hallam--Sir H. Ellis's "Embassy to China"--Correspondence with Lady
Abercorn about new books--Proposed _Monthly Register_--Mr. Croker's
condemnation of the scheme--Crabbe's Works--Mr. Murray's offer--Mr.
Rogers's negotiations--Hope's "Anastasius"--"Rejected Addresses"
--Colonel Macirone's action against the _Quarterly_--Murray's
entertainments--Mrs. Bray's account of them



Lady Hervey's Letters--Mr. Croker's letter about the editing of
them--Horace Walpole's Memoirs--Mr. Murray's correspondence with Lord
Holland--The Suffolk papers, edited by Mr. Croker--Mrs. Delany's
Letters--Letter from Mr. Croker--Horace Walpole's "Reminiscences,"
edited by Miss Berry--Tomline's "Life of Pitt"--Giovanni Belzoni--His
early career and works--His sensitiveness--His death--Examples of his
strength--Rev. H.H. Milman's Works, "Fazio," "Samor," "The Fall of
Jerusalem," "Martyr of Antioch," "Belshazzar"--Murray's dealings with
Milman--Benjamin Disraeli--Letters from Southey about his articles on
Cromwell--The New Churches, etc.--"The Book of the Church"--Warren
Hastings, etc--The Carbonari--Mr. Eastlake--Mrs. Graham--Galignani's
pirated edition of Byron--Mrs. Rundell's "Cookery Book"--Dispute with
Longman's--An injunction obtained



Washington Irving--His early dealings with Murray--He comes to
England--His description of a dinner at Murray's--"The Sketch
Book"--Published in England by Miller--Afterwards undertaken by
Murray--Terms of purchase--Irving's ill-success in business
--"Bracebridge Hall"--James Fenimore Cooper--Ugo Foscolo--His
early career--First article in the _Quarterly_--Letter from Mr. T.
Mitchell--Foscolo's peculiarities--Digamma Cottage--His Lectures--Death
of Foscolo--Lady C. Lamb--"Glenarvon"--"Penruddock"--"Ada Reis"--Letter
from the Hon. Wm. Lamb--Lord J. Russell--His proposed History of
Europe--Mr. James Morier's "Hajji Baba"--Letter of Mirza Abul
Hassan--Mrs. Markham's "History of England"--Allan Cunningham



Gifford's failing health--Difficulty of finding a successor--Barrow's
assistance--Gifford's letter to Mr. Canning--Irregularity of the
numbers--Southey's views as to the Editorship--Gifford's letter to Mr.
Canning--Appointment of Mr. J.T. Coleridge--Murray's announcement of the
appointment to Gifford--Close of Mr. Gifford's career--His
correspondence with Murray--Letter from Mr. R. Hay to the present Mr.
Murray about Gifford



Murray's desire to start a new periodical--Benjamin Disraeli--Projected
morning paper--Benjamin Disraeli's early career and writings--Letters to
Murray about "Aylmer Papillon"--Benjamin Disraeli's increasing intimacy
with Murray--Origin of the scheme to start a daily paper--South American
speculation--Messrs. Powles--Agreement to start a daily paper--the
_Representative_--Benjamin Disraeli's journey to consult Sir W. Scott
about the editorship--His letters to Murray--Visit to Chiefswood
--Progress of the negotiation-Mr. Lockhart's reluctance to
assume the editorship--Letter from Mr. I. D'Israeli to Murray--Mr.
Lockhart's first introduction to Murray--His letter about the
editorship--Sir W. Scott's letter to Murray--Editorship of _Quarterly_
offered to Lockhart--Murray's letter to Sir W. Scott--Mr. Lockhart
accepts the editorship of the _Quarterly_--Disraeli's activity in
promoting the _Representative_--His letters to Murray--Premises
taken--Arrangements for foreign correspondence--Letters to Mr.
Maas--Engagement of Mr. Watts and Mr. S.C. Hall--Mr. Disraeli ceases to
take part in the undertaking--Publication of the _Representative_--Dr.
Maginn--Failure of the _Representative_--Effect of the strain on
Murray's health--Letters from friends--The financial crisis--Failure of
Constable and Ballantyne--The end of the _Representative_--Coolness
between Murray and Mr. D'Israeli



The editorship of the _Quarterly_--Mr. Lockhart appointed--Letter from
Sir W. Scott, giving his opinion of Lockhart's abilities and
character--Letters from Mr. Lockhart--Mr. Croker's article on "Paroles
d'un Croyant"--Charles Butler--Blanco White--Controversies,
etc.--Wordsworth's Works--Letter from Mr. Lockhart--Renewed intercourse
between Murray and Constable



South American speculation--Captain Head, R.E.--His rapid rides across
the Pampas--His return home and publication of his work--Results of his
mission--Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Powles--Letter from Mr. B.
Disraeli--Irving's "Life of Columbus"--His agent, Col. Aspinwall--Letter
of warning from Mr. Sharon Turner--Southey's opinion--"The Conquest of
Granada"--Lockhart's and Croker's opinions--The financial result of
their publication--Correspondence between Irving and Murray--"Tales of
the Alhambra"--Murray's subsequent lawsuit with Bonn about the
copyrights--Review of Hallam's "Constitutional History" in the
_Quarterly_--Mr. Hallam's remonstrance--Letter from Murray--Letter from
Mr. Mitchell--Southey's discontent--Sir W. Scott and Lockhart--Scott's
articles for the _Quarterly_--Sir H. Davy's "Salmonia"--Anecdote of Lord
Nelson--The Duke of Wellington--Murray's offer to Scott for a History of
Scotland--Sale of Sir W. Scott's copyrights--Murray's offer for "Tales
of a Grandfather"--Scott's reply--Scott's closing years--Murray's
resignation of his one-fourth share of "Marmion"--Scott's last
contributions to the _Quarterly_--His death--Mr. John Murray's account
of the Theatrical Fund Dinner



Napier's "History of the Peninsular War"--Origin of the work--Col.
Napier's correspondence with Murray--Publication of Vol. I.--Controversy
aroused by it--Murray ceases to publish the work--His letter to the
_Morning Chronicle_--The Duke of Wellington's Despatches--Croker's
edition of "Boswell's Johnson"--Correspondence with Croker, Lockhart,
etc.--Publication of the book--Its value--Letter from Mrs. Shelley--Mr.
Henry Taylor's "Isaac Comnenus"--"Philip van Artevelde"--"The Family
Library" and the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge--The
progress of "The Family Library"--Milman's "History of the
Jews"--Controversy aroused by it--Opinion of the Jews



Murray purchases the remainder of Byron's Poems--Leigh Hunt's
"Recollections"--Moore selected as the biographer of Byron--Collection
of Letters and Papers--Lockhart and Scott's opinion of the
work--Publication of the first volume of Byron's "Life"--Mrs. Shelley's
letter--Publication of the second volume--Letters from Mrs. Somerville
and Croker--Capt. Medwin's Conversations--Pecuniary results of Lord
Byron's "Life"--Reviews of Moore's works in the _Quarterly_--Moore on
Editors--Complete edition of "Byron's Works"--Letters from Countess
Guiccioli and Sir R. Peel--Thorwaldsen's statue of Lord Byron--Refused
at Westminster Abbey, but erected in Trinity College Library, Cambridge




The publishing house of Murray dates from the year 1768, in which year
John MacMurray, a lieutenant of Marines, having retired from the service
on half-pay, purchased the bookselling business of William Sandby, at
the sign of the "Ship," No. 32, Fleet Street, opposite St. Dunstan's

John MacMurray was descended from the Murrays of Athol. His uncle,
Colonel Murray, was "out" in the rising of 1715, under the Earl of Mar,
served under the Marquis of Tullibardine, the son of his chief, the Duke
of Athol, and led a regiment in the abortive fight of Sheriffmuir. After
the rebellion Colonel Murray retired to France, where he served under
the exiled Duke of Ormonde, who had attached himself to the Stuart

The Colonel's brother Robert followed a safer course. He prefixed the
"Mac" to his name; settled in Edinburgh; adopted the law as a
profession, and became a Writer to the Signet. He had a family of three
daughters, Catherine, Robina, and Mary Anne; and two sons, Andrew and

John, the younger of Robert MacMurray's sons, was born at Edinburgh in
1745. After receiving a good general education, he entered the Royal
Marines under the special patronage of Sir George Yonge, Bart.,
[Footnote: Sir George Yonge was Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, and
subsequently Secretary at War; he died in 1812.] a well-known official
of the last century, and his commission as second lieutenant was dated
June 24, 1762. Peace was signed at the treaty of Paris in 1763, and
young MacMurray found himself quartered at Chatham, where the monotony
of the life to a young man of an active and energetic temperament became
almost intolerable. He determined therefore to retire on half-pay at the
age of twenty-three, and become a London bookseller!

It is not improbable that he was induced to embark on his proposed
enterprise by his recent marriage with Nancy Wemyss, daughter of Captain
Wemyss, then residing at Brompton, near Chatham.

While residing at Chatham, MacMurray renewed his acquaintance with
William Falconer, the poet, and author of "The Shipwreck," who, like
himself, was a native of Edinburgh.

To this friend, who was then on the eve of sailing to India, he wrote:

BROMPTON, KENT, _October_ 16, 1768.


Since I saw you, I have had the intention of embarking in a scheme that
I think will prove successful, and in the progress of which I had an eye
towards your participating. Mr. Sandby, Bookseller, opposite St.
Dunstan's Church, Fleet Street, has entered into company with Snow and
Denne, Bankers. I was introduced to this gentleman about a week ago,
upon an advantageous offer of succeeding him in his old business; which,
by the advice of my friends, I propose to accept. Now, although I have
little reason to fear success by myself in this undertaking, yet I think
so many additional advantages would accrue to us both, were your forces
and mine joined, that I cannot help mentioning it to you, and making you
the offer of entering into company.

He resigns to me the lease of the house, the goodwill, etc.; and I only
take his bound stock, and fixtures, at a fair appraisement, which will
not amount to much beyond £400, and which, if ever I mean to part with,
cannot fail to bring in nearly the same sum. The shop has been long
established in the Trade; it retains a good many old customers; and I am
to be ushered immediately into public notice by the sale of a new
edition of "Lord Lyttelton's Dialogues"; and afterwards by a like
edition of his "History." These Works I shall sell by commission, upon a
certain profit, without risque; and Mr. Sandby has promised to continue
to me, always, his good offices and recommendations.

These are the general outlines; and if you entertain a notion that the
conjunction will suit you, advise me, and you shall be assumed upon
equal terms; for I write to you before the affair is finally settled;
not that I shall refuse it if you don't concur (for I am determined on
the trial by myself); but that I think it will turn out better were we
joined; and this consideration alone prompts me to write to you. Many
Blockheads in the Trade are making fortunes; and did we not succeed as
well as they, I think it must be imputed only to ourselves. Make Mrs.
McMurray's compliments and mine to Mrs. Falconer; we hope she has reaped
much benefit from the saltwater bath. Consider what I have proposed; and
send me your answer soon. Be assured in the meantime, that I remain,
Dear Sir,

Your affectionate and humble servant,


P.S.--My advisers and directors in this affair have been Thomas Cumming,
Esq., Mr. Archibald Paxton, Mr. James Paterson of Essex House, and
Messrs. J. and W. Richardson, Printers. These, after deliberate
reflection, have unanimously thought that I should accept Mr. Sandby's

Falconer's answer to this letter has not been preserved. It did not
delay his departure from Dover in the _Aurora_ frigate. The vessel
touched at the Cape; set sail again, and was never afterwards heard of.
It is supposed that she was either burnt at sea, or driven northward by
a storm and wrecked on the Madagascar coast. Falconer intended to have
prefixed some complimentary lines to Mr. Murray to the third edition of
"The Shipwreck," but they were omitted in the hurry of leaving London
and England for India.

Notwithstanding the failure of MacMurray to obtain the aid of Falconer
in his partnership, he completed alone his contract with Mr. Sandby. His
father at Edinburgh supplied him with the necessary capital, and he
began the bookselling business in November 1768. He dropped the prefix
"Mac" from his surname; put a ship in full sail at the head of his
invoices; and announced himself to the public in the following terms:

"John Murray (successor to Mr. Sandby), Bookseller and Stationer, at No.
32, over against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street, London, sells
all new Books and Publications. Fits up Public or Private Libraries in
the neatest manner with Books of the choicest Editions, the best Print,
and the richest Bindings. Also, executes East India or foreign
Commissions by an assortment of Books and Stationary suited to the
Market or Purpose for which it is destined; all at the most reasonable

Among the first books he issued were new editions of Lord Lyttelton's
"Dialogues of the Dead," and of his "History of King Henry the Second,"
in stately quarto volumes, as well as of Walpole's "Castle of Otranto."
He was well supported by his friends, and especially by his old brother
officers, and we find many letters from all parts of the world
requesting him to send consignments of books and magazines, the choice
of which was, in many cases, left entirely to his own discretion. In
1769 he received a letter from General Sir Robert Gordon, then in India,
who informed him that he had recommended him to many of his comrades.

_Sir R. Gordon to John Murray_.

"Brigadier-General Wedderburn has not forgotten his old school-fellow,
J. McMurray. Send me British news, and inform me of all political and
other affairs at home." [He also added that Colonel Mackenzie, another
old friend, is to be his patron.] "I hope," says Sir E. Gordon, in
another letter, "that you find more profit and pleasure from your new
employment than from that of the sword, which latter, you may remember,
I endeavoured to dissuade you from returning to; but a little trial, and
some further experience, at your time of life, cannot hurt you.... My
best compliments to Mrs. Murray, who I suppose will not be sorry for
your laying aside the wild Highland 'Mac' as unfashionable and even
dangerous in the circuit of Wilkes's mob; but that, I am convinced, was
your smallest consideration."

The nature of Mr. Murray's business, and especially his consignments to
distant lands, rendered it necessary for him to give long credit, while
the expense and the risk of bringing out new books added a fresh strain
on his resources. In these circumstances, he felt the need of fresh
capital, and applied to his friend Mr. William Kerr, Surveyor of the
General Post Office for Scotland, for a loan. Mr. Kerr responded in a
kindly letter. Though he could not lend much at the time, he sent Mr.
Murray £150, "lest he might be prejudiced for want of it," and added a
letter of kind and homely advice.

In order to extend his business to better advantage, Mr. Murray
endeavoured to form connections with booksellers in Scotland and
Ireland. In the first of these countries, as the sequel will show, the
firm established permanent and important alliances. To push the trade in
Ireland he employed Thomas Cumming, a Quaker mentioned in Boswell's
"Life of Johnson," who had been one of his advisers as to the purchase
of Mr. Sandby's business.

_Mr. T. Gumming to John Murray_.

"On receipt of thine I constantly applied to Alderman Faulkener, and
showed him the first Fable of Florian, but he told me that he would not
give a shilling for any original copy whatever, as there is no law or
even custom to secure any property in books in this kingdom [Ireland].
From him, I went directly to Smith and afterwards to Bradley, etc. They
all gave me the same answer.... Sorry, and very sorry I am, that I
cannot send a better account of the first commission thou hast favoured
me with here. Thou may'st believe that I set about it with a perfect
zeal, not lessened from the consideration of the troubles thou hast on
my account, and the favours I so constantly receive from thee; nor
certainly that my good friend Dr. Langhorne was not altogether out of
the question. None of the trade here will transport books at their own
risque. This is not a reading, but a hard-drinking city; 200 or 250 are
as many as a bookseller, except it be an extraordinary work indeed, ever
throws off at an impression."

Mr. Murray not only published the works of others, but became an author
himself. He wrote two letters in the _Morning Chronicle_ in defence of
his old friend Colonel (afterwards Sir) Robert Gordon, who had been
censured for putting an officer under arrest during the siege of Broach,
in which Gordon had led the attack. The Colonel's brother, Gordon of
Gordonstown, wrote to Murray, saying, "Whether you succeed or not, your
two letters are admirably written; and you have obtained great merit and
reputation for the gallant stand you have made for your friend." The
Colonel himself wrote (August 20,1774): "I cannot sufficiently thank
you, my dear sir, for the extraordinary zeal, activity, and warmth of
friendship, with which you so strenuously supported and defended my
cause, and my honour as a soldier, when attacked so injuriously by
Colonel Stuart, especially when he was so powerfully supported."

Up to this time Mr. Murray's success had been very moderate. He had
brought out some successful works; but money came in slowly, and his
chief difficulty was the want of capital. He was therefore under the
necessity of refusing to publish works which might have done something
to establish his reputation.

At this juncture, i.e. in 1771, an uncle died leaving a fortune of
£17,000, of which Mr. Murray was entitled to a fourth share. On the
strength of this, his friend Mr. Kerr advanced to him a further sum of
£500. The additional capital was put into the business, but even then
his prosperity did not advance with rapid strides; and in 1777 we find
him writing to his friend Mr. Richardson at Oxford.

_John Murray to Mr. Richardson_.


I am fatigued from morning till night about twopenny matters, if any of
which is forgotten I am complained of as a man who minds not his
business. I pray heaven for a lazy and lucrative office, and then I
shall with alacrity turn my shop out of the window.

A curious controversy occurred in 1778 between Mr. Mason, executor of
Thomas Gray the poet, and Mr. Murray, who had published a "Poetical
Miscellany," in which were quoted fifty lines from three passages in
Gray's works.

Mr. Murray wrote a pamphlet in his own defence, and the incident is
mentioned in the following passage from Boswell's "Life":

"Somebody mentioned the Rev. Mr. Mason's prosecution of Mr. Murray, the
bookseller, for having inserted in a collection only fifty lines of
Gray's Poems, of which Mr. Mason had still the exclusive property, under
the Statute of Queen Anne; and that Mr. Mason had persevered,
notwithstanding his being requested to name his own terms of
compensation. Johnson signified his displeasure at Mr. Mason's conduct
very strongly; but added, by way of showing that he was not surprised at
it, 'Mason's a Whig.' Mrs. Knowles (not hearing distinctly): 'What! a
prig, Sir?' Johnson: 'Worse, Madam; a Whig! But he is both!'"

Mr. Murray had considerable intercourse with the publishers of
Edinburgh, among the chief of whom were Messrs. Creech & Elliot, and by
their influence he soon established a connection with the professors of
Edinburgh University. Creech, who succeeded Mr. Kincaid in his business
in 1773, occupied a shop in the Luckenbooths, facing down the High
Street, and commanding a prospect of Aberlady Bay and the north coast of
Haddingtonshire. Being situated near the Parliament House--the centre of
literary and antiquarian loungers, as well as lawyers--Creech's place of
business was much frequented by the gossipers, and was known as
_Creech's Levee_. Creech himself, dressed in black-silk breeches, with
powdered hair and full of humorous talk, was one of the most conspicuous
members of the group. He was also an author, though this was the least
of his merits. He was an appreciative patron of literature, and gave
large sums for the best books of the day.

Mr. Elliot, whose place of business was in the Parliament Close, and
whose daughter subsequently married Mr. Murray's son the subject of this
biography, was a publisher of medical and surgical works, and Mr. Murray
was his agent for the sale of these in London. We find from Mr. Elliot's
letters that he was accustomed to send his parcels of books to London by
the Leith fleet, accompanied by an armed convoy. In June 1780 he wrote:
"As the fleet sails this evening, and the schooner carries 20 guns, I
hope the parcel will be in London in four or five days"; and shortly
afterwards: "I am sending you four parcels of books by the _Carran_,
which mounts 22 guns, and sails with the _Glasgow_ of 20 guns." The
reason of the Edinburgh books being conveyed to London guarded by armed
ships, was that war was then raging, and that Spain, France, and Holland
were united against England. The American Colonies had also rebelled,
and Paul Jones, holding their commission, was hovering along the East
Coast with three small ships of war and an armed brigantine. It was
therefore necessary to protect the goods passing between Leith and
London by armed convoys. Sometimes the vessels on their return were
quarantined for a time in Inverkeithing Bay.

The first Mrs. Murray died, leaving her husband childless, and he
married again. By his second wife he had three sons and two daughters,
two of the sons, born in 1779 and 1781 respectively, died in infancy,
while the third, John, born in 1778, is the subject of this Memoir. In
1782 he writes to his friend the Rev. John Whitaker: "We have one son
and daughter, the son above four years, and the daughter above two
years, both healthy and good-natured."

In June 1782 Mr. Murray had a paralytic stroke, by which he, for a time,
lost the use of his left side, and though he shortly recovered, and
continued his work as before, he was aware of his dangerous position. To
a friend going to Madeira in September 1791 he wrote: "Whether we shall
ever meet again is a matter not easily determined. The stroke by which I
suffered in 1782 is only suspended; it will be repeated, and I must
fall in the contest."

In the meantime Mr. Murray made arrangements for the education of his
son. He was first sent for a year to the High School of Edinburgh. While
there he lived with Mr. Robert Kerr, author of several works on
Chemistry and Natural History, published by Mr. Murray. Having passed a
year in Edinburgh, the boy returned to London, and after a time was sent
to a school at Margate. There he seems to have made some progress. To a
friend Mr. Murray wrote: "He promises, I think, to write well, although
his master complains a little of his indolence, which I am afraid he
inherits from me. If he does not overcome it, _it_ will overcome him."
In a later letter he said: "The school is not the best, but the people
are kind to him, and his health leaves no alternative. He writes a good
hand, is fond of figures, and is coming forward both in Latin and
French. Yet he inherits a spice of indolence, and is a little impatient
in his temper. His appearance--open, modest, and manly--is much in his
favour. He is grown a good deal, and left us for Margate (after his
holiday) as happy as could be expected."

In the course of the following year Mr. Murray sent the boy to a
well-known school at Gosport, kept by Dr. Burney, one of his old Mends.
Burney was a native of the North of Ireland, and had originally been
called MacBurney, but, like Murray, he dropped the Mac.

While at Dr. Burney's school, young Murray had the misfortune to lose
the sight of his right eye. The writing-master was holding his penknife
awkwardly in his hand, point downwards, and while the boy, who was
showing up an exercise, stooped to pick up the book which had fallen,
the blade ran into his eye and entirely destroyed the sight. To a friend
about to proceed to Gosport, Mr. Murray wrote: "Poor John has met with a
sad accident, which you will be too soon acquainted with when you reach
Gosport. His mother is yet ignorant of it, and I dare not tell her."

Eventually the boy was brought to London for the purpose of ascertaining
whether something might be done by an oculist for the restoration of his
sight. But the cornea had been too deeply wounded; the fluid of the eye
had escaped; nothing could be done for his relief, and he remained blind
in that eye to the end of his life. [Footnote: Long afterwards Chantrey
the sculptor, who had suffered a similar misfortune, exclaimed, "What!
are you too a brother Cyclops?" but, as the narrator of the story used
to add, Mr. Murray could see better with one eye than most people with
two.] His father withdrew him from Dr. Burney's school, and sent him in
July 1793 to the Rev. Dr. Roberts, at Loughborough House, Kennington. In
committing him to the schoolmaster's charge, Mr. Murray sent the
following introduction:

"Agreeable to my promise, I commit to you the charge of my son, and, as
I mentioned to you in person, I agree to the terms of fifty guineas. The
youth has been hitherto well spoken of by the gentleman he has been
under. You will find him sensible and candid in the information you may
want from him; and if you are kind enough to bestow pains upon him, the
obligation on my part will be lasting. The branches to be learnt are
these: Latin, French, Arithmetic, Mercantile Accounts, Elocution,
History, Geography, Geometry, Astronomy, the Globes, Mathematics,
Philosophy, Dancing, and Martial Exercise."

Certainly, a goodly array of learning, knowledge, and physical training!

To return to the history of Mr. Murray's publications. Some of his best
books were published after the stroke of paralysis which he had
sustained, and among them must be mentioned Mitford's "History of
Greece," Lavater's work on Physiognomy, and the first instalment of
Isaac D'Israeli's "Curiosities of Literature."

The following extract from a letter to the Rev. Mr. Whitaker, dated
December 20, 1784, takes us back to an earlier age.

"Poor Dr. Johnson's remains passed my door for interment this afternoon.
They were accompanied by thirteen mourning coaches with four horses
each; and after these a cavalcade of the carriages of his friends. He
was about to be buried in Westminster Abbey."

In the same year the Rev. Alexander Fraser of Kirkhill, near Inverness,
communicated to Mr. Murray his intention of publishing the Memoirs of
Lord Lovat, the head of his clan. Mr. Eraser's father had received the
Memoirs in manuscript from Lord Lovat, with an injunction to publish
them after his death. "My father," he said, "had occasion to see his
Lordship a few nights before his execution, when he again enjoined him
to publish the Memoirs." General Fraser, a prisoner in the Castle of
Edinburgh, had requested, for certain reasons, that the publication
should be postponed; but the reasons no longer existed, and the Memoirs
were soon after published by Mr. Murray, but did not meet with any

The distressed state of trade and the consequent anxieties of conducting
his business hastened Mr. Murray's end. On November 6, 1793, Samuel
Highley, his principal assistant, wrote to a correspondent: "Mr. Murray
died this day after a long and painful illness, and appointed as
executors Dr. G.A. Paxton, Mrs. Murray, and Samuel Highley. The business
hereafter will be conducted by Mrs. Murray." The Rev. Donald Grant,
D.D., and George Noble, Esq., were also executors, but the latter did
not act.

The income of the property was divided as follows: one half to the
education and maintenance of Mr. Murray's three children, and the other
half to his wife so long as she remained a widow. But in the event of
her marrying again, her share was to be reduced by one-third and her
executorship was to cease.

John Murray began his publishing career at the age of twenty-three. He
was twenty-five years in business, and he died at the comparatively
early age of forty-eight. That publishing books is not always a
money-making business may be inferred from the fact that during these
twenty-five years he did not, with all his industry, double his capital.



John Murray the Second--the "Anax of Publishers," according to Lord
Byron--was born on November 27, 1778. He was his father's only surviving
son by his second marriage, and being only fifteen at his father's
death, was too young to enter upon the business of the firm, which was
carried on by Samuel Highley--the "faithful shopman" mentioned in the
elder Murray's will--for the benefit of his widow and family. What his
father thought of him, of his health, spirits, and good nature, will
have been seen from the preceding chapter.

Young Murray returned to school, and remained there for about two years
longer, until the marriage of his mother to Lieutenant Henry Paget, of
the West Norfolk Militia, on September 28, 1795, when he returned to 32,
Meet Street, to take part in the business. Mrs. Paget ceased to be an
executor, retired from Fleet Street, and went to live at Bridgenorth
with her husband, taking her two daughters--Jane and Mary Anne
Murray--to live with her, and receiving from time to time the money
necessary for their education.

The executors secured the tenancy of No. 32, Fleet Street, part of the
stock and part of the copyrights, for the firm of Murray & Highley,
between whom a partnership was concluded in 1795, though Murray was
still a minor. In the circumstances Mr. Highley of course took the
principal share of the management, but though a very respectable person,
he was not much of a business man, and being possessed by an almost
morbid fear of running any risks, he brought out no new works, took no
share in the new books that were published, and it is doubtful whether
he looked very sharply after the copyrights belonging to the firm. He
was mainly occupied in selling books brought out by other publishers.

The late Mr. Murray had many good friends in India, who continued to
send home their orders to the new firm of Murray & Highley. Amongst them
were Warren Hastings and Joseph Hume. Hume had taken out with him an
assortment of books from the late Mr. Murray, which had proved very
useful; and he wrote to Murray and Highley for more. Indeed, he became a
regular customer for books.

Meanwhile Murray fretted very much under the careless and indifferent
management of Highley. The executors did not like to be troubled with
his differences with his partner, and paid very little attention to him
or his affairs. Since his mother's remarriage and removal to
Bridgenorth, the young man had literally no one to advise with, and was
compelled to buffet with the troubles and difficulties of life alone.
Though inexperienced, he had, however, spirit and common sense enough to
see that he had but little help to expect from his partner, and the
difficulties of his position no doubt contributed to draw forth and
develop his own mental energy. He was not a finished scholar, but had
acquired a thorough love of knowledge and literature, and a keen
perception of the beauties of our great English classics. By acquiring
and cultivating a purity of taste, he laid the foundations of that quick
discrimination which, combined with his rapidly growing knowledge of men
and authors, rendered him afterwards so useful, and even powerful, in
the pursuit of his profession.

Mr. Murray came of age on November 27, 1799; but he was prudent enough
to continue with Highley for a few years longer. After four years more,
he determined to set himself free to follow his own course, and the
innumerable alterations and erasures in his own rough draft of the
following letter testify to the pains and care which he bestowed on this
momentous step.

_John Murray to Mr. Highley_.

GREAT QUEEN STREET, _Friday, November 19, 1802._


I propose to you that our partnership should be dissolved on the
twenty-fifth day of March next:

That the disposal of the lease of the house and every other matter of
difference that may arise respecting our dissolution shall be determined
by arbitrators--each of us to choose one--and that so chosen they shall
appoint a third person as umpire whom they may mutually agree upon
previous to their entering upon the business:

I am willing to sign a bond to this effect immediately, and I think that
I shall be able to determine my arbitrator some day next week.

As I know this proposal to be as fair as one man could make to another
in a like situation, and in order to prevent unpleasant altercation or
unnecessary discussion, I declare it to be the last with which I intend
to trouble you.

I take this opportunity of saying that, however much we may differ upon
matters of business, I most sincerely wish you well.


In the end they agreed to draw lots for the house, and Murray had the
good fortune to remain at No. 32, Fleet Street. Mr. Highley removed to
No. 24 in the same street, and took with him, by agreement, the
principal part of the medical works of the firm. Mr. Murray now started
on his own account, and began a career of publication almost unrivalled
in the history of letters.

Before the dissolution of partnership, Mr. Murray had seen the first
representation of Column's Comedy of "John Bull" at Covent Garden
Theatre, and was so fascinated by its "union of wit, sentiment, and
humour," that the day after its representation he wrote to Mr. Colman,
and offered him £300 for the copyright. No doubt Mr. Highley would have
thought this a rash proceeding.

_John Murray to Mr. Colman_.

"The truth is that during my minority I have been shackled to a drone of
a partner; but the day of emancipation is at hand. On the twenty-fifth
of this month [March 1803] I plunge alone into the depths of literary
speculation. I am therefore honestly ambitious that my first appearance
before the public should be such as will at once stamp my character and
respectability. On this account, therefore, I think that your Play would
be more advantageous to me than to any other bookseller; and as 'I am
not covetous of Gold,' I should hope that no trifling consideration
will be allowed to prevent my having the honour of being Mr. Colman's
publisher. You see, sir, that I am endeavouring to interest your
feelings, both as a Poet and as a Man."

Mr. Colman replied in a pleasant letter, thanking Mr. Murray for his
liberal offer. The copyright, however, had been sold to the proprietor
of the theatre, and Mr. Murray was disappointed in this, his first
independent venture in business.

The times were very bad. Money was difficult to be had on any terms, and
Mr. Murray had a hard task to call in the money due to Murray & Highley,
as well as to collect the sums due to himself.

Mr. Joseph Hume, not yet the scrupulous financier which he grew to be,
among others, was not very prompt in settling his accounts; and Mr.
Murray wrote to him, on July 11, 1804:

"On the other side is a list of books (amount £92 8s. 6d.), containing
all those for which you did me the favour to write: and I trust that
they will reach you safely.... If in future you could so arrange that my
account should be paid by some house in town within six months after the
goods are shipped, I shall be perfectly satisfied, and shall execute
your orders with much more despatch and pleasure. I mention this, not
from any apprehension of not being paid, but because my circumstances
will not permit me to give so large an extent of credit. It affords me
great pleasure to hear of your advancement; and I trust that your health
will enable you to enjoy all the success to which your talents entitle

He was, for the same reason, under the necessity of declining to publish
several new works offered to him, especially those dealing with medical
and poetical subjects.

Mr. Archibald Constable of Edinburgh, and Messrs. Bell & Bradfute, Mr.
Murray's agents in Edinburgh, were also communicated with as to the
settlement of their accounts with Murray & Highley. "I expected," he
said, "to have been able to pay my respects to you both this summer
[1803], but my _military duties_, and the serious aspect of the times,
oblige me to remain at home." It was the time of a patriotic volunteer
movement, and Mr. Murray was enrolled as an ensign in the 3rd Regiment
of Royal London Volunteers.

It cannot now be ascertained what was the origin of the acquaintance
between the D'Israeli and Murray families, but it was of old standing.
The first John Murray published the first volumes of Isaac D'Israeli's
"Curiosities of Literature" (1791), and though no correspondence between
them has been preserved, we find frequent mention of the founder of the
house in Isaac D'Israeli's letters to John Murray the Second. His
experiences are held up for his son's guidance, as for example, when
Isaac, urging the young publisher to support some petition to the East
India Company, writes, "It was a ground your father trod, and I suppose
that connection cannot do you any harm"; or again, when dissuading him
from undertaking some work submitted to him, "You can mention to Mr.
Harley the fate of Professor Musaeus' 'Popular Tales,' which never sold,
and how much your father was disappointed." On another occasion we find
D'Israeli, in 1809, inviting his publisher to pay a visit to a yet older
generation, "to my father, who will be very glad to see you at Margate."

Besides the "Curiosities of Literature," and "Flim-Flams," the last a
volume not mentioned by Lord Beaconsfield in the "Life" of his father
prefixed to the 1865 edition of the "Curiosities of Literature," Mr.
D'Israeli published through Murray, in 1803, a small volume of
"Narrative Poems" in 4to. They consisted of "An Ode to his Favourite
Critic"; "The Carder and the Currier, a Story of Amorous Florence";
"Cominge, a Story of La Trappe"; and "A Tale addressed to a Sybarite."
The verses in these poems run smoothly, but they contain no wit, no
poetry, nor even any story. They were never reprinted.

The following letter is of especial interest, as fixing the date of an
event which has given rise to much discussion--the birth of Benjamin

_Mr. Isaac D'Israeli to John Murray_.

_December_ 22, 1804. [Footnote: Mr. D'Israeli was living at this time in
King's Road (now 1, John Street), Bedford Row, in a corner house
overlooking Gray's Inn Gardens.]


Mrs. D'Israeli will receive particular gratification from the
interesting note you have sent us on the birth of our boy--when she
shall have read it. In the meanwhile accept my thanks, and my best
compliments to your sister. The mother and infant are both doing well.

Ever yours.

I. D'I.

Some extracts from their correspondence will afford an insight into the
nature of the friendship and business relations which existed between
Isaac D'Israeli and his young publisher as well as into the characters
of the two men themselves.

From a letter dated Brighton, August 5, 1805, from Mr. D'Israeli to John

"Your letter is one of the repeated specimens I have seen of your happy
art of giving interest even to commonplace correspondence, and I, who am
so feelingly alive to the 'pains and penalties' of postage, must
acknowledge that such letters, ten times repeated, would please me as

We should have been very happy to see you here, provided it occasioned
no intermission in your more serious occupations, and could have added
to your amusements.

With respect to the projected 'Institute,' [Footnote: This was a work at
one time projected by Mr. Murray, but other more pressing literary
arrangements prevented the scheme being carried into effect.] if that
title be English--doubtless the times are highly favourable to patronize
a work skilfully executed, whose periodical pages would be at once
useful information, and delightful for elegant composition, embellished
by plates, such as have never yet been given, both for their subjects
and their execution. Literature is a perpetual source opened to us; but
the Fine Arts present an unploughed field, and an originality of
character ... But Money, Money must not be spared in respect to rich,
beautiful, and interesting Engravings. On this I have something to
communicate. Encourage Dagley, [Footnote: The engraver of the
frontispiece of "Flim-Flams."] whose busts of Seneca and Scarron are
pleasingly executed; but you will also want artists of name. I have a
friend, extremely attached to literature and the fine arts, a gentleman
of opulent fortune; by what passed with him in conversation, I have
reason to believe that he would be ready to assist by money to a
considerable extent. Would that suit you? How would you arrange with
him? Would you like to divide your work in _Shares_? He is an intimate
friend of West's, and himself too an ingenious writer.

How came you to advertise 'Domestic Anecdotes'? Kearsley printed 1,250
copies. I desire that no notice of the authors of that work may be known
from _your_ side.

       *       *       *       *       *

At this moment I receive your packet of poems, and Shee's letter. I
perceive that he is impressed by your attentions and your ability. It
will always afford me one of my best pleasures to forward your views; I
claim no merit from this, but my discernment in discovering your
talents, which, under the genius of Prudence (the best of all Genii for
human affairs), must inevitably reach the goal. The literary productions
of I.D['Israeli] and others may not augment the profits o£ your trade in
any considerable degree; but to get the talents of such writers at your
command is a prime object, and others will follow.

I had various conversations with Phillips [Footnote: Sir Richard
Phillips, bookseller. This is the publisher whose book on philosophy
George Borrow was set to translate into German, and who recommended him
to produce something in the style of "The Dairyman's Daughter"!] here;
he is equally active, but more _wise_. He owns his _belles-lettres_
books have given no great profits; in my opinion he must have lost even
by some. But he makes a fortune by juvenile and useful compilations. You
know I always told you he wanted _literary taste_--like an atheist, who
is usually a disappointed man, he thinks all _belles lettres_ are
nonsense, and denies the existence of _taste_; but it exists! and I
flatter myself you will profit under that divinity. I have much to say
on this subject and on him when we meet.

At length I have got through your poetry: it has been a weary task! The
writer has a good deal of fire, but it is rarely a very bright flame.
Here and there we see it just blaze, and then sink into mediocrity. He
is too redundant and tiresome.... 'Tis a great disadvantage to read them
in MS., as one cannot readily turn to passages; but life is too short to
be peeping into other peoples' MSS. _I prefer your prose to your verse_.
Let me know if you receive it safely, and pray give no notion to any one
that I have seen the MS."

_Mr. D'Israeli to John Murray_.

"It is a most disagreeable office to give opinions on MSS.; one reads
them at a moment when one has other things in one's head--then one is
obliged to fatigue the brain with _thinking_; but if I can occasionally
hinder you from publishing nugatory works, I do not grudge the pains. At
the same time I surely need not add, how very _confidential_ such
communications ought to be."

_Mr. I. D'Israeli to John Murray_.

I am delighted by your apology for not having called on me after I had
taken my leave of you the day before; but you can make an unnecessary
apology as agreeable as any other act of kindness....

You are sanguine in your hope of a good sale of "Curiosities," it will
afford us a mutual gratification; but when you consider it is not a new
work, though considerably improved I confess, and that those kinds of
works cannot boast of so much novelty as they did about ten years ago, I
am somewhat more moderate in my hopes.

What you tell me of F.F. from Symond's, is _new_ to me. I sometimes
throw out in the shop _remote hints_ about the sale of books, all the
while meaning only _mine_; but they have no skill in construing the
timid wishes of a modest author; they are not aware of his suppressed
sighs, nor see the blushes of hope and fear tingling his cheek; they are
provokingly silent, and petrify the imagination....

Believe me, with the truest regard,

Yours ever,


_Mr. D'Israeli to John Murray_. _Saturday, May_ 31, 1806. KING'S ROAD.


It is my wish to see you for five minutes this day, but as you must be
much engaged, and I am likely to be prevented reaching you this morning,
I shall only trouble you with a line.

Most warmly I must impress on your mind the _necessity_ of taking the
advice of a physician. Who? You know many. We have heard extraordinary
accounts of Dr. Baillie, and that (what is more extraordinary) he is not

I have written this to impress on your mind this point. Seeing you as we
see you, and your friend at a fault, how to decide, and you without some
relative or domestic friend about you, gives Mrs. D'I. and myself very
serious concerns--for you know we do take the warmest interest in your
welfare--and your talents and industry want nothing but health to make
you yet what it has always been one of my most gratifying hopes to
conceive of you.

Yours very affectionately,


A circumstance, not without influence on Murray's future, occurred about
this time with respect to the "Miniature," a volume of comparatively
small importance, consisting of essays written by boys at Eton, and
originally published at Windsor by Charles Knight. Through Dr. Kennell,
Master of the Temple, his friend and neighbour, who lived close at hand,
Murray became acquainted with the younger Kennell, Mr. Stratford
Canning, Gally Knight, the two sons of the Marquis Wellesley, and other
young Etonians, who had originated and conducted this School magazine.
Thirty-four numbers appeared in the course of a year, and were then
brought out in a volume by Mr. Knight at the expense of the authors. The
transaction had involved them in debt. "Whatever chance of success our
hopes may dictate," wrote Stratford Canning, "yet our apprehensions
teach us to tremble at the possibility of additional expenses," and the
sheets lay unsold on the bookseller's hands. Mr. Murray, who was
consulted about the matter, said to Dr. Rennell, "Tell them to send the
unsold sheets to me, and I will pay the debt due to the printer." The
whole of the unsold sheets were sent by the "Windsor Waggon" to Mr.
Murray's at Fleet Street. He made waste-paper of the whole bundle--there
were 6,376 numbers in all,--brought out a new edition of 750 copies,
printed in good type, and neatly bound, and announced to Stratford
Canning that he did this at his own cost and risk, and would make over
to the above Etonians half the profits of the work. The young authors
were highly pleased by this arrangement, and Stratford Canning wrote to
Murray (October 20, 1805): "We cannot sufficiently thank you for your
kind attention to our concerns, and only hope that the success of the
_embryo_ edition may be equal to your care." How great was the
importance of the venture in his eyes may be judged from the naïve
allusion with which he proceeds: "It will be a week or two before we
commit it to the press, for amidst our other occupations the business of
the school must not be neglected, and that by itself is no trivial

By means of this transaction Murray had the sagacity to anticipate an
opportunity of making friends of Canning and Frere, who were never tired
of eulogizing the spirit and enterprise of the young Fleet Street
publisher. Stratford Canning introduced him to his cousin George, the
great minister, whose friendship and support had a very considerable
influence in promoting and establishing his future prosperity. It is
scarcely necessary to add that the new edition of the "Miniature"
speedily became waste paper.



The most important publishing firm with which Mr. Murray was connected
at the outset of his career was that of Archibald Constable & Co., of
Edinburgh. This connection had a considerable influence upon Murray's
future fortunes.

Constable, who was about four years older than Murray, was a man of
great ability, full of spirit and enterprise. He was by nature generous,
liberal, and far-seeing. The high prices which he gave for the best kind
of literary work drew the best authors round him, and he raised the
publishing trade of Scotland to a height that it had never before
reached, and made Edinburgh a great centre of learning and literature.

In 1800 he commenced the _Farmer's Magazine_, and in the following year
acquired the property of the _Scots Magazine,_ a venerable repertory of
literary, historical, and antiquarian matter; but it was not until the
establishment of the _Edinburgh Review_, in October 1802, that
Constable's name became a power in the publishing world.

In the year following the first issue of the _Review_, Constable took
into partnership Alexander Gibson Hunter, eldest son of David Hunter, of
Blackness, a Forfarshire laird. The new partner brought a considerable
amount of capital into the firm, at a time when capital was greatly
needed in that growing concern. His duties were to take charge of the
ledger and account department, though he never took much interest in his
work, but preferred to call in the help of a clever arithmetical clerk.

It is unnecessary to speak of the foundation of the _Edinburgh Review_.
It appeared at the right time, and was mainly supported by the talents
of Jeffrey, Brougham, Sydney Smith, Francis Horner, Dr. Thomas Brown,
Lord Murray, and other distinguished writers. The first number
immediately attracted public attention. Mr. Joseph Mawman was the London
agent, but some dissatisfaction having arisen with respect to his
management, the London sale was transferred to the Messrs. Longman, with
one half share in the property of the work.

During the partnership of Murray and Highley, they had occasional
business transactions with Constable of Edinburgh. Shortly after the
partnership was dissolved in March 1803, Murray wrote as follows to Mr.

_April_ 25, 1803.

"I have several works in the press which I should be willing to consign
to your management in Edinburgh, but that I presume you have already
sufficient business upon your hands, and that you would not find mine
worth attending to. If so, I wish that you would tell me of some
vigorous young bookseller, like myself, just starting into business,
upon whose probity, punctuality, and exertion you think I might rely,
and I would instantly open a correspondence with him; and in return it
will give me much pleasure to do any civil office for you in London. I
should be happy if any arrangement could be made wherein we might prove
of reciprocal advantage; and were you from your superabundance to pick
me out any work of merit of which you would either make me the publisher
in London, or in which you would allow me to become a partner, I dare
say the occasion would arise wherein I could return the compliment, and
you would have the satisfaction of knowing that your book was in the
hands of one who has not yet so much business as to cause him to neglect
any part of it."

Mr. Constable's answer was favourable. In October 1804 Mr. Murray, at
the instance of Constable, took as his apprentice Charles Hunter, the
younger brother of A. Gibson Hunter, Constable's partner. The
apprenticeship was to be for four or seven years, at the option of
Charles Hunter. These negotiations between the firms, and their
increasing interchange of books, showed that they were gradually drawing
nearer to each other, until their correspondence became quite friendly
and even intimate. Walter Scott was now making his appearance as an
author; Constable had published his "Sir Tristram" in May 1804, and his
"Lay of the Last Minstrel" in January 1805. Large numbers of these works
were forwarded to London and sold by Mr. Murray.

At the end of 1805 differences arose between the Constable and Longman
firms as to the periodical works in which they were interested. The
editor and proprietors of the _Edinburgh Review_ were of opinion that
the interest of the Longmans in two other works of a similar
character--the _Annual Review_ and the _Eclectic_--tended to lessen
their exertions on behalf of the _Edinburgh_. It was a matter that might
easily have been arranged; but the correspondents were men of hot
tempers, and with pens in their hands, they sent stinging letters from
London to Edinburgh, and from Edinburgh to London. Rees, Longman's
partner, was as bitter in words on the one side as Hunter, Constable's
partner, was on the other. At length a deadly breach took place, and it
was resolved in Edinburgh that the publication of the _Edinburgh Review_
should be transferred to John Murray, Fleet Street. Alexander Gibson
Hunter, Constable's partner, wrote to Mr. Murray to tell of the rupture
and to propose a closer alliance with him.

Mr. Murray replied:

_John Murray to Mr. A.G. Hunter.

December 7, 1805_.

"With regard to the important communication of your last letter, I
confess the surprise with which I read it was not without some mixture
of regret. The extensive connections betwixt your house and Longman's
cannot be severed at once without mutual inconvenience, and perhaps
mutual disadvantages, your share of which a more protracted
dismemberment might have prevented. From what I had occasion to observe,
I did not conceive that your concerns together would ever again move
with a cordiality that would render them lasting; but still, I imagined
that mutual interest and forbearance would allow them to subside into
that indifference which, without animosity or mischief, would leave
either party at liberty to enter upon such new arrangements as offered
to their separate advantage. I do not, however, doubt but that all
things have been properly considered, and perhaps finally settled for
the best; but Time, the only arbitrator in these cases, must decide.

"In your proposed engagements with Mr. Davies, you will become better
acquainted with a man of great natural talents, and thoroughly versed in
business, which he regulates by the most honourable principles. As for
myself, you will find me exceedingly assiduous in promoting your views,
into which I shall enter with feelings higher than those of mere
interest. Indeed, linked as our houses are at present, we have a natural
tendency to mutual good understanding, which will both prevent and
soften those asperities in business which might otherwise enlarge into
disagreement. Country orders [referring to Constable & Co.'s 'general
order'] are a branch of business which I have ever totally declined as
incompatible with my more serious plans as a publisher. But _your_
commissions I shall undertake with pleasure, and the punctuality with
which I have attempted to execute _your first order_ you will, I hope,
consider as a specimen of my disposition to give you satisfaction in
every transaction in which we may hereafter be mutually engaged."

It was a great chance for a young man entering life with a moderate
amount of capital, to be virtually offered an intimate connection with
one of the principal publishing houses of the day. It was one of those
chances which, "taken at the flood, lead on to fortune," but there was
also the question of honour, and Mr. Murray, notwithstanding his desire
for opening out a splendid new connection in business, would do nothing
inconsistent with the strictest honour. He was most unwilling to thrust
himself in between Constable and Longman. Instead, therefore, of jumping
at Constable's advantageous offer, his feelings induced him to promote a
reconciliation between the parties; and he continued to enjoin
forbearance on the part of both firms, so that they might carry on their
business transactions as before. Copies of the correspondence between
Constable and the Longmans were submitted to referees (Murray and
Davies), and the following was Mr. Murray's reply, addressed to Messrs.
Constable & Co.:

_John Murray to Messrs. Constable & Co_.

_December_ 14, 1805.


Mr. Hunter's obliging letter to me arrived this morning. That which he
enclosed with yours to his brother last night, Charles gave me to read.
The contents were very flattering. Indeed, I cannot but agree with Mr.
H. that his brother has displayed very honourable feelings, upon hearing
of the probable separation of your house, and that of Messrs. Longman &
Co. Mr. Longman was the first who mentioned this to him, and indeed from
the manner in which Charles related his conversation upon the affair, I
could not but feel renewed sensations of regret at the unpleasant
termination of a correspondence, which, had it been conducted upon Mr.
Longman's own feelings, would have borne, I think, a very different
aspect. Longman spoke of you both with kindness, and mildly complained
that he had perceived a want of confidence on your part, ever since his
junction with Messrs. Hurst & Orme. He confessed that the correspondence
was too harsh for him to support any longer; but, he added, "_if we must
part, let us part like friends_." I am certain, from what Charles
reported to me, that Mr. L. and I think Mr. R. [Rees] are hurt by this
sudden disunion.

Recollect how serious every dispute becomes upon paper, when a man
writes a thousand asperities merely to show or support his superior
ability. Things that would not have been spoken, or perhaps even thought
of in conversation, are stated and horribly magnified _upon paper_.
Consider how many disputes have arisen in the world, in which both
parties were so violent in what they believed to be the support of
truth, and which to the public, and indeed to themselves a few years
afterwards, appeared unwise, because the occasion or cause of it was not
worth contending about. Consider that you are, all of you, men who can
depend upon each other's probity and honour, and where these essentials
are not wanting, surely in mere matters of business the rest may be
palliated by mutual bearance and forbearance. Besides, you are so
connected by various publications, your common property, and some of
them such as will remain so until the termination of your lives, that
you cannot effect an entire disunion, and must therefore be subject to
eternal vexations and regrets which will embitter every transaction and
settlement between you.

You know, moreover, that it is one of the misfortunes of our nature,
that disputes are always the most bitter in proportion to former
intimacy. And how much dissatisfaction will it occasion if either of you
are desirous in a year or two of renewing that intimacy which you are
now so anxious to dissolve--to say nothing of your relative utility to
each other--a circumstance which is never properly estimated, except
when the want of the means reminds us of what we have been at such pains
to deprive ourselves. Pause, my dear sirs, whilst to choose be yet in
your power; show yourselves superior to common prejudice, and by an
immediate exercise of your acknowledged pre-eminence of intellect,
suffer arrangements to be made for an accommodation and for a renewal of
that connexion which has heretofore been productive of honour and
profit. I am sure I have to apologize for having ventured to say so much
to men so much my superiors in sense and knowledge of the world and
their own interest; but sometimes the meanest bystander may perceive
disadvantages in the movements of the most skilful players.

You will not, I am sure, attribute anything which I have said to an
insensibility to the immediate advantages which will arise to myself
from a determination opposite to that which I have taken the liberty of
suggesting. It arises from a very different feeling. I should be very
little worthy of your great confidence and attention to my interest upon
this occasion, if I did not state freely the result of my humble
consideration of this matter; and having done so, I do assure you that
if the arrangements which you now propose are carried into effect, I
will apply the most arduous attention to your interest, to which I will
turn the channel of my own thoughts and business, which, I am proud to
say, is rising in proportion to the industry and honourable principles
which have been used in its establishment. I am every day adding to a
most respectable circle of literary connexions, and I hope, a few months
after the settlement of your present affairs, to offer shares to you of
works in which you will feel it advantageous to engage. Besides, as I
have at present no particular bias, no enormous works of my own which
would need all my care, I am better qualified to attend to any that you
may commit to my charge; and, being young, my business may be formed
with a disposition, as it were, towards yours; and thus growing up with
it, we are more likely to form a durable connexion than can be expected
with persons whose views are imperceptibly but incessantly diverging
from each other.

Should you be determined--_irrevocably_ determined (but consider!) upon
the disunion with Messrs. Longman, I will just observe that when persons
have been intimate, they have discovered each other's vulnerable points;
it therefore shows no great talent to direct at them shafts of
resentment. It is easy both to write and to say ill-natured, harsh, and
cutting things of each other. But remember that this power is _mutual_,
and in proportion to the poignancy of the wound which you would inflict
will be your own feelings when it is returned. It is therefore a maxim
which I laid down soon after a separation which I _had_, never to say or
do to my late colleague what he could say or do against me in return. I
knew that I had the personal superiority, but what his own ingenuity
could not suggest, others could write for him.

I must apologise again for having been so tedious, but I am sure that
the same friendliness on your part which has produced these hasty but
well-meant expostulations will excuse them. After this, I trust it is
unnecessary for me to state with how much sincerity,

I am, dear sirs,

Your faithful friend,


Ten days after this letter was written, Mr. Murray sent a copy of it to
Messrs. Longman & Co., and wrote:

_John Murray to Messrs. Longman & Co_,

_December_ 24, 1805.


The enclosed letter will show that I am not ignorant that a
misunderstanding prevails betwixt your house and that of Messrs.
Constable & Co. With the cause, however, I am as yet unacquainted;
though I have attempted, but in vain, to obviate a disunion which I most
sincerely regret. Whatever arrangements with regard to myself may take
place in consequence will have arisen from circumstances which it was
not in my power to prevent; and they will not therefore be suffered to
interfere in any way with those friendly dispositions which will
continue, I trust, to obtain between you and, gentlemen,

Your obedient servant,


But the split was not to be avoided. It appears, however, that by the
contract entered into by Constable with Longmans in 1803, the latter had
acquired a legal right precluding the publication of the _Edinburgh
Review_ by another publisher without their express assent. Such assent
was not given, and the London publication of the _Edinburgh_ continued
in Longman's hands for a time; but all the other works of Constable were
at once transferred to Mr. Murray.

Mr. Constable invited Murray to come to Edinburgh to renew their
personal friendship, the foundations of which had been laid during Mr.
Murray's visit to Edinburgh in the previous year; and now that their
union was likely to be much closer, he desired to repeat the visit. Mr.
Murray had another, and, so far as regarded his personal happiness, a
much more important object in view. This arose out of the affection
which he had begun to entertain for Miss Elliot, daughter of the late
Charles Elliot, publisher, with whom Mr. Murray's father had been in
such constant correspondence. The affection was mutual, and it seemed
probable that the attachment would ripen into a marriage.

Now that his reputation as a publisher was becoming established, Mr.
Murray grew more particular as to the guise of the books which he
issued. He employed the best makers of paper, the best printers, and the
best book-binders. He attended to the size and tone of the paper, and
quality of the type, the accuracy of the printing, and the excellence of
the illustrations. All this involved a great deal of correspondence. We
find his letters to the heads of departments full of details as to the
turn-out of his books. Everything, from the beginning to the end of the
issue of a work--the first inspection of the MS., the consultation with
confidential friends as to its fitness for publication, the form in
which it was to appear, the correction of the proofs, the binding,
title, and final advertisement--engaged his closest attention. Besides
the elegant appearance of his books, he also aimed at raising the
standard of the literature which he published. He had to criticize as
well as to select; to make suggestions as to improvements where the
manuscript was regarded with favour, and finally to launch the book at
the right time and under the best possible auspices. It might almost be
said of the publisher, as it is of the poet, that he is born, not made.
And Mr. Murray appears, from the beginning to the end of his career, to
have been a born publisher.

In August 1806, during the slack season in London, Mr. Murray made his
promised visit to Edinburgh. He was warmly received by Constable and
Hunter, and enjoyed their hospitality for some days. After business
matters had been disposed of, he was taken in hand by Hunter, the junior
partner, and led off by him to enjoy the perilous hospitality of the
Forfarshire lairds.

Those have been called the days of heroic drinking. Intemperance
prevailed to an enormous extent. It was a time of greater
licentiousness, perhaps, in all the capitals of Europe, and this
northern one among the rest, than had been known for a long period. Men
of the best education and social position drank like the Scandinavian
barbarians of olden times. Tavern-drinking, now almost unknown among the
educated and professional classes of Edinburgh, was then carried by all
ranks to a dreadful excess.

Murray was conducted by Hunter to his father's house of Eskmount in
Forfarshire, where he was most cordially received, and in accordance
with the custom of the times the hospitality included invitations to
drinking bouts at the neighbouring houses.

An unenviable notoriety in this respect attached to William Maule
(created Baron Panmure 1831). He was the second son of the eighth Earl
of Dalhousie, but on succeeding, through his grandmother, to the estates
of the Earls of Panmure, he had assumed the name of Maule in lieu of
that of Ramsay.

Much against his will, Murray was compelled to take part in some of
these riotous festivities with the rollicking, hard-drinking Forfarshire
lairds, and doubtless he was not sorry to make his escape at length
uninjured, if not unscathed, and to return to more congenial society in
Edinburgh. His attachment to Miss Elliot ended in an engagement.

In the course of his correspondence with Miss Elliot's trustees, Mr.
Murray gave a statement of his actual financial position at the time:

"When I say," he wrote, "that my capital in business amounts to five
thousand pounds, I meant it to be understood that if I quitted business
to-morrow, the whole of my property being sold, even disadvantageously,
it would leave a balance in my favour, free from debt or any
incumbrance, of the sum above specified. But you will observe that,
continuing it as I shall do in business, I know it to be far more
considerable and productive. I will hope that it has not been thought
uncandid in me if I did not earlier specify the amount of my
circumstances, for I considered that I had done this in the most
delicate and satisfactory way when I took the liberty of referring you
to Mr. Constable to whom I consequently disclosed my affairs, and whose
knowledge of my connexions in business might I thought have operated
more pleasingly to Miss Elliot's friends than any communication from

The correspondence with Miss Elliot went on, and at length it was
arranged that Mr. Murray should proceed to Edinburgh for the marriage.
He went by mail in the month of February. A tremendous snowstorm set in
on his journey north. From a village near Doncaster he wrote to
Constable: "The horses were twice blown quite round, unable to face the
horrid blast of cold wind, the like of which I have never known before.
There was at the same time a terrible fall of snow, which completely
obscured everything that could be seen from the coach window. The snow
became of great depth, and six strong horses could scarcely pull us
through. We are four hours behind time." From Doncaster he went to
Durham in a postchaise; and pushing onward, he at last reached Edinburgh
after six days' stormy travelling.

While at Edinburgh, Mr. Murray resided with Mr. Sands, one of the late
Charles Elliot's trustees. The marriage took place on March 6, 1807, and
the newly married pair at once started for Kelso, in spite of the roads
being still very bad, and obstructed by snow. Near Blackshields the
horses fell down and rolled over and over. The postboy's leg was broken,
and the carriage was sadly damaged. A neighbouring blacksmith was called
to the rescue, and after an hour and a half the carriage was
sufficiently repaired to be able to proceed. A fresh pair of horses was
obtained at the next stage, and the married couple reached Kelso in
safety. They remained there a few days, waiting for Mrs. Elliot, who
was to follow them; and on her arrival, they set out at once for the

The intimacy which existed between Mr. Murray and Mr. D'Israeli will be
observed from the fact that the latter was selected as one of the
marriage trustees. A few days after the arrival of the married pair in
London, they were invited to dine with Mr. D'Israeli and his friends.
Mr. Alexander Hunter, whom Mr. Murray had invited to stay with him
during his visit to London, thus describes the event:

"Dressed, and went along with the Clan Murray to dine at Mr.
D'Israeli's, where we had a most sumptuous banquet, and a very large
party, in honour of the newly married folks. There was a very beautiful
woman there, Mrs. Turner, wife of Sharon Turner, the Anglo-Saxon
historian, who, I am told, was one of the Godwin school! If they be all
as beautiful, accomplished, and agreeable as this lady, they must be a
deuced dangerous set indeed, and I should not choose to trust myself
amongst them.

"Our male part of the company consisted mostly of literary
men--Cumberland, Turner, D'Israeli, Basevi, Prince Hoare, and Cervetto,
the truly celebrated violoncello player. Turner was the most able and
agreeable of the whole by far; Cumberland, the most talkative and
eccentric perhaps, has a good sprinkling of learning and humour in his
conversation and anecdote, from having lived so long amongst the eminent
men of his day, such as Johnson, Foote, Garrick, and such like. But his
conversation is sadly disgusting, from his tone of irony and detraction
conveyed in a cunning sort of way and directed constantly against the
_Edinburgh Review_, Walter Scott (who is a 'poor ignorant boy, and no
poet,' and never wrote a five-feet line in his life), and such other
d----d stuff."



Mr. Murray was twenty-nine years old at the time of his marriage. That
he was full of contentment as well as hope at this time may be inferred
from his letter to Constable three weeks after his marriage:

_John Murray to Mr. Constable_.

_March 27, 1807_.

"I declare to you that I am every day more content with my lot. Neither
my wife nor I have any disposition for company or going out; and you may
rest assured that I shall devote all my attention to business, and that
your concerns will not be less the object of my regard merely because
you have raised mine so high. Every moment, my dear Constable, I feel
more grateful to you, and I trust that you will over find me your
faithful friend.--J.M."

Some of the most important events in Murray's career occurred during the
first year of his married life. Chief among them may perhaps be
mentioned his part share in the publication of "Marmion" (in February
1808)--which brought him into intimate connection with Walter Scott--and
his appointment for a time as publisher in London of the _Edinburgh
Review_; for he was thus brought into direct personal contact with those
forces which ultimately led to the chief literary enterprise of his
life--the publication of the _Quarterly Review_.

Mr. Scott called upon Mr. Murray in London shortly after the return of
the latter from his marriage in Edinburgh.

"Mr. Scott called upon me on Tuesday, and we conversed for an hour....
He appears very anxious that 'Marmion' should be published by the
King's birthday.... He said he wished it to be ready by that time for
very particular reasons; and yet he allows that the poem is not
completed, and that he is yet undetermined if he shall make his hero
happy or otherwise."

The other important event, to which allusion has been made, was the
transfer to Mr. Murray of part of the London agency for the _Edinburgh
Review_. At the beginning of 1806 Murray sold 1,000 copies of the
_Review_ on the day of its publication, and the circulation was steadily
increasing. Constable proposed to transfer the entire London publication
to Murray, but the Longmans protested, under the terms of their existing
agreement. In April 1807 they employed as their attorney Mr. Sharon
Turner, one of Murray's staunchest allies. Turner informed him, through
a common friend, of his having been retained by the Longmans; but Murray
said he could not in any way "feel hurt at so proper and indispensable a
pursuit of his profession." The opinion of counsel was in favour of the
Messrs. Longman's contention, and of their "undisputable rights to
one-half of the _Edinburgh Review_ so long as it continues to be
published under that title."

Longman & Co. accordingly obtained an injunction to prevent the
publication of the _Edinburgh Review_ by any other publisher in London
without their express consent.

Matters were brought to a crisis by the following letter, written by the
editor, Mr. Francis Jeffrey, to Messrs. Constable & Co.:

_June 1_, 1807.


I believe you understand already that neither I nor any of the original
and regular writers in the _Review_ will ever contribute a syllable to a
work belonging to booksellers. It is proper, however, to announce this
to you distinctly, that you may have no fear of hardship or
disappointment in the event of Mr. Longman succeeding in his claim to
the property of this work. If that claim be not speedily rejected or
abandoned, it is our fixed resolution to withdraw entirely from the
_Edinburgh Review_; to publish to all the world that the conductor and
writers of the former numbers have no sort of connection with those that
may afterwards appear; and probably to give notice of our intention to
establish a new work of a similar nature under a different title.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen,

Your very obedient servant,


A copy of this letter was at once forwarded to Messrs. Longman.
Constable, in his communication accompanying it, assured the publishers
that, in the event of the editor and contributors to the _Edinburgh
Review_ withdrawing from the publication and establishing a new
periodical, the existing _Review_ would soon be of no value either to
proprietors or publishers, and requested to be informed whether they
would not be disposed to transfer their interest in the property, and,
if so, on what considerations. Constable added: "We are apprehensive
that the editors will not postpone for many days longer that public
notification of their secession, which we cannot help anticipating as
the death-blow of the publication."

Jeffrey's decision seems to have settled the matter. Messrs. Longman
agreed to accept £1,000 for their claim of property in the title and
future publication of the _Edinburgh Review_. The injunction was
removed, and the London publication of the _Review_ was forthwith
transferred to John Murray, 32, Fleet Street, under whose auspices No.
22 accordingly appeared.

Thus far all had gone on smoothly. But a little cloud, at first no
bigger than a man's hand, made its appearance, and it grew and grew
until it threw a dark shadow over the friendship of Constable and
Murray, and eventually led to their complete separation. This was the
system of persistent drawing of accommodation bills, renewals of bills,
and promissory notes. Constable began to draw heavily upon Murray in
April 1807, and the promissory notes went on accumulating until they
constituted a mighty mass of paper money. Murray's banker cautioned him
against the practice. But repeated expostulation was of no use against
the impetuous needs of Constable & Co. Only two months after the
transfer of the publication of the _Review_ to Mr. Murray, we find him
writing to "Dear Constable" as follows:

_John Murray to Mr. Archd. Constable_.

_October 1, 1807_.

"I should not have allowed myself time to write to you to-day, were not
the occasion very urgent. Your people have so often of late omitted to
give you timely notice of the day when my acceptances fell due, that I
have suffered an inconvenience too great for me to have expressed to
you, had it not occurred so often that it is impossible for me to
undergo the anxiety which it occasions. A bill of yours for £200 was due
yesterday, and I have been obliged to supply the means for paying it,
without any notice for preparation.... I beg of you to insist upon this
being regulated, as I am sure you must desire it to be, so that I may
receive the cash for your bills two days at least before they are due."

Mr. Murray then gives a list of debts of his own (including some of
Constable's) amounting to £1,073, which he has to pay in the following
week. From a cash account made out by Mr. Murray on October 3, it
appears that the bill transactions with Constable had become enormous;
they amounted to not less than £10,000.

The correspondence continued in the same strain, and it soon became
evident that this state of things could not be allowed to continue.
Reconciliations took place from time to time, but interruptions again
occurred, mostly arising from the same source--a perpetual flood of
bills and promissory notes, from one side and the other--until Murray
found it necessary to put an end to it peremptorily. Towards the end of
1808 Messrs. Constable established at No. 10 Ludgate Street a London
house for the sale of the _Edinburgh Review_, and the other works in
which they were concerned, under the title of Constable, Hunter, Park &
Hunter. This, doubtless, tended to widen the breach between Constable
and Murray, though it left the latter free to enter into arrangements
for establishing a Review of his own, an object which he had already

There were many books in which the two houses had a joint interest, and,
therefore, their relations could not be altogether discontinued.
"Marmion" was coming out in successive editions; but the correspondence
between the publishers grew cooler and cooler, and Constable had
constant need to delay payments and renew bills.

Mr. Murray had also considerable bill transactions with Ballantyne & Co.
of Edinburgh. James and John Ballantyne had been schoolfellows of Walter
Scott at Kelso, and the acquaintance there formed was afterwards
renewed. James Ballantyne established the _Kelso Mail_ in 1796, but at
the recommendation of Scott, for whom he had printed a collection of
ballads, he removed to Edinburgh in 1802. There he printed the "Border
Minstrelsy," for Scott, who assisted him with money. Ballantyne was in
frequent and intimate correspondence with Murray from the year 1806, and
had printed for him Hogg's "Ettrick Shepherd," and other works.

It was at this time that Scott committed the great error of his life.
His professional income was about £1,000 a year, and with the profits of
his works he might have built Abbotsford and lived in comfort and
luxury. But in 1805 he sacrificed everything by entering into
partnership with James Ballantyne, and embarking in his printing concern
almost the whole of the capital which he possessed. He was bound to the
firm for twenty years, and during that time he produced his greatest
works. It is true that but for the difficulties in which he was latterly
immersed, we might never have known the noble courage with which he met
and rose superior to misfortune.

In 1808 a scheme of great magnitude was under contemplation by Murray
and the Ballantynes. It was a uniform edition of the "British
Novelists," beginning with De Foe, and ending with the novelists at the
close of last century; with biographical prefaces and illustrative notes
by Walter Scott. A list of the novels, written in the hand of John
Murray, includes thirty-six British, besides eighteen foreign authors.
The collection could not have been completed in less than two hundred
volumes. The scheme, if it did not originate with Walter Scott, had at
least his cordial support.

Mr. Murray not unreasonably feared the cost of carrying such an
undertaking to completion. It could not have amounted to less than
twenty thousand pounds. Yet the Ballantynes urged him on. They furnished
statements of the cost of printing and paper for each volume. "It really
strikes me," said James Ballantyne, "the more I think of and examine it,
to be the happiest speculation that has ever been thought of."

This undertaking eventually fell through. Only the works of De Foe were
printed by the Messrs. Ballantyne, and published by Mr. Murray. The
attention of the latter became absorbed by a subject of much greater
importance to him--the establishment of the _Quarterly Review_. This for
a time threw most of his other schemes into the shade.



The publication of a Tory Review was not the result of a sudden
inspiration. The scheme had long been pondered over. Mr. Canning had
impressed upon Mr. Pitt the importance of securing the newspaper press,
then almost entirely Whiggish or Revolutionary, on the side of his
administration. To combat, in some measure, the democratic principles
then in full swing, Mr. Canning, with others, started, in November 1797,
the _Anti-Jacobin, or Weekly Examiner_.

The _Anti-Jacobin_ ceased to be published in 1798, when Canning, having
been appointed Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, found his
time fully occupied by the business of his department, as well as by his
parliamentary duties, and could no longer take part in that clever

Four years later, in October 1802, the first number of the _Edinburgh
Review_ was published. It appeared at the right time, and, as the first
quarterly organ of the higher criticism, evidently hit the mark at which
it aimed. It was conducted by some of the cleverest literary young men
in Edinburgh--Jeffrey, Brougham, Sydney Smith, Francis Horner, Dr.
Thomas Brown, and others. Though Walter Scott was not a founder of the
_Review_, he was a frequent contributor.

In its early days the criticism was rude, and wanting in delicate
insight; for the most part too dictatorial, and often unfair. Thus
Jeffrey could never appreciate the merits of Wordsworth, Southey, and
Coleridge. "This will never do!" was the commencement of his review of
Wordsworth's noblest poem. Jeffrey boasted that he had "crushed the
'Excursion.'" "He might as well say," observed Southey, "that he could
crush Skiddaw." Ignorance also seems to have pervaded the article
written by Brougham, in the second number of the _Edinburgh_, on Dr.
Thomas Young's discovery of the true principles of interferences in the
undulatory theory of light. Sir John Herschell, a more competent
authority, said of Young's discovery, that it was sufficient of itself
to have placed its author in the highest rank of scientific immortality.

The situation seemed to Mr. Murray to warrant the following letter:

_John Murray to the Right Hon. George Canning_.

_September 25, 1807._


I venture to address you upon a subject that is not, perhaps,
undeserving of one moment of your attention. There is a work entitled
the _Edinburgh Review_, written with such unquestionable talent that it
has already attained an extent of circulation not equalled by any
similar publication. The principles of this work are, however, so
radically bad that I have been led to consider the effect that such
sentiments, so generally diffused, are likely to produce, and to think
that some means equally popular ought to be adopted to counteract their
dangerous tendency. But the publication in question is conducted with so
much ability, and is sanctioned with such high and decisive authority by
the party of whose opinions it is the organ, that there is little hope
of producing against it any effectual opposition, unless it arise from
you, Sir, and your friends. Should you, Sir, think the idea worthy of
encouragement, I should, with equal pride and willingness, engage my
arduous exertions to promote its success; but as my object is nothing
short of producing a work of the greatest talent and importance, I shall
entertain it no longer if it be not so fortunate as to obtain the high
patronage which I have thus taken the liberty to solicit.

Permit me, Sir, to add that the person who addresses you is no
adventurer, but a man of some property, and inheriting a business that
has been established for nearly a century. I therefore trust that my
application will be attributed to its proper motives, and that your
goodness will at least pardon its obtrusion.

I have the honour to be, Sir, Your must humble and obedient Servant,

John Murray.

So far as can be ascertained, Mr. Canning did not answer this letter in
writing. But a communication was shortly after opened with him through
Mr. Stratford Canning, whose acquaintance Mr. Murray had made through
the publication of the "Miniature," referred to in a preceding chapter.
Mr. Canning was still acting as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
and was necessarily cautious, but Mr. Stratford Canning, his cousin, was
not bound by any such official restraints. In January 1808 he introduced
Mr. Gifford to Mr. Murray, and the starting of the proposed new
periodical was the subject of many consultations between them.

Walter Scott still continued to write for the _Edinburgh_,
notwithstanding the differences of opinion which existed between himself
and the editor as to political questions. He was rather proud of the
_Review_, inasmuch as it was an outgrowth of Scottish literature. Scott
even endeavoured to enlist new contributors, for the purpose of
strengthening the _Review_. He wrote to Robert Southey in 1807, inviting
him to contribute to the _Edinburgh_. The honorarium was to be ten
guineas per sheet of sixteen pages. This was a very tempting invitation
to Southey, as he was by no means rich at the time, and the pay was more
than he received for his contributions to the _Annual Register_, but he
replied to Scott as follows:

_Mr. Southey to Mr. Scott_.

_December, 1807_.

"I have scarcely one opinion in common with it [the _Edinburgh Review_]
upon any subject.... Whatever of any merit I might insert there would
aid and abet opinions hostile to my own, and thus identify me with a
system which I thoroughly disapprove. This is not said hastily. The
emolument to be derived from writing at ten guineas a sheet, Scotch
measure, instead of seven pounds for the _Annual_, would be
considerable; the pecuniary advantage resulting from the different
manner in which my future works would be handled [by the _Review_]
probably still more so. But my moral feelings must not be compromised.
To Jeffrey as an individual I shall ever be ready to show every kind of
individual courtesy; but of Judge Jeffrey of the _Edinburgh Review_ I
must ever think and speak as of a bad politician, a worse moralist, and
a critic, in matters of taste, equally incompetent and unjust."
[Footnote: "The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey," iii. pp.
124-5.] Walter Scott, before long, was led to entertain the same opinion
of the _Edinburgh Review_ as Southey. A severe and unjust review of
"Marmion," by Jeffrey, appeared in 1808, accusing Scott of a mercenary
spirit in writing for money (though Jeffrey himself was writing for
money in the same article), and further irritating Scott by asserting
that he "had neglected Scottish feelings and Scottish characters."
"Constable," writes Scott to his brother Thomas, in November 1808, "or
rather that Bear, his partner [Mr. Hunter], has behaved by me of late
not very civilly, and I owe Jeffrey a flap with a foxtail on account of
his review of 'Marmion,' and thus doth the whirligig of time bring about
my revenges."

Murray, too, was greatly annoyed by the review of "Marmion." "Scott," he
used to say, "may forgive but he can never forget this treatment"; and,
to quote the words of Mr. Lockhart: "When he read the article on
'Marmion,' and another on foreign politics, in the same number of the
_Edinburgh Review_, Murray said to himself, 'Walter Scott has feelings,
both as a gentleman and a Tory, which these people must now have
wounded; the alliance between him and the whole clique of the _Edinburgh
Review_ is now shaken'"; and, as far at least as the political part of
the affair was concerned, John Murray's sagacity was not at fault.

Mr. Murray at once took advantage of this opening to draw closer the
bonds between himself and Ballantyne, for he well knew who was the
leading spirit in the firm, and showed himself desirous of obtaining the
London agency of the publishing business, which, as he rightly
discerned, would soon be started in connection with the Canongate Press,
and in opposition to Constable. The large increase of work which Murray
was prepared to place in the hands of the printers induced Ballantyne to
invite him to come as far as Ferrybridge in Yorkshire for a personal
conference. At this interview various new projects were discussed--among
them the proposed Novelists' Library--and from the information which he
then obtained as to Scott's personal feelings and literary projects,
Murray considered himself justified in at once proceeding to Ashestiel,
in order to lay before Scott himself, in a personal interview, his great
scheme for the new Review. He arrived there about the middle of October
1808, and was hospitably welcomed and entertained. He stated his plans,
mentioned the proposed editor of the Review, the probable contributors,
and earnestly invited the assistance of Scott himself.

During Murray's visit to Ashestiel No. 26 of the _Edinburgh Review_
arrived. It contained an article entitled "Don Cevallos on the
Occupation of Spain." It was long supposed that the article was written
by Brougham, but it has since been ascertained that Jeffrey himself was
the author of it. This article gave great offence to the friends of
rational liberty and limited monarchy in this country. Scott forthwith
wrote to Constable: "The _Edinburgh Review had_ become such as to render
it impossible for me to become a contributor to it; _now_ it is such as
I can no longer continue to receive or read it."

"The list of the then subscribers," said Mr. Cadell to Mr. Lockhart,
"exhibits, in an indignant dash of Constable's pen opposite Mr. Scott's
name, the word 'STOPT!'"

Mr. Murray never forgot his visit to Ashestiel. Scott was kindness
itself; Mrs. Scott was equally cordial and hospitable. Richard Heber was
there at the time, and the three went out daily to explore the scenery
of the neighbourhood. They visited Melrose Abbey, the Tweed, and
Dryburgh Abbey, not very remote from Melrose, where Scott was himself to
lie; they ascended the Eildon Hills, Scott on his sheltie often stopping
by the way to point out to Murray and Heber, who were on foot, some
broad meadow or heather-clad ground, as a spot where some legend held
its seat, or some notable deed had been achieved during the wars of the
Borders. Scott thus converted the barren hillside into a region of
interest and delight. From the top of the Eildons he pointed out the
scene of some twenty battles.

Very soon after his return to London, Murray addressed the following
letter to Mr. Scott:

_John Murray to Mr. Scott_.

_October_ 26, 1808.


Although the pressure of business since my return to London has
prevented me writing to you sooner, yet my thoughts have, I assure you,
been almost completely employed upon the important subjects of the
conversation with which you honoured me during the time I was
experiencing the obliging hospitality of Mrs. Scott and yourself at

Then, after a reference to the Novelists' Library mentioned in the last
chapter, the letter continues:

"I have seen Mr. William Gifford, hinting distantly at a Review; he
admitted the most imperious necessity for one, and that too in a way
that leads me to think that he has had very important communications
upon the subject.... I feel more than ever confident that the higher
powers are exceedingly desirous for the establishment of some
counteracting publication; and it will, I suspect, remain only for your
appearance in London to urge some very formidable plan into activity."

This letter was crossed in transit by the following:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

ASHESTIEL, BY SELKIRK, _October_ 30, 1808.


"Since I had the pleasure of seeing you I have the satisfaction to find
that Mr. Gifford has accepted the task of editing the intended Review.
This was communicated to me by the Lord Advocate, who at the same time
requested me to write Mr. Gifford on the subject. I have done so at
great length, pointing out whatever occurred to me on the facilities or
difficulties of the work in general, as well as on the editorial
department, offering at the same time all the assistance in my power to
set matters upon a good footing and to keep them so. I presume he will
have my letter by the time this reaches you, and that he will
communicate with you fully upon the details. I am as certain as of my
existence that the plan will answer, provided sufficient attention is
used in procuring and selecting articles of merit."

What Scott thought of Murray's visit to Ashestiel may be inferred from
his letter to his political confidant, George Ellis, of which, as it has
already appeared in Scott's Life, it is only necessary to give extracts

_Mr. Scott to Mr. George Ellis_.

_November_ 2, 1808.


"We had, equally to our joy and surprise, a flying visit from Heber
about three weeks ago. He staid but three days, but, between old stories
and new, we made them very merry in their passage. During his stay, John
Murray, the bookseller in Fleet Street, who has more real knowledge of
what concerns his business than any of his brethren--at least, than any
of them that I know--came to canvass a most important plan, of which I
am now, in "dern privacie," to give you the outline. I had most strongly
recommended to our Lord Advocate (the Right Hon. J.C. Colquhoun) to
think of some counter measures against the _Edinburgh Review_. which,
politically speaking, is doing incalculable damage. I do not mean this
in a party way; the present ministry are not all I could wish them, for
(Canning excepted) I doubt there is among them too much
_self-seeking...._ But their political principles are sound English
principles, and, compared to the greedy and inefficient horde which
preceded them, they are angels of light and purity. It is obvious,
however, that they want defenders, both in and out of doors. Pitt's

  "Love and fear glued many friends to him;
  And now he's fallen, those tough co-mixtures melt."

Then, after a reference to the large circulation (9,000) and mischievous
politics of the _Edinburgh Review_, he proceeds:

"Now, I think there is balm in Gilead for all this, and that the cure
lies in instituting such a Review in London as should be conducted
totally independent of bookselling influence, on a plan as liberal as
that of the _Edinburgh_, its literature as well supported, and its
principles English and constitutional. Accordingly, I have been given to
understand that Mr. William Gifford is willing to become the conductor
of such a work, and I have written to him, at the Lord Advocate's
desire, a very voluminous letter on the subject. Now, should this plan
succeed, you must hang your birding-piece on its hook, take down your
old Anti-Jacobin armour, and "remember your swashing blow." It is not
that I think this projected Review ought to be exclusively or
principally political; this would, in my opinion, absolutely counteract
its purpose, which I think should be to offer to those who love their
country, and to those whom we would wish to love it, a periodical work
of criticism conducted with equal talent, but upon sounder principles.
Is not this very possible? In point of learning, you Englishmen have ten
times our scholarship; and, as for talent and genius, "Are not Abana and
Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than any of the rivers in Israel?"
Have we not yourself and your cousin, the Roses, Malthus, Matthias,
Gifford, Heber, and his brother? Can I not procure you a score of
blue-caps who would rather write for us than for the _Edinburgh Review_
if they got as much pay by it? "A good plot, good friends, and full of
expectation--an excellent plot, very good friends!"

Heber's fear was lest we should fail in procuring regular steady
contributors; but I know so much of the interior discipline of reviewing
as to have no apprehension of that. Provided we are once set a-going by
a few dashing numbers, there would be no fear of enlisting regular
contributors; but the amateurs must bestir themselves in the first
instance. From the Government we should be entitled to expect
confidential communications as to points of fact (so far as fit to be
made public) in our political disquisitions. With this advantage, our
good cause and St. George to boot, we may at least divide the field with
our formidable competitors, who, after all, are much better at cutting
than parrying, and whose uninterrupted triumph has as much unfitted them
for resisting a serious attack as it has done Buonaparte for the Spanish
war. Jeffrey is, to be sure, a man of the most uncommon versatility of
talent, but what then?

"General Howe is a gallant commander,
There are others as gallant as he."

Think of all this, and let me hear from you very soon on the subject.
Canning is, I have good reason to know, very anxious about the plan. I
mentioned it to Robert Dundas, who was here with his lady for a few days
on a pilgrimage to Melrose, and he highly approved of it. Though no
literary man, he is judicious, _clair-voyant_, and uncommonly
sound-headed, like his father, Lord Melville. With the exceptions I have
mentioned, the thing continues a secret....

Ever yours,

Walter Scott."

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

_November_ 2, 1808.

I transmitted my letter to Mr. Gifford through the Lord Advocate, and
left it open that Mr. Canning might read it if he thought it worth
while. I have a letter from the Advocate highly approving my views, so I
suppose you will very soon hear from Mr. Gifford specifically on the
subject. It is a matter of immense consequence that something shall be
set about, and that without delay....

The points on which I chiefly insisted with Mr. Gifford were that the
Review should be independent both as to bookselling and ministerial
influences--meaning that we were not to be advocates of party through
thick and thin, but to maintain constitutional principles. Moreover, I
stated as essential that the literary part of the work should be as
sedulously attended to as the political, because it is by means of that
alone that the work can acquire any firm and extended reputation.

Moreover yet, I submitted that each contributor should draw money for
his article, be his rank what it may. This general rule has been of
great use to the _Edinburgh Review_. Of terms I said nothing, except
that your views on the subject seemed to me highly liberal. I do not add
further particulars because I dare say Mr. Gifford will show you the
letter, which is a very long one. Believe me, my dear Sir, with sincere

Your faithful, humble Servant,

Walter Scott.

In a subsequent letter to Mr. Ellis, Scott again indicates what he
considers should be the proper management of the proposed Review.

"Let me touch," he says, "a string of much delicacy--the political
character of the Review. It appears to me that this should be of a
liberal and enlarged nature, resting upon principles--indulgent and
conciliatory as far as possible upon mere party questions, but stern in
detecting and exposing all attempts to sap our constitutional fabric.
Religion is another slippery station; here also I would endeavour to be
as impartial as the subject will admit of.... The truth is, there is
policy, as well as morality, in keeping our swords clear as well as
sharp, and not forgetting the Gentleman in the Critic. The public
appetite is soon gorged with any particular style. The common Reviews,
before the appearance of the _Edinburgh_, had become extremely mawkish;
and, unless when prompted by the malice of the bookseller or reviewer,
gave a dawdling, maudlin sort of applause to everything that reached
even mediocrity. The _Edinburgh_ folks squeezed into their sauce plenty
of acid, and were popular from novelty as well as from merit. The minor
Reviews, and other periodical publications, have _outréd_ the matter
still further, and given us all abuse and no talent.... This, therefore,
we have to trust to, that decent, lively, and reflecting criticism,
teaching men not to abuse books, but to read and to judge them, will
have the effect of novelty upon a public wearied with universal efforts
at blackguard and indiscriminating satire. I have a long and very
sensible letter [Footnote: Given below, under date November 15, 1808.]
from John Murray, the bookseller, in which he touches upon this point
very neatly."

Scott was most assiduous in his preparations for the first number. He
wrote to his brother, Thomas Scott, asking him to contribute an article;
to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, of Christ Church, Oxford; to Mr. Morritt,
of Rokeby Park, Yorkshire; and to Robert Southey, of Keswick, asking
them for contributions. To Mr. Sharpe he says:

"The Hebers are engaged, item Rogers, Southey, Moore (Anacreon), and
others whose reputations Jeffrey has murdered, and who are rising to cry
woe upon him, like the ghosts in 'King Richard.'"

Scott's letter to Gilford, the intended editor, was full of excellent
advice. It was dated "Edinburgh, October 25, 1808." We quote from it
several important passages:

"John Murray, of Fleet Street," says Scott, "a young bookseller of
capital and enterprise, and with more good sense and propriety of
sentiment than fall to the share of most of the trade, made me a visit
at Ashestiel a few weeks ago; and as I found he had had some
communication with you upon the subject, I did not hesitate to
communicate my sentiments to him on this and some other points of the
plan, and I thought his ideas were most liberal and satisfactory.

"The office of Editor is of such importance, that had you not been
pleased to undertake it, I fear the plan would have fallen wholly to the
ground. The full power of control must, of course, be vested in the
editor for selecting, curtailing, and correcting the contributions to
the Review. But this is not all; for, as he is the person immediately
responsible to the bookseller that the work (amounting to a certain
number of pages, more or less) shall be before the public at a certain
time, it will be the editor's duty to consider in due turn the articles
of which each number ought to consist, and to take measures for
procuring them from the persons best qualified to write upon such and
such subjects. But this is sometimes so troublesome, that I foresee with
pleasure you will soon be obliged to abandon your resolution of writing
nothing yourself. At the same time, if you will accept of my services as
a sort of jackal or lion's provider, I will do all in my power to assist
in this troublesome department of editorial duty.

"But there is still something behind, and that of the last consequence.
One great resource to which the _Edinburgh_ editor turns himself, and by
which he gives popularity even to the duller articles of his _Review_,
is accepting contributions from persons of inferior powers of writing,
provided they understand the books to which their criticisms relate; and
as such are often of stupefying mediocrity, he renders them palatable by
throwing in a handful of spice, namely, any lively paragraph or
entertaining illustration that occurs to him in reading them over. By
this sort of veneering he converts, without loss of time or hindrance to
business, articles, which in their original state might hang in the
market, into such goods as are not likely to disgrace those among which
they are placed. This seems to be a point in which an editor's
assistance is of the last consequence, for those who possess the
knowledge necessary to review books of research or abstruse
disquisitions, are very often unable to put the criticisms into a
readable, much more a pleasant and captivating form; and as their
science cannot be attained 'for the nonce,' the only remedy is to supply
their deficiencies, and give their lucubrations a more popular turn.

"There is one opportunity possessed by you in a particular degree--that
of access to the best sources of political information. It would not,
certainly, be advisable that the work should assume, especially at the
outset, a professed political character. On the contrary, the articles
on science and miscellaneous literature ought to be of such a quality as
might fairly challenge competition with the best of our contemporaries.
But as the real reason of instituting the publication is the disgusting
and deleterious doctrine with which the most popular of our Reviews
disgraces its pages, it is essential to consider how this warfare should
be managed. On this ground, I hope it is not too much to expect from
those who have the power of assisting us, that they should on topics of
great national interest furnish the reviewers, through the medium of
their editor, with accurate views of points of fact, so far as they are
fit to be made public. This is the most delicate and yet most essential
part of our scheme.

"On the one hand, it is certainly not to be understood that we are to be
held down to advocate upon all occasions the cause of administration.
Such a dereliction of independence would render us entirely useless for
the purpose we mean to serve. On the other hand, nothing will render the
work more interesting than the public learning, not from any vaunt of
ours, but from their own observation, that we have access to early and
accurate information on points of fact. The _Edinburgh Review_ has
profited much by the pains which the Opposition party have taken to
possess the writers of all the information they could give them on
public matters. Let me repeat that you, my dear sir, from enjoying the
confidence of Mr. Canning, and other persons in power, may easily obtain
the confidential information necessary to give credit to the work, and
communicate it to such as you may think proper to employ in laying it
before the public."

Mr. Scott further proceeded, in his letter to Mr. Gifford, to discuss
the mode and time of publication, the choice of subjects, the persons to
be employed as contributors, and the name of the proposed Review, thus
thoroughly identifying himself with it.

"Let our forces," he said, "for a number or two, consist of volunteers
or amateurs, and when we have acquired some reputation, we shall soon
levy and discipline our forces of the line. After all, the matter is
become very serious--eight or nine thousand copies of the _Edinburgh
Review_ are regularly distributed, merely because there is no other
respectable and independent publication of the kind. In this city
(Edinburgh), where there is not one Whig out of twenty men who read the
work, many hundreds are sold; and how long the generality of readers
will continue to dislike politics, so artfully mingled with information
and amusement, is worthy of deep consideration. But it is not yet too
late to stand in the breach; the first number ought, if possible, to be
out in January, and if it can burst among them like a bomb, without
previous notice, the effect will be more striking.

"Of those who might be intrusted in the first instance you are a much
better judge than I am. I think I can command the assistance of a friend
or two here, particularly William Erskine, the Lord Advocate's
brother-in-law and my most intimate friend. In London, you have Malthus,
George Ellis, the Roses, _cum pluribus aliis_. Richard Heber was with me
when Murray came to my farm, and, knowing his zeal for the good cause, I
let him into our counsels. In Mr. Frere we have the hopes of a potent
ally. The Rev. Reginald Heber would be an excellent coadjutor, and when
I come to town I will sound Matthias. As strict secrecy would of course
be observed, the diffidence of many might be overcome. For scholars you
can be at no loss while Oxford stands where it did; and I think there
will be no deficiency in the scientific articles."

Thus instructed, Gifford proceeded to rally his forces. There was no
want of contributors. Some came invited, some came unsought; but, as the
matter was still a secret, the editor endeavoured to secure
contributions through his personal friends. For instance, he called upon
Mr. Rogers to request him to secure the help of Moore.

"I must confess," said Rogers to Moore, "I heard of the new quarterly
with pleasure, as I thought it might correct an evil we had long
lamented together. Gifford wishes much for contributors, and is
exceedingly anxious that you should assist him as often as you can
afford time.... All this in _confidence_ of course, as the secret is not
my own."

Gifford also endeavoured to secure the assistance of Southey, through
his friend, Mr. Grosvenor Bedford. Southey was requested to write for
the first number an article on the Affairs of Spain. This, however, he
declined to do; but promised to send an article on the subject of

"Let not Gifford," he wrote to Bedford, in reply to his letter, "suppose
me a troublesome man to deal with, pertinacious about trifles, or
standing upon punctilios of authorship. No, Grosvenor, I am a quiet,
patient, easy-going hack of the mule breed; regular as clockwork in my
pace, sure-footed, bearing the burden which is laid on me, and only
obstinate in choosing my own path. If Gifford could see me by this
fireside, where, like Nicodemus, one candle suffices me in a large room,
he would see a man in a coat 'still more threadbare than his own' when
he wrote his 'Imitation,' working hard and getting little--a bare
maintenance, and hardly that; writing poems and history for posterity
with his whole heart and soul; one daily progressive in learning, not so
learned as he is poor, not so poor as proud, not so proud as happy."

_Mr. James Ballantyne to John Murray_.

_October_ 28, 1808.

"Well, you have of course heard from Mr. Scott of the progress of the
'Great Plan.' Canning bites at the hook eagerly. A review termed by Mr.
Jeffrey _a tickler_, is to appear of Dryden in this No. of the
_Edinburgh_. By the Lord! they will rue it. You know Scott's present
feelings, excited by the review of 'Marmion.' What will they be when
that of Dryden appears?"

It was some time, however, before arrangements could be finally made for
bringing out the first number of the _Quarterly_. Scott could not as yet
pay his intended visit to London, and after waiting for about a month,
Murray sent him the following letter, giving his further opinion as to
the scope and object of the proposed Review:

_John Murray to Mr. Scott_.

_November_ 15, 1808.


I have been desirous of writing to you for nearly a week past, as I
never felt more the want of a personal conversation. I will endeavour,
however, to explain myself to you, and will rely on your confidence and
indulgence for secrecy and attention in what I have to communicate. I
have before told you that the idea of a new Review has been revolving in
my mind for nearly two years, and that more than twelve months ago I
addressed Mr. Canning on the subject. The propriety, if not the
necessity, of establishing a journal upon principles opposite to those
of the _Edinburgh Review_ has occurred to many men more enlightened than
myself; and I believe the same reason has prevented others, as it has
done myself, from attempting it, namely, the immense difficulty of
obtaining talent of sufficient magnitude to render success even

By degrees my plan has gradually floated up to this height. But there
exists at least an equal difficulty yet--that peculiar talent in an
editor of rendering our other great resources advantageous to the best
possible degree. This, I think, may be accomplished, but it must be
effected by your arduous assistance, at least for a little time. Our
friend Mr. Gifford, whose writings show him to be both a man of learning
and wit, has lived too little in the world lately to have obtained that
delicacy and tact whereby he can feel at one instant, and habitually,
whatever may gratify public desire and excite public attention and
curiosity. But this you know to be a leading feature in the talents of
Mr. Jeffrey and his friends; and that, without the most happy choice of
subjects, as well as the ability to treat them well--catching the
"manners living as they rise"--the _Edinburgh Review_ could not have
attained the success it has done; and no other Review, however
preponderating in solid merit, will obtain sufficient attention without
them. Entering the field too, as we shall do, against an army commanded
by the most skilful generals, it will not do for us to leave any of our
best officers behind as a reserve, for they would be of no use if we
were defeated at first. We must enter with our most able commanders at
once, and we shall then acquire confidence, if not reputation, and
increase in numbers as we proceed.

Our first number must contain the most valuable and striking information
in politics, and the most interesting articles of general literature and
science, written by our most able friends. If our plan appears to be so
advantageous to the ministers whose measures, to a certain extent, we
intend to justify, to support, to recommend and assist, that they have
promised their support; when might that support be so advantageously
given, either for their own interests or ours, as at the commencement,
when we are most weak, and have the most arduous onset to make, and when
we do and must stand most in need of help? If our first number be not
written with the greatest ability, upon the most interesting topics, it
will not excite public attention. No man, even the friend of the
principles we adopt, will leave the sprightly pages of the _Edinburgh
Review_ to read a dull detail of staid morality, or dissertations on
subjects whose interest has long fled.

I do not say this from any, even the smallest doubt, of our having all
that we desire in these respects in our power; but because I am
apprehensive that without your assistance it will not be drawn into
action, and my reason for this fear I will thus submit to you. You
mentioned in your letter to Mr. Gifford, that our Review should open
with a grand article on Spain--meaning a display of the political
feeling of the people, and the probable results of this important
contest. I suggested to Mr. Gifford that Mr. Frere should be written to,
which he said was easy, and that he thought he would do it; for Frere
could not only give the facts upon the subject, but could write them
better than any other person. But having, in my project, given the name
of Southey as a person who might assist occasionally in a number or two
hence, I found at our next interview that Mr. Gifford, who does not know
Mr. Southey, had spoken to a friend to ask Mr. S. to write the article
upon Spain. It is true that Mr. Southey knows a great deal about Spain,
and on another occasion would have given a good article upon the
subject; but at present _his_ is not the kind of knowledge which we
want, and it is, moreover, trusting our secret to a stranger, who has,
by the way, a directly opposite bias in politics.

Mr. Gifford also told me, with very great stress, that among the
articles he had submitted to you was [one on] Hodgson's Translation of
Juvenal, which at no time could be a very interesting article for us,
and having been published more than six months ago, would probably be a
very stupid one. Then, you must observe, that it would necessarily
involve a comparison with Mr. Gifford's own translation, which must of
course be praised, and thus show an _individual_ feeling--the least
spark of which, in our early numbers, would both betray and ruin us. He
talks of reviewing _himself_ a late translation of "Persius," for
(_entre nous_) a similar reason. He has himself nearly completed a
translation, which will be published in a few months.

In what I have said upon this most exceedingly delicate point, and which
I again submit to your most honourable confidence, I have no other
object but just to show you without reserve how we stand, and to
exemplify what I set out with--that without skilful and judicious
management we shall totally mistake the road to the accomplishment of
the arduous task which we have undertaken, and involve the cause and
every individual in not merely defeat, but disgrace. I must at the same
time observe that Mr. Gifford is the most obliging and well-meaning man
alive, and that he is perfectly ready to be instructed in those points
of which his seclusion renders him ignorant; and all that I wish and
mean is, that we should strive to open clearly the view which is so
obvious to us--that our first number must be a most brilliant one in
every respect; and to effect this, we must avail ourselves of any
valuable political information we can command. Those persons who have
the most interest in supporting the Review must be called upon
immediately for their strenuous personal help. The fact must be obvious
to you,--that if Mr. Canning, Mr. Frere, Mr. Scott, Mr. Ellis, and Mr.
Gifford, with their immediate and true friends, will exert themselves
heartily in every respect, so as to produce with secrecy only _one_
remarkably attractive number, their further labour would be
comparatively light. With such a number in our hands, we might select
and obtain every other help that we required; and then the persons named
would only be called upon for their information, facts, hints, advice,
and occasional articles. But without this--without producing a number
that shall at least equal, if not excel, the best of the _Edinburgh
Review_, it were better not to be attempted. We should do more harm to
our cause by an unsuccessful attempt; and the reputation of the
_Edinburgh Review_ would be increased inversely to our fruitless
opposition.... With respect to bookselling interference with the Review,
I am equally convinced with yourself of its total incompatibility with a
really respectable and valuable critical journal. I assure you that
nothing can be more distant from my views, which are confined to the
ardour which I feel for the cause and principles which it will be our
object to support, and the honour of professional reputation which would
obviously result to the publisher of so important a work. It were silly
to suppress that I shall not be sorry to derive from it as much profit
as I can satisfactorily enjoy, consistent with the liberal scale upon
which it is my first desire to act towards every writer and friend
concerned in the work. Respecting the terms upon which the editor shall
be placed at first, I have proposed, and it appears to be satisfactory
to Mr. Gifford, that he shall receive, either previous to, or
immediately after, the publication of each number, the sum of 160
guineas, which he is to distribute as he thinks proper, without any
question or interference on my part; and that in addition to this, he
shall receive from me the sum of £200 annually, merely as the editor.
This, Sir, is much more than I can flatter myself with the return of,
for the first year at least; but it is my intention that his salary
shall ever increase proportionately to the success of the work under his
management. The editor has a most arduous office to perform, and the
success of the publication must depend in a great measure upon his

I am, dear Sir, Your obliged and faithful Servant,

John Murray.

It will be observed from this letter, that Mr. Murray was aware that,
besides skilful editing, sound and practical business management was
necessary to render the new Review a success. The way in which he
informs Mr. Scott about Gifford's proposed review of "Juvenal" and
"Persius," shows that he fully comprehended the situation, and the
dangers which would beset an editor like Gifford, who lived for the most
part amongst his books, and was, to a large extent, secluded from the
active world.

On the same day Scott was writing to Murray:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_. Edinburgh, _November_ 15, 1808.

Dear Sir,

I received two days ago a letter from Mr. Gifford highly approving of
the particulars of the plan which I had sketched for the _Review_. But
there are two points to be considered. In the first place, I cannot be
in town as I proposed, for the Commissioners under the Judicial Bill, to
whom I am to act as clerk, have resolved that their final sittings shall
be held _here_, so that I have now no chance of being in London before
spring. This is very unlucky, as Mr. Gifford proposes to wait for my
arrival in town to set the great machine a-going. I shall write to him
that this is impossible, and that I wish he would, with your assistance
and that of his other friends, make up a list of the works which the
first number is to contain, and consider what is the extent of the aid
he will require from the North. The other circumstance is, that Mr.
Gifford pleads the state of his health and his retired habits as
sequestrating him from the world, and rendering him less capable of
active exertion, and in the kindest and most polite manner he expresses
his hope that he should receive very extensive assistance and support
from me, without which he is pleased to say he would utterly despair of
success. Now between ourselves (for this is strictly confidential) I am
rather alarmed at this prospect. I am willing, and anxiously so, to do
all in my power to serve the work; but, my dear sir, you know how many
of our very ablest hands are engaged in the _Edinburgh Review_, and what
a dismal work it will be to wring assistance from the few whose
indolence has left them neutral. I can, to be sure, work like a horse
myself, but then I have two heavy works on my hands already, namely,
"Somers" and "Swift." Constable had lately very nearly relinquished the
latter work, and I now heartily wish it had never commenced; but two
volumes are nearly printed, so I conclude it will now go on. If this
work had not stood in the way, I should have liked Beaumont and Fletcher
much better. It would not have required half the research, and occupied
much less time. I plainly see that, according to Mr. Gifford's view, I
should have almost all the trouble of a co-editor, both in collecting
and revising the articles which are to come from Scotland, as well as in
supplying all deficiencies from my own stores.

These considerations cannot, however, operate upon the first number, so
pray send me a list of books, and perhaps you may send some on a
venture. You know the department I had in the _Edinburgh Review_. I will
sound Southey, agreeable to Mr. Gifford's wishes, on the Spanish
affairs. The last number of the _Edinburgh Review_ has given disgust
beyond measure, owing to the tone of the article on Cevallos' _exposé_.
Subscribers are falling off like withered leaves.

I retired my name among others, after explaining the reasons both to Mr.
Jeffrey and Mr. Constable, so that there never was such an opening for a
new _Review_. I shall be glad to hear what you think on the subject of
terms, for my Northern troops will not move without pay; but there is no
hurry about fixing this point, as most of the writers in the first
number will be more or less indifferent on the subject. For my own
share, I care not what the conditions are, unless the labour expected
from me is to occupy a considerable portion of time, in which case they
might become an object. While we are on this subject, I may as well
mention that as you incur so large an outlay in the case of the Novels,
I would not only be happy that my remuneration should depend on the
profits of the work, but I also think I could command a few hundreds to
assist in carrying it on.

By the way, I see "Notes on Don Quixote" advertised. This was a plan I
had for enriching our collection, having many references by me for the
purpose. I shall be sorry if I am powerfully anticipated. Perhaps the
book would make a good article in the _Review_. Can you get me
"Gaytoun's Festivous Notes on Don Quixote"?

I think our friend Ballantyne is grown an inch taller on the subjects of
the "Romances."

Believe me, dear Sir, Yours very truly, Walter Scott.

Gifford is much pleased with you personally.

_John Murray to Mr. Scott_.

_November_ 19, 1808.

"Mr. Gifford has communicated to me an important piece of news. He met
his friend, Lord Teignmouth, and learned from him that he and the
Wilberforce party had some idea of starting a journal to oppose the
_Edinburgh Review_, that Henry Thornton and Mr. [Zachary] Macaulay were
to be the conductors, that they had met, and that some able men were
mentioned. Upon sounding Lord T. as to their giving us their assistance,
he thought this might be adopted in preference to their own plans.... It
will happen fortunately that we intend opening with an article on the
missionaries, which, as it will be written in opposition to the
sentiments in the _Edinburgh Review_, is very likely to gain that large
body of which Wilberforce is the head. I have collected from every
Missionary Society in London, of which there are no less than five, all
their curious reports, proceedings and history, which, I know, Sydney
Smith never saw; and which I could only procure by personal application.
Southey will give a complete view of the subject, and if he will enter
heartily into it, and do it well, it will be as much as he can do for
the first number. These transactions contain, amidst a great deal of
fanaticism, the most curious information you can imagine upon the
history, literature, topography and manners of nations and countries of
which we are otherwise totally ignorant.... If you have occasion to
write to Southey, pray urge the vast importance of this subject, and
entreat him to give it all his ability. I find that a new volume of
Burns' ('The Reliques') will be published by the end of this month,
which will form the subject of another capital article under your hands.
I presume 'Sir John Carr (Tour in Scotland)' will be another article,
which even you, I fancy, will like; 'Mrs. Grant of Laggan,' too, and
perhaps your friend Mr. Cumberland's 'John de Lancaster' .... Are you
not sufficiently well acquainted with Miss (Joanna) Baillie, both to
confide in her, and command her talents? If so, you will probably think
of what may suit her, and what may apply to her. Mr. Heber, too, would
apply to his brother at your request, and his friend Coplestone, who
will also be written to by a friend of Gifford's...."

Scott was very desirous of enlisting George Canning among the
contributors to the Quarterly. He wrote to his friend Ellis:

_Mr. Scott to Mr. G. Ellis_.

"As our start is of such immense consequence, don't you think Mr.
Canning, though unquestionably our Atlas, might for a day find a
Hercules on whom to devolve the burden of the globe, while he writes for
us a review? I know what an audacious request this is, but suppose he
should, as great statesmen sometimes do, take a political fit of the
gout, and absent himself from a large ministerial dinner which might
give it him in good earnest--dine at three on a chicken and pint of
wine, and lay the foundation of at least one good article? Let us but
once get afloat, and our labour is not worth talking about; but, till
then, all hands must work hard."

This suggestion was communicated by George Ellis to Gifford, the chosen
editor, and on December 1, Murray informed Scott that the article on
Spain was proceeding under Mr. Canning's immediate superintendence.
Canning and Gifford went down to Mr. Ellis's house at Sunninghill, where
the three remained together for four days, during which time the article
was hatched and completed.

On receiving the celebrated "Declaration of Westminster" on the Spanish
War, Scott wrote to Ellis:

"Tell Mr. Canning that the old women of Scotland will defend the country
with their distaffs, rather than that troops enough be not sent to make
good so noble a pledge. Were the thousands that have mouldered away in
petty conquests or Lilliputian expeditions united to those we have now
in that country, what a band would Sir John Moore have under him!...
Jeffrey has offered terms of pacification, engaging that no party
politics should again appear in his _Review_. I told him I thought it
was now too late, and reminded him that I had often pointed out to him
the consequences of letting his work become a party tool. He said 'he
did not fear for the consequences--there were but four men he feared as
opponents.' 'Who are these?' 'Yourself for one.' 'Certainly you pay me a
great compliment; depend upon it I will endeavour to deserve it.' 'Why,
you would not join against me?' 'Yes, I would, if I saw a proper
opportunity: not against you personally, but against your politics.'
'You are privileged to be violent.' 'I don't ask any privilege for undue
violence. But who are your other foemen?' 'George Ellis and Southey.'
The other he did not name. All this was in great good humour; and next
day I had a very affecting note from him, in answer to an invitation to
dinner. He has no suspicion of the _Review_ whatever."

In the meantime, Mr. Murray continued to look out for further
contributors. Mr. James Mill, of the India House, in reply to a request
for assistance, wrote:

"You do me a great deal of honour in the solicitude you express to have
me engaged in laying the foundation stone of your new edifice, which I
hope will be both splendid and durable; and it is no want of zeal or
gratitude that delays me. But this ponderous Geography, a porter's, or
rather a horse's load, bears me down to a degree you can hardly
conceive. What I am now meditating from under it is to spare time to do
well and leisurely the Indian article (my favourite subject) for your
next number. Besides, I shall not reckon myself less a founder from its
having been only the fault of my previous engagements that my first
article for you appears only in the second number, and not in the first
part of your work."

Another contributor whom Mr. Murray was desirous to secure was Mrs.
Inchbald, authoress of the "Simple Story." The application was made to
her through one of Murray's intimate friends, Mr. Hoppner, the artist.
Her answer was as follows:

_Mrs. Inchbald to Mr. Hoppner_. _December_ 31, 1808.

My dear Sir, As I wholly rely upon your judgment for the excellency of
the design in question, I wish you to be better acquainted with my
abilities as a reviewer before I suffer my curiosity to be further
gratified in respect to the plan of the work you have undertaken, or the
names of those persons who, with yourself, have done me the very great
honour to require my assistance. Before I see you, then, and possess
myself of your further confidence, it is proper that I should acquaint
you that there is only one department of a Review for which I am in the
least qualified, and that one combines plays and novels. Yet the very
few novels I have read, of later publications, incapacitates me again
for detecting plagiary, or for making such comparisons as proper
criticism may demand. You will, perhaps, be surprised when I tell you
that I am not only wholly unacquainted with the book you have mentioned
to me, but that I never heard of it before. If it be in French, there
will be another insurmountable difficulty; for, though I read French,
and have translated some French comedies, yet I am not so perfectly
acquainted with the language as to dare to write remarks upon a French
author. If Madame Cottin's "Malvina" be in English, you wish it speedily
reviewed, and can possibly have any doubt of the truth of my present
report, please to send it me; and whatever may be the contents, I will
immediately essay my abilities on the work, or immediately return it as
a hopeless case.

Yours very faithfully,

E. Inchbald.

On further consideration, however, Mrs. Inchbald modestly declined to
become a contributor. Notwithstanding her great merits as an author, she
had the extremest diffidence in her own abilities.

_Mrs. Inchbald to John Murray_.

"The more I reflect on the importance of the contributions intended for
this work, the more I am convinced of my own inability to become a
contributor. The productions in question must, I am convinced, be of a
certain quality that will demand far more acquaintance with books, and
much more general knowledge, than it has ever been my good fortune to
attain. Under these circumstances, finding myself, upon mature
consideration, wholly inadequate to the task proposed, I beg you will
accept of this apology as a truth, and present it to Mr. Hoppner on the
first opportunity; and assure him that it has been solely my reluctance
to yield up the honour he intended me which has tempted me, for an
instant, to be undecided in my reply to his overture.--I am, Sir, with
sincere acknowledgments for the politeness of your letter to me,

"E. Inchbald."

And here the correspondence dropped.

It is now difficult to understand the profound secrecy with which the
projection of the new Review was carried on until within a fortnight of
the day of its publication. In these modern times widespread
advertisements announce the advent of a new periodical, whereas then
both publisher and editor enjoined the utmost secrecy upon all with whom
they were in correspondence. Still, the day of publication was very
near, when the _Quarterly_ was, according to Scott, to "burst like a
bomb" among the Whigs of Edinburgh. The only explanation of the secrecy
of the preliminary arrangements is that probably down to the last it was
difficult to ascertain whether enough materials could be accumulated to
form a sufficiently good number before the first _Quarterly Review_ was
launched into the world.



While Mr. Gifford was marshalling his forces and preparing for the issue
of the first number of the _Quarterly_, Mr. Murray was corresponding
with James Ballantyne of Edinburgh as to the works they were jointly
engaged in bringing out, and also with respect to the northern agency of
the new _Review_. An arrangement was made between them that they should
meet at Boroughbridge, in Yorkshire, at the beginning of January 1809,
for the purpose of concocting their plans. Ballantyne proposed to leave
Edinburgh on January 5, and Murray was to set out from London on the
same day, both making for Boroughbridge. A few days before Ballantyne
left Edinburgh he wrote to Murray:

"I shall not let a living soul know of my intended journey. Entire
secrecy seems necessary at present. I dined yesterday _tête-à-tête_ with
Mr. Scott, and had a great deal of highly important conversation with
him. He showed me a letter bidding a final farewell to the house of

It was mid-winter, and there were increasing indications of a heavy
storm brewing. Notwithstanding the severity of the weather, however,
both determined to set out for their place of meeting in Yorkshire. Two
days before Ballantyne left Edinburgh, he wrote as follows:

_Mr. Ballantyne to John Murray_. _January_ 4, 1809.

Dear Murray, It is blowing the devil's weather here; but no matter--if
the mail goes, I go. I shall travel by the mail, and shall, instantly on
arriving, go to the "Crown," hoping to find you and an imperial dinner.
By the bye, you had better, on your arrival, take places north and
south for the following day. In four or five hours after your receiving
this, I expect to shake your princely paw.

Thine, J.B.

Scott also sent a note by the hand of Ballantyne to tell of his complete
rupture with Constable owing to "Mr. Hunter's extreme incivility."

As a result of these negotiations the Ballantynes were appointed
publishers of the new Review in Edinburgh, and, with a view to a more
central position, they took premises in South Hanover Street. Scott
wrote with reference to this:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

_February_, 1809.

I enclose the promised "Swift," and am now, I think, personally out of
your debt, though I will endeavour to stop up gaps if I do not receive
the contributions I expect from others. Were I in the neighbourhood of
your shop in London I could soon run up half a sheet of trifling
articles with a page or two to each, but that is impossible here for
lack of materials.

When the Ballantynes open shop you must take care to have them supplied
with food for such a stop-gap sort of criticism. I think we will never
again feel the pressure we have had for this number; the harvest has
literally been great and the labourers few.

Yours truly,


_Mr. James Ballantyne. to John Murray_.

_January_ 27, 1809.

"I see or hear of nothing but good about the _Review_. Mr. Scott is at
this moment busy with two articles, besides the one he has sent. In
conversation a few days since, I heard a gentleman ask him, 'Pray, sir,
do you think the _Quarterly Review_ will be equal to the _Edinburgh_?'
His answer was, 'I won't be quite sure of the first number, because of
course there are difficulties attending the commencement of every work
which time and habit can alone smooth away. But I think the first number
will be a good one, and in the course of three or four, _I think we'll
sweat them!_'"

The first number of the _Quarterly Review_ was published at the end of
February, 1809. Like most first numbers, it did not entirely realize the
sanguine views of its promoters. It did not burst like a thunder-clap on
the reading public; nor did it give promise to its friends that a new
political power had been born into the world. The general tone was more
literary than political; and though it contained much that was well
worth reading, none of its articles were of first-rate quality.

Walter Scott was the principal contributor, and was keenly interested in
its progress, though his mind was ever teeming with other new schemes.
The allusion in the following letter to his publication of "many
unauthenticated books," if unintentional, seems little less than

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

Edinburgh, _February_ 25, 1809.

Dear Sir,

I see with pleasure that you will be out on the first. Yet I wish I
could have seen my articles in proof, for I seldom read over my things
in manuscript, and always find infinite room for improvement at the
printer's expense. I hope our hurry will not be such another time as to
deprive me of the chance of doing the best I can, which depends greatly
on my seeing the proofs. Pray have the goodness to attend to this.

I have made for the Ballantynes a little selection of poetry, to be
entitled "English Minstrelsy"; I also intend to arrange for them a first
volume of English Memoirs, to be entitled--"Secret History of the Court
of James I." To consist of:

Osborne's "Traditional Memoirs."

Sir Anthony Welldon's "Court and Character of James I."

Heylin's "Aulicus Coquinariae."

Sir Edward Peyton's "Rise and Fall of the House of Stewart."

I will add a few explanatory notes to these curious memoirs, and hope to
continue the collection, as (thanks to my constant labour on "Somers")
it costs me no expense, and shall cost the proprietors none. You may
advertise the publications, and Ballantyne, equally agreeable to his own
wish and mine, will let you choose your own share in them. I have a
commission for you in the way of art. I have published many
unauthenticated books, as you know, and may probably bring forward many
more. Now I wish to have it in my power to place on a few copies of each
a decisive mark of appropriation. I have chosen for this purpose a
device borne by a champion of my name in a tournament at Stirling! It
was a gate and portcullis, with the motto CLAUSUS TUTUS ERO. I have it
engraved on a seal, as you may remark on the enclosure, but it is done
in a most blackguard style. Now what I want is to have this same gateway
and this same portcullis and this same motto of _clausus tutus ero_,
which is an anagram of _Walterus Scotus_ (taking two single _U_'s for
the _W_), cut upon wood in the most elegant manner, so as to make a
small vignette capable of being applied to a few copies of every work
which I either write or publish. This fancy of making _portcullis_
copies I have much at heart, and trust to you to get it accomplished for
me in the most elegant manner. I don't mind the expense, and perhaps Mr.
Westall might be disposed to make a sketch for me.

I am most anxious to see the _Review_. God grant we may lose no ground;
I tremble when I think of my own articles, of two of which I have but an
indefinite recollection.

What would you think of an edition of the "Old English Froissart," say
500 in the small _antique quarto_, a beautiful size of book; the
spelling must be brought to an uniformity, the work copied (as I could
not promise my beautiful copy to go to press), notes added and
illustrations, etc., and inaccuracies corrected. I think Johnes would be
driven into most deserved disgrace, and I can get the use of a most
curious MS. of the French Froissart in the Newbattle Library, probably
the finest in existence after that of Berlin. I am an enthusiast about
Berners' Froissart, and though I could not undertake the drudgery of
preparing the whole for the press, yet Weber [Footnote: Henry Weber,
Scott's amanuensis.] would do it under my eye upon the most reasonable
terms. I would revise every part relating to English history.

I have several other literary schemes, but defer mentioning them till I
come to London, which I sincerely hope will be in the course of a month
or six weeks. I hear Mr. Canning is anxious about our _Review_.
Constable says it is a Scotch job. I could not help quizzing Mr. Robert
Miller, who asked me in an odd sort of way, as I thought, why it was not
out? I said very indifferently I knew nothing about it, but heard a
vague report that the Edition was to be much enlarged on account of the
expected demand. I also inclose a few lines to my brother, and am, dear

Very truly yours,

W. Scott.

It is universally agreed here that Cumberland is five hundred degrees
beneath contempt.

Ballantyne, Scott's partner, and publisher of the _Review_ in Edinburgh,
hastened to communicate to Murray their joint views as to the success of
the work.

_Mr. Ballantyne to John Murray_.

_February_ 28, 1809.

My dear Murray,

I received the _Quarterly_ an hour ago. Before taking it to Mr. Scott, I
had just time to look into the article on Burns, and at the general
aspect of the book. It looks uncommonly well.... The view of Burns'
character is better than Jeffrey's. It is written in a more congenial
tone, with more tender, kindly feeling. Though not perhaps written with
such elaborate eloquence as Jeffrey's, the thoughts are more original,
and the style equally powerful. The two first articles (and perhaps the
rest are not inferior) will confer a name on the _Review_. But why do I
trouble you with _my_ opinions, when I can give you Mr. Scott's? He has
just been reading the Spanish article beside me, and he again and again
interrupted himself with expressions of the strongest admiration.

Three days later, Ballantyne again wrote:

"I have now read 'Spain,' 'Burns,' 'Woman,' 'Curran,' 'Cid,' 'Carr,'
'Missionaries.' Upon the whole, I think these articles most excellent.
Mr. Scott is in high spirits; but he says there are evident marks of
haste in most of them. With respect to his own articles, he much regrets
not to have had the opportunity of revising them. He thinks the
'Missionaries' very clever; but he shakes his head at 'Sidney,' 'Woman,'
and 'Public Characters.' Our copies, which we expected this morning,
have not made their appearance, which has given us no small anxiety. We
are panting to hear the public voice. Depend upon it, _if_ our exertions
are continued, the thing will do. Would G. were as active as Scott and

Murray had plenty of advisers. Gifford said he had too many. His friend,
Sharon Turner, was ready with his criticism on No. 1. He deplored the
appearance of the article by Scott on "Carr's Tour in Scotland."
[Footnote: Scott himself had written to Murray about this, which he
calls "a whisky-frisky article," on June 30. "I take the advantage of
forwarding Sir John's _Review_, to send you back his letters under the
same cover. He is an incomparable goose, but as he is innocent and
good-natured, I would not like it to be publicly known that the
flagellation comes from my hand. Secrecy therefore will oblige me."]

_Mr. Sharon Turner to John Murray_.

"I cannot endure the idea of an individual being wounded merely because
he has written a book. If, as in the case of the authors attacked in the
'Baviad,' the works censured were vitiating our literature--or, as in
the case of Moore's Poems, corrupting our morals--if they were
denouncing our religious principles, or attacking those political
principles on which our Government subsists--let them be criticised
without mercy. The _salus publica_ demands the sacrifice. But to make an
individual ridiculous merely because he has written a foolish, if it be
a harmless book, is not, I think, justifiable on any moral principle ...
I repeat my principle. Whatever tends to vitiate our literary taste, our
morals, our religious or political principles, may be fairly at the
mercy of criticism. So, whatever tends to introduce false science, false
history, indeed, falsehood in any shape, exposes itself to the censor's
rod. But harmless, inoffensive works should be passed by. Where is the
bravery of treading on a worm or crushing a poor fly? Where the utility?
Where the honour?"

An edition of 4,000 copies had been printed; this was soon exhausted,
and a second edition was called for.

Mr. Scott was ample in his encouragements.

"I think," he wrote to Murray, "a firm and stable sale will be settled
here, to the extent of 1,000 or 1,500 even for the next number.... I am
quite pleased with my ten guineas a sheet for my labour in writing, and
for additional exertions. I will consider them as overpaid by success in
the cause, especially while that success is doubtful."

Ballantyne wrote to Murray in March:

"Constable, I am told, has consulted Sir Samuel Romilly, and means,
after writing a book against me, to prosecute me for _stealing his
plans!_ Somebody has certainly stolen his brains!"

The confederates continued to encourage each other and to incite to
greater effort the procrastinating Gifford. The following rather
mysterious paragraph occurs in a letter from Scott to Murray dated March
19, 1809.

"I have found means to get at Mr. G., and have procured a letter to be
written to him, which may possibly produce one to you signed Rutherford
or Richardson, or some such name, and dated from the North of England;
or, if he does not write to you, enquiry is to be made whether he would
choose you should address him. The secrecy to be observed in this
business must be most profound, even to Ballantyne and all the world. If
you get articles from him (which will and must draw attention) you must
throw out a false scent for enquirers. I believe this unfortunate man
will soon be in London."

In reply, Mr. Murray wrote on March 24 to Mr. Scott, urging him to come
to London, and offering, "if there be no plea for charging your expenses
to Government," to "undertake that the _Review_ shall pay them as far as
one hundred guineas." To this Scott replied:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

Edinburgh, _March_ 27, 1809.

I have only time to give a very short answer to your letter. Some very
important business detains me here till Monday or Tuesday, on the last
of which days at farthest I will set off for town, and will be with you
of course at the end of the week. As to my travelling expenses, if
Government pay me, good and well; if they do not, depend on it I will
never take a farthing from you. You have, my good friend, enough of
expense to incur in forwarding this great and dubious undertaking, and
God forbid I should add so unreasonable a charge as your liberality
points at. I am very frank in money matters, and always take my price
when I think I can give money's worth for money, but this is quite
extravagant, and you must think no more of it. Should I want money for
any purpose I will readily make _you_ my banker and give you value in
reviews. John Ballantyne's last remittance continues to go off briskly;
the devil's in you in London, you don't know good writing when you get
it. All depends on our cutting in before the next _Edinburgh_, when
instead of following their lead they shall follow ours.

Mrs. Scott is my fellow-traveller in virtue of an old promise. I am,
dear Sir, yours truly,

Walter Scott.

_April_ 4, at night.

I have been detained a day later than I intended, but set off to-morrow
at mid-day. I believe I shall get _franked_, so will have my generosity
for nothing. I hope to be in London on Monday.

In sending out copies of the first number, Mr. Murray was not forgetful
of one friend who had taken a leading part in originating the _Review_.

In 1808 Mr. Stratford Canning, when only twenty years of age, had been
selected to accompany Mr. Adair on a special mission to Constantinople.
The following year, on Mr. Adair being appointed H.B.M. Minister to the
Sublime Porte, Stratford Canning became Secretary of Legation. Mr.
Murray wrote to him:

_John Murray to Mr. Stratford Canning_.

32, Fleet St., London, _March_ 12, 1809.

Dear Sir,

It is with no small degree of pleasure that I send, for the favour of
your acceptance, the first number of the _Quarterly Review_, a work
which owes its birth to your obliging countenance and introduction of me
to Mr. Gifford. I flatter myself that upon the whole you will not be
dissatisfied with our first attempt, which is universally allowed to be
so very respectable. Had you been in London during its progress, it
would, I am confident, have been rendered more deserving of public

The letter goes on to ask for information on foreign works of importance
or interest.

Mr. Stratford Canning replied:

"With regard to the comission which you have given me, it is, I fear,
completely out of my power to execute it. Literature neither resides at
Constantinople nor passes through it. Even were I able to obtain the
publications of France and Germany by way of Vienna, the road is so
circuitous, that you would have them later than others who contrive to
smuggle them across the North Sea. Every London newspaper that retails
its daily sixpennyworth of false reports, publishes the French, the
Hamburgh, the Vienna, the Frankfort, and other journals, full as soon as
we receive any of them here. This is the case at all times; at present
it is much worse. We are entirely insulated. The Russians block up the
usual road through Bucharest, and the Servians prevent the passage of
couriers through Bosnia. And in addition to these difficulties, the
present state of the Continent must at least interrupt all literary
works. You will not, I am sure, look upon these as idle excuses. Things
may probably improve, and I will not quit this country without
commissioning some one here to send you anything that may be of use to
so promising a publication as your _Review_."

No sooner was one number published, than preparations were made for the
next. Every periodical is a continuous work--never ending, still
beginning. New contributors must be gained; new books reviewed; new
views criticised. Mr. Murray was, even more than the editor, the
backbone of the enterprise: he was indefatigable in soliciting new
writers for the _Quarterly_, and in finding the books fit for review,
and the appropriate reviewers of the books. Sometimes the reviews were
printed before the editor was consulted, but everything passed under the
notice of Gifford, and received his emendations and final approval.

Mr. Murray went so far as to invite Leigh Hunt to contribute an article
on Literature or Poetry for the _Quarterly_. The reply came from John
Hunt, Leigh's brother. He said:

_Mr. John Hunt to John Murray_.

"My brother some days back requested me to present to you his thanks for
the polite note you favoured him with on the subject of the _Review_, to
which he should have been most willing to have contributed in the manner
you propose, did he not perceive that the political sentiments contained
in it are in direct opposition to his own."

This was honest, and it did not interfere with the personal intercourse
of the publisher and the poet. Murray afterwards wrote to Scott: "Hunt
is most vilely wrong-headed in politics, which he has allowed to turn
him away from the path of elegant criticism, which might have led him to
eminence and respectability."

James Mill, author of the "History of British India," sent an article
for the second number; but the sentiments and principles not being in
accordance with those of the editor, it was not at once accepted. On
learning this, he wrote to Mr. Murray as follows:

_Mr. James Mill to John Murray_.

My dear Sir,

I can have no objection in the world to your delaying the article I have
sent you till it altogether suits your arrangements to make use of it.
Besides this point, a few words of explanation may not be altogether
useless with regard to another. I am half inclined to suspect that the
objection of your Editor goes a little farther than you state. If so, I
beg you will not hesitate a moment about what you are to do with it. I
wrote it solely with a view to oblige and to benefit _you personally_,
but with very little idea, as I told you at our first conversation on
the subject, that it would be in my power to be of any use to you, as
the views which I entertained respecting what is good for our country
were very different from the views entertained by the gentlemen with
whom in your projected concern you told me you were to be connected. To
convince you, however, of my good-will, I am perfectly ready to give you
a specimen, and if it appears to be such as likely to give offence to
your friends, or not to harmonise with the general style of your work,
commit it to the flames without the smallest scruple. Be assured that it
will not make the smallest difference in my sentiments towards you, or
render me in the smallest degree less disposed to lend you my aid (such
as it is) on any other occasion when it may be better calculated to be
of use to you.

Yours very truly,

J. Mill.

Gifford was not a man of business; he was unpunctual. The second number
of the _Quarterly_ appeared behind its time, and the publisher felt
himself under the necessity of expostulating with the editor.

_John Murray to Mr. Gifford_.

_May_ 11, 1809.

Dear Mr. Gifford,

I begin to suspect that you are not aware of the complete misery which
is occasioned to me, and the certain ruin which must attend the
_Review_, by our unfortunate procrastination. Long before this, every
line of copy for the present number ought to have been in the hands of
the printer. Yet the whole of the _Review_ is yet to print. I know not
what to do to facilitate your labour, for the articles which you have
long had he scattered without attention, and those which I ventured to
send to the printer undergo such retarding corrections, that even by
this mode we do not advance. I entreat the favour of your exertion. For
the last five months my most imperative concerns have yielded to this,
without the hope of my anxiety or labour ceasing.

"Tanti miserere laboris,"

in my distress and with regret from

John Murray.

Mr. Gifford's reply was as follows:

"The delay and confusion which have arisen must be attributed to a want
of confidential communication. In a word, you have too many advisers,
and I too many masters."

At last the second number of the _Quarterly_ appeared, at the end of May
instead of at the middle of April. The new contributors to this number
were Dr. D'Oyley, the Rev. Mr. Walpole, and George Canning, who, in
conjunction with Sharon Turner, contributed the last article on Austrian
State Papers.

As soon as the second number was published, Mr. Gifford, whose health
was hardly equal to the constant strain of preparing and editing the
successive numbers, hastened away, as was his custom, to the seaside. He
wrote to Mr. Murray from Ryde:

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_.

_June_ 18, 1809.

"I rejoice to hear of our success, and feel very anxious to carry it
further. A fortnight's complete abstraction from all sublunary cares has
done me much good, and I am now ready to put on my spectacles and look
about me.... Hoppner is here, and has been at Death's door. The third
day after his arrival, he had an apoplectic fit, from which blisters,
etc., have miraculously recovered him.... This morning I received a
letter from Mr. Erskine. He speaks very highly of the second number, and
of the Austrian article, which is thought its chief attraction.
Theology, he says, few people read or care about. On this, I wish to say
a word seriously. I am sorry that Mr. E. has fallen into that notion,
too general I fear in Scotland; but this is his own concern. I differ
with him totally, however, as to the few readers which such subjects
find; for as far as my knowledge reaches, the reverse is the fact. The
strongest letter which I have received since I came down, in our favour,
points out the two serious articles as masterly productions and of
decided superiority. We have taught the truth I mention to the
_Edinburgh Review_, and in their last number they have also attempted to
be serious, and abstain from their flippant impiety. It is not done with
the best grace, but it has done them credit, I hear.... When you make up
your parcel, pray put in some small cheap 'Horace,' which I can no more
do without than Parson Adams _ex_ 'Aeschylus.' I have left it somewhere
on the road. Any common thing will do."

Mr. Murray sent Gifford a splendid copy of "Horace" in the next parcel
of books and manuscripts. In his reply Gifford, expostulating, "Why, my
dear Sir, will you do these things?" thanked him warmly for his gift.

Mr. George Ellis was, as usual, ready with his criticism. Differing from
Gifford, he wrote:

"I confess that, to my taste, the long article on the New Testament is
very tedious, and that the progress of Socinianism is, to my
apprehension, a bugbear which _we_ have no immediate reason to be scared
by; but it may alarm some people, and what I think a dull prosing piece
of orthodoxy may have its admirers, and promote our sale."

Even Constable had a good word to say of it. In a letter to his partner,
Hunter, then in London, he said:

"I received the _Quarterly Review_ yesterday, and immediately went and
delivered it to Mr. Jeffrey himself. It really seems a respectable
number, but what then? Unless theirs improves and ours falls off it
cannot harm us, I think. I observe that Nos. 1 and 2 extend to merely
twenty-nine sheets, so that, in fact, ours is still the cheaper of the
two. Murray's waiting on you with it is one of the wisest things I ever
knew him do: you will not be behindhand with him in civility."

No. 3 of the _Quarterly_ was also late, and was not published until the
end of August. The contributors were behindhand; an article was expected
from Canning on Spain, and the publication was postponed until this
article had been received, printed and corrected. The foundations of it
were laid by George Ellis, and it was completed by George Canning.

Of this article Mr. Gifford wrote:

"In consequence of my importunity, Mr. Canning has exerted himself and
produced the best article that ever yet appeared in any Review."

Although Mr. Gifford was sometimes the subject of opprobrium because of
his supposed severity, we find that in many cases he softened down the
tone of the reviewers. For instance, in communicating to Mr. Murray the
first part of Dr. Thomson's article on the "Outlines of Mineralogy," by
Kidd, he observed:

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_.

"It is very splenitick and very severe, and much too wantonly so. I
hope, however, it is just. Some of the opprobrious language I shall
soften, for the eternal repetitions of _ignorance, absurdity,
surprising,_ etc., are not wanted. I am sorry to observe so much
Nationality in it. Let this be a secret between us, for I will not have
my private opinions go beyond yourself. As for Kidd, he is a modest,
unassuming man, and is not to be attacked with sticks and stones like a
savage. Remember, it is only the epithets which I mean to soften; for as
to the scientific part, it shall not be meddled with."

His faithful correspondent, Mr. Ellis, wrote as to the quality of this
third number of the _Quarterly_. He agreed with Mr. Murray, that though
profound, it was "most notoriously and unequivocally _dull_.... We must
veto ponderous articles; they will simply sink us."

Isaac D'Israeli also tendered his advice. He was one of Mr. Murray's
most intimate friends, and could speak freely and honestly to him as to
the prospects of the _Review_. He was at Brighton, preparing his third
volume of the "Curiosities of Literature."

_Mr. I. D'Israeli to John Murray_.

"I have bought the complete collection of Memoirs written by individuals
of the French nation, amounting to sixty-five volumes, for fifteen
guineas.... What can I say about the _Q.R.?_ Certainly nothing new; it
has not yet invaded the country. Here it is totally unknown, though as
usual the _Ed. Rev._ is here; but among private libraries, I find it
equally unknown. It has yet its fortune to make. You must appeal to the
_feelings_ of Gifford! Has he none then? Can't you get a more active and
vigilant Editor? But what can I say at this distance? The disastrous
finale of the Austrians, received this morning, is felt here as deadly.
Buonaparte is a tremendous Thaumaturgus!... I wish you had such a genius
in the _Q.R._.... My son Ben assures me you are in Brighton. He saw you!
Now, he never lies." [Footnote: Mr. Murray was in Brighton at the time.]

Thus pressed by his correspondents, Mr. Murray did his best to rescue
the _Quarterly_ from failure. Though it brought him into prominent
notice as a publisher, it was not by any means paying its expenses. Some
thought it doubtful whether "the play was worth the candle." Yet Murray
was not a man to be driven back by comparative want of success. He
continued to enlist a band of competent contributors. Amongst these were
some very eminent men: Mr. John Barrow of the Admiralty; the Rev.
Reginald Heber, Mr. Robert Grant (afterwards Sir Robert, the Indian
judge), Mr. Stephens, etc. How Mr. Barrow was induced to become a
contributor is thus explained in his Autobiography. [Footnote:
"Autobiographical Memoir of Sir John Barrow," Murray, 1847.]

"One morning, in the summer of the year 1809, Mr. Canning looked in upon
me at the Admiralty, said he had often troubled me on business, but he
was now about to ask me a favour. 'I believe you are acquainted with my
friend William Gifford?' 'By reputation,' I said, 'but not personally.'
'Then,' says he, 'I must make you personally acquainted; will you come
and dine with me at Gloucester Lodge any day, the sooner the more
agreeable--say to-morrow, if you are disengaged?' On accepting, he said,
'I will send for Gifford to meet you; I know he will be too glad to

"'Now,' he continued, 'it is right I should tell you that, in the
_Review_ of which two numbers have appeared, under the name of the
_Quarterly_, I am deeply, both publicly and personally, interested, and
have taken a leading part with Mr. George Ellis, Hookham Frere, Walter
Scott, Rose, Southey, and some others; our object in that work being to
counteract the _virus_ scattered among His Majesty's subjects through
the pages of the _Edinburgh Review_. Now, I wish to enlist you in our
corps, not as a mere advising idler, but as an efficient labourer in our
friend Gifford's vineyard.'"

Mr. Barrow modestly expressed a doubt as to his competence, but in the
sequel, he tells us, Mr. Canning carried his point, and "I may add, once
for all, that what with Gifford's eager and urgent demands, and the
exercise becoming habitual and not disagreeable, I did not cease writing
for the _Quarterly Review_ till I had supplied no less, rather more,
than 190 articles."

The fourth number of the _Quarterly_, which was due in November, was not
published until the end of December 1809. Gifford's excuse was the want
of copy. He wrote to Mr. Murray: "We must, upon the publication of this
number, enter into some plan for ensuring regularity."

Although it appeared late, the fourth number was the best that had yet
been issued. It was more varied in its contents; containing articles by
Scott, Southey, Barrow, and Heber. But the most important article was
contributed by Robert Grant, on the "Character of the late C.J. Fox."
This was the first article in the _Quarterly_, according to Mr. Murray,
which excited general admiration, concerning which we find a memorandum
in Mr. Murray's own copy; and, what was an important test, it largely
increased the demand for the _Review_.



During the year in which the _Quarterly_ was first given to the world,
the alliance between Murray and the Ballantynes was close and intimate:
their correspondence was not confined to business matters, but bears
witness to warm personal friendship.

Murray was able to place much printing work in their hands, and amongst
other books, "Mrs. Rundell's Cookery," a valuable property, which had
now reached a very large circulation, was printed at the Canongate

They exerted themselves to promote the sale of one another's
publications and engaged in various joint works, such, for example, as
Grahame's "British Georgics" and Scott's "English Minstrelsy."

In the midst of all these transactions, however, there were not wanting
symptoms of financial difficulties, which, as in a previous instance,
were destined in time to cause a severance between Murray and his
Edinburgh agents. It was the old story--drawing bills for value _not_
received. Murray seriously warned the Ballantynes of the risks they were
running in trading beyond their capital. James Ballantyne replied on
March 30, 1809:

_Mr. James Ballantyne to John Murray_.

"Suffer me to notice one part of your letter respecting which you will
be happy to be put right. We are by no means trading beyond our capital.
It requires no professional knowledge to enable us to avoid so fatal an
error as that. For the few speculations we have entered into our means
have been carefully calculated and are perfectly adequate."

Yet at the close of the same letter, referring to the "British
Novelists"--a vast scheme, to which Mr. Murray had by no means pledged
himself--Ballantyne continues:

"For this work permit me to state I have ordered a font of types, cut
expressly on purpose, at an expense of near £1,000, and have engaged a
very large number of compositors for no other object."

On June 14, James Ballantyne wrote to Murray:

"I can get no books out yet, without interfering in the printing office
with business previously engaged for, and that puts me a little about
for cash. Independent of _this_ circumstance, upon which we reckoned, a
sum of £1,500 payable to us at 25th May, yet waiting some cursed legal
arrangements, but which we trust to have very shortly [_sic_]. This is
all preliminary to the enclosures which I hope will not be disagreeable
to you, and if not, I will trust to their receipt _accepted_, by return
of post."

Mr. Murray replied on June 20:

"I regret that I should be under the necessity of returning you the two
bills which you enclosed, unaccepted; but having settled lately a very
large amount with Mr. Constable, I had occasion to grant more bills than
I think it proper to allow to be about at the same time."

This was not the last application for acceptances, and it will be found
that in the end it led to an entire separation between the firms.

The Ballantynes, however, were more sanguine than prudent. In spite of
Mr. Murray's warning that they were proceeding too rapidly with the
publication of new works, they informed him that they had a "gigantic
scheme" in hand--the "Tales of the East," translated by Henry Weber,
Walter Scott's private secretary--besides the "Edinburgh Encyclopaedia,"
and the "Secret Memoirs of the House of Stewart." They said that Scott
was interested in the "Tales of the East," and in one of their hopeful
letters they requested Mr. Murray to join in their speculations. His
answer was as follows:

_John Murray to Messrs. Ballantyne & Co_.

_October_ 31, 1809.

"I regret that I cannot accept a share in the 'Edinburgh Encyclopaedia.'
I am obliged to decline by motives of prudence. I do not know anything
of the agreement made by the proprietors, except in the palpable
mismanagement of a very exclusive and promising concern. I am therefore
fearful to risk my property in an affair so extremely unsuitable.

"You distress me sadly by the announcement of having put the 'Secret
Memoirs' to press, and that the paper for it was actually purchased six
months ago! How can you, my good sirs, act in this way? How can you
imagine that a bookseller can afford to pay eternal advances upon almost
every work in which he takes a share with you? And how can you continue
to destroy every speculation by entering upon new ones before the
previous ones are properly completed?... Why, with your influence, will
you not urge the completion of the 'Minstrelsy'? Why not go on with and
complete the series of De Foe?... For myself, I really do not know what
to do, for when I see that you will complete nothing of your own, I am
unwillingly apprehensive of having any work of mine in your power. What
I thus write is in serious friendship for you. I entreat you to let us
complete what we have already in hand, before we begin upon any other
speculation. You will have enough to do to sell those in which we are
already engaged. As to your mode of exchange and so disposing of your
shares, besides the universal obloquy which attends the practice in the
mind of every respectable bookseller, and the certain damnation which it
invariably causes both to the book and the author, as in the case of
Grahame, if persisted in, it must end in serious loss to the
bookseller.... If you cannot give me your solemn promise not to exchange
a copy of Tasso, I trust you will allow me to withdraw the small share
which I propose to take, for the least breath of this kind would blast
the work and the author too--a most worthy man, upon whose account alone
I engaged in the speculation."

Constable, with whom Murray had never entirely broken, had always looked
with jealousy at the operations of the house of Ballantyne. Their firm
had indeed been started in opposition to himself; and it was not without
a sort of gratification that he heard of their pecuniary difficulties,
and of the friction between them and Murray. Scott's "Lady of the Lake"
had been announced for publication. At the close of a letter to Murray,
Constable rather maliciously remarks:

_January_ 20, 1810.

"I have no particular anxiety about promulgating the folly (to say the
least of it) of certain correspondents of yours in this quarter; but if
you will ask our friend Mr. Miller if he had a letter from a shop nearly
opposite the Royal Exchange the other day, he will, I dare say, tell you
of the contents. I am mistaken if their game is not well up! Indeed I
doubt much if they will survive the 'Lady of the Lake.' She will
probably help to drown them!"

An arrangement had been made with the Ballantynes that, in
consideration of their being the sole agents for Mr. Murray in Scotland,
they should give him the opportunity of taking shares in any of their
publications. Instead, however, of offering a share of the "Lady of the
Lake" to Mr. Murray, according to the understanding between the firms,
the Ballantynes had already parted with one fourth share of the work to
Mr. Miller, of Albemarle Street, London, whose business was afterwards
purchased by Mr. Murray. Mr. Murray's letter to Ballantyne & Co. thus
describes the arrangement:

_John Murray to Messrs. Ballantyne & Co_.

_March_ 26, 1810.

"Respecting my _Review_, you appear to forget that your engagement was
that I should be your sole agent here, and that you were to publish
nothing but what I was to have the offer of a share in. Your deviation
from this must have led me to conclude that you did not desire or expect
to continue my agent any longer. You cannot suppose that my estimation
of Mr. Scott's genius can have rendered me indifferent to my exclusion
from a share in the 'Lady of the Lake.' I mention this as well to
testify that I am not indifferent to this conduct in you as to point it
out to you, that if you mean to withhold from me that portion which you
command of the advantages of our connexion, you must surely mean to
resign any that might arise from me. The sole agency for my publications
in Edinburgh is worth to any man who understands his business £300 a
year; but this requires zealous activity and deference on one side, and
great confidence on both, otherwise the connexion cannot be advantageous
or satisfactory to either party. For this number of the _Review_ I have
continued your name solely in it, and propose to make you as before sole
publisher in Scotland; but as you have yourself adopted the plan of
drawing upon me for the amount of each transaction, you will do me the
favour to consider what quantity you will need, and upon your remitting
to me a note at six months for the amount, I shall immediately ship the
quantity for you."

_Mr. James Ballantyne to John Murray_.

"Your agency hitherto has been productive of little or no advantage to
us, and the fault has not lain with us. We have persisted in offering
you shares of everything begun by us, till we found the hopelessness of
waiting any return; and in dividing Mr. Scott's poem, we found it our
duty to give what share we had to part with to those by whom we were
chiefly benefited both as booksellers and printers."

This letter was accompanied with a heavy bill for printing the works of
De Foe for Mr. Murray. A breach thus took place with the Ballantynes;
the publisher of the _Quarterly_ was compelled to look out for a new
agent for Scotland, and met with a thoroughly competent one in Mr.
William Blackwood, the founder of the well-known publishing house in

To return to the progress of the _Quarterly_. The fifth number, which
was due in February 1810, but did not appear until the end of March,
contained many excellent articles, though, as Mr. Ellis said, some of
them were contributed by "good and steady but marvellously heavy
friends." Yet he found it better than the _Edinburgh_, which on that
occasion was "reasonably dull."

It contained one article which became the foundation of an English
classic, that of Southey on the "Life of Nelson." Of this article Murray
wrote to its author:

"I wish it to be made such a book as shall become the heroic text of
every midshipman in the Navy, and the association of Nelson and Southey
will not, I think, be ungrateful to you. If it be worth your attention
in this way I am disposed to think that it will enable me to treble the
sum I first offered as a slight remuneration."

Mr. Murray, writing to Mr. Scott (August 28, 1810) as to the appearance
of the new number, which did not appear till a month and a half after it
was due, remarked on the fourth article. "This," he said, "is a review
of the 'Daughters of Isenberg, a Bavarian Romance,' by Mr. Gifford, to
whom the authoress (Alicia T. Palmer) had the temerity to send three £1
notes!" Gifford, instead of sending back the money with indignation, as
he at first proposed, reviewed the romance, and assumed that the
authoress had sent him the money for charitable purposes.

_Mr. Gifford to Miss A.T. Palmer_.

"Our avocations leave us but little leisure for extra-official
employment; and in the present case she has inadvertently added to our
difficulties by forbearing to specify the precise objects of her bounty.
We hesitated for some time between the Foundling and Lying-in Hospitals:
in finally determining for the latter, we humbly trust that we have not
disappointed her expectations, nor misapplied her charity. Our publisher
will transmit the proper receipt to her address."

One of the principal objections of Mr. Murray to the manner in which
Mr. Gifford edited the _Quarterly_ was the war which he waged with the
_Edinburgh_. This, he held, was not the way in which a respectable
periodical should be conducted. It had a line of its own to pursue,
without attacking its neighbours. "Publish," he said, "the best
information, the best science, the best literature; and leave the public
to decide for themselves." Relying on this opinion he warned Gifford and
his friends against attacking Sydney Smith, and Leslie, and Jeffrey,
because of their contributions to the _Edinburgh_. He thought that such
attacks had only the effect of advertising the rival journal, and
rendering it of greater importance. With reference to the article on
Sydney Smith's "Visitation Sermon" in No. 5, Mr. George Ellis privately
wrote to Mr. Murray:

"Gifford, though the best-tempered man alive, is _terribly_ severe with
his pen; but S.S. would suffer ten times more by being turned into
ridicule (and never did man expose himself so much as he did in that
sermon) than from being slashed and cauterized in that manner."

The following refers to a difference of opinion between Mr. Murray and
his editor. Mr. Gifford had resented some expression of his friend's as
savouring of intimidation.

_John Murray to Mr. Gifford_.

_September_ 25, 1810.

"I entreat you to be assured that the term 'intimidation' can never be
applied to any part of my conduct towards you, for whom I entertain the
highest esteem and regard, both as a writer and as a friend. If I am
over-anxious, it is because I have let my hopes of fame as a bookseller
rest upon the establishment and celebrity of this journal. My character,
as well with my professional brethren as with the public, is at stake
upon it; for I would not be thought silly by the one, or a mere
speculator by the other. I have a very large business, as you may
conclude by the capital I have been able to throw into this one
publication, and yet my mind is so entirely engrossed, my honour is so
completely involved in this one thing, that I neither eat, drink, nor
sleep upon anything else. I would rather it excelled all other journals
and I gained nothing by it, than gain £300 a year by it without trouble
if it were thought inferior to any other. This, sir, is true."

Meanwhile, Mr. Murray was becoming hard pressed for money. To conduct
his increasing business required a large floating capital, for long
credits were the custom, and besides his own requirements, he had to
bear the constant importunities of the Ballantynes to renew their bills.
On July 25, 1810, he wrote to them: "This will be the last renewal of
the bill (£300); when it becomes due, you will have the goodness to
provide for it." It was, however, becoming impossible to continue
dealing with them, and he gradually transferred his printing business to
other firms. We find him about this time ordering Messrs. George Ramsay
& Co., Edinburgh, to print 8,000 of the "Domestic Cookery," which was
still having a large sale.

The Constables also were pressing him for renewals of bills. The
correspondence of this date is full of remonstrances from Murray against
the financial unpunctuality of his Edinburgh correspondents.

On March 21, 1811, he writes: "With regard to myself, I will engage in
no new work of any kind"; and again, on April 4, 1811:

Dear Constable,

You know how much I have distressed myself by entering heedlessly upon
too many engagements. You must not urge me to involve myself in renewed

To return to the _Quarterly_ No. 8. Owing to the repeated delay in
publication, the circulation fell off from 5,000 to 4,000, and Mr.
George Ellis had obviously reason when he wrote: "Hence I infer that
_punctuality_ is, in our present situation, our great and only

Accordingly, increased efforts were made to have the _Quarterly_
published with greater punctuality, though it was a considerable time
before success in this respect was finally reached. Gifford pruned and
pared down to the last moment, and often held back the publication until
an erasure or a correction could be finally inserted.

No. 9, due in February 1811, was not published until March. From this
time Southey became an almost constant contributor to the _Review_. He
wrote with ease, grace, and rapidity, and there was scarcely a number
without one, and sometimes two and even three articles from his pen.
His prose style was charming--clear, masculine, and to the point. The
public eagerly read his prose, while his poetry remained unnoticed on
the shelves. The poet could not accept this view of his merits. Of the
"Curse of Kehama" he wrote:

"I was perfectly aware that I was planting acorns while my
contemporaries were setting Turkey beans. The oak will grow, and though
I may never sit under its shade, my children will. Of the 'Lady of the
Lake,' 25,000 copies have been printed; of 'Kehama', 500; and if they
sell in seven years I shall be surprised."

Scott wrote a kindly notice of Southey's poem. It was not his way to cut
up his friend in a review. He pointed out the beauties of the poem, in
order to invite purchasers and readers. Yet his private opinion to his
friend George Ellis was this:

_Mr. Scott to Mr. G. Ellis_.

"I have run up an attempt on the 'Curse of Kehama' for the _Quarterly_:
a strange thing it is--the 'Curse,' I mean--and the critique is not, as
the blackguards say, worth a damn; but what I could I did, which was to
throw as much weight as possible upon the beautiful passages, of which
there are many, and to slur over its absurdities, of which there are not
a few. It is infinite pity for Southey, with genius almost to
exuberance, so much learning and real good feeling of poetry, that, with
the true obstinacy of a foolish papa, he _will_ be most attached to the
defects of his poetical offspring. This said 'Kehama' affords cruel
openings to the quizzers, and I suppose will get it roundly in the
_Edinburgh Review_. I could have made a very different hand of it
indeed, had the order of the day been _pour déchirer_."

It was a good thing for Southey that he could always depend upon his
contributions to the _Quarterly_ for his daily maintenance, for he could
not at all rely upon the income from his poetry.

The failure of the _Edinburgh Annual Register_, published by Ballantyne,
led to a diminution of Southey's income amounting to about £400 a year.
He was thus led to write more and more for the _Quarterly_. His
reputation, as well as his income, rose higher from his writings there
than from any of his other works. In April 1812 he wrote to his friend
Mr. Wynn:

_Mr. Southey to Mr. Wynn_.

"By God's blessing I may yet live to make all necessary provision
myself. My means are now improving every year. I am up the hill of
difficulty, and shall very soon get rid of the burthen which has impeded
me in the ascent. I have some arrangements with Murray, which are likely
to prove more profitable than any former speculations ... Hitherto I
have been highly favoured. A healthy body, an active mind, and a
cheerful heart, are the three best boons Nature can bestow, and, God be
praised, no man ever enjoyed these more perfectly."



A good understanding was now established between Mr. Murray and his
editor, and the _Quarterly_ went on improving and gradually increased in
circulation. Though regular in the irregularity of its publication, the
subscribers seem to have become accustomed to the delay, and when it did
make its appearance it was read with eagerness and avidity. The interest
and variety of its contents, and the skill of the editor in the
arrangement of his materials, made up for many shortcomings.

Murray and Gifford were in constant communication, and it is interesting
to remember that the writer of the following judicious criticism had
been editor of the _Anti-Jacobin_ before he was editor of the

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_.

_May_ 17, 1811.

"I have seldom been more pleased and vexed at a time than with the
perusal of the enclosed MS. It has wit, it has ingenuity, but both are
absolutely lost in a negligence of composition which mortifies me. Why
will your young friend fling away talent which might so honourably
distinguish him? He might, if be chose, be the ornament of our _Review_,
instead of creating in one mingled regret and admiration. It is utterly
impossible to insert such a composition as the present; there are
expressions which would not be borne; and if, as you say, it will be
sent to Jeffrey's if I do not admit it, however I may grieve, I must
submit to the alternative. Articles of pure humour should be written
with extraordinary attention. A vulgar laugh is detestable. I never saw
much merit in writing rapidly. You will believe me when I tell you that
I have been present at the production of more genuine wit and humour
than almost any person of my time, and that it was revised and polished
and arranged with a scrupulous care which overlooked nothing. I have
not often seen fairer promises of excellence in this department than in
your correspondent; but I tell you frankly that they will all be
blighted and perish prematurely unless sedulously cultivated. It is a
poor ambition to raise a casual laugh in the unreflecting.

The article did not appear in the _Quarterly_, and Mr. Pillans, the
writer, afterwards became a contributor to the _Edinburgh Review_.

In a letter of August 25, 1811, we find Gifford writing to a
correspondent: "Since the hour I was born I never enjoyed, as far as I
can recollect, what you call _health_ for a single day." In November,
after discussing in a letter the articles which were about to appear in
the next _Review_, he concluded: "I write in pain and must break off."
In the following month Mr. Murray, no doubt in consideration of the
start which his _Review_ had made, sent him a present of £500. "I thank
you," he answered (December 6), "very sincerely for your magnificent
present; but £500 is a vast sum. However, you know your own business."

Yet Mr. Murray was by no means abounding in wealth. There were always
those overdrawn bills from Edinburgh to be met, and Ballantyne and
Constable were both tugging at him for accommodation at the same time.

The business arrangements with Constable & Co., which, save for the
short interruption which has already been related, had extended over
many years, were now about to come to an end. The following refers to
the purchase of Mr. Miller's stock and the removal of Mr. Murray's
business to Albemarle Street.

_John Murray to Mr. Constable_.

ALBEMARLE ST., _October_ 27, 1812.

"I do not see any existing reason why we, who have so long been so very
intimate, should now be placed in a situation of negative hostility. I
am sure that we are well calculated to render to each other great
services; you are the best judge whether your interests were ever before
so well attended to as by me ... The great connexion which I have for
the last two years been maturing in Fleet Street I am now going to bring
into action here; and it is not with any view to, or with any reliance
upon, what Miller has done, but upon what I know I can do in such a
situation, that I had long made up my mind to move. It is no sudden
thing, but one long matured; and it is only from the accident of
Miller's moving that I have taken his house; so that the notions which,
I am told, you entertain respecting my plans are totally outside the
ideas upon which it was formed.... I repeat, it is in my power to do you
many services; and, certainly, I have bought very largely of you, and
you never of me; and you know very well that I will serve you heartily
if I can deal with you confidentially."

A truce was, for a time, made between the firms, but it proved hollow.
The never-ending imposition of accommodation bills sent for acceptance
had now reached a point beyond endurance, having regard to Murray's
credit. The last letter from Murray to Constable & Co. was as follows:

_John Murray to Constable & Co_.

_April 30_, 1813.


I did not answer the letter to which the enclosed alludes, because its
impropriety in all respects rendered it impossible for me to do so
without involving myself in a personal dispute, which it is my anxious
resolution to avoid: and because my determination was fully taken to
abide by what I told you in my former letter, to which alone I can or
could have referred you. You made an express proposition to me, to
which, as you have deviated from it, it is not my intention to accede.
The books may remain with me upon sale or return, until you please to
order them elsewhere; and in the meantime I shall continue to avail
myself of every opportunity to sell them. I return, therefore, an
account and bills, with which I have nothing to do, and desire to have a
regular invoice.

I am, gentlemen, yours truly,


Constable & Co. fired off a final shot on May 28 following, and the
correspondence and business between the firms then terminated.

No. 12 of the _Quarterly_ appeared in December 1811, and perhaps the
most interesting article in the number was that by Canning and Ellis, on
Trotter's "Life of Fox." Gifford writes to Murray about this article:

"I have not seen Canning yet, but he is undoubtedly at work by this
time. Pray take care that no one gets a sight of the slips. It will be a
delightful article, but say not a word till it comes out."

A pamphlet had been published by W.S. Landor, dedicated to the President
of the United States, entitled, "Remarks upon Memoirs of Mr. Fox lately
published." Gifford was furious about it. He wrote to Murray:

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_.

"I never read so rascally a thing as the Dedication. It is almost too
bad for the Eatons and other publishers of mad democratic books. In the
pamphlet itself there are many clever bits, but there is no taste and
little judgment. His attacks on private men are very bad. Those on Mr.
C. are too stupid to do much harm, or, indeed, any. The Dedication is
the most abject piece of business that I ever read. It shows Landor to
have a most rancorous and malicious heart. Nothing but a rooted hatred
of his country could have made him dedicate his Jacobinical book to the
most contemptible wretch that ever crept into authority, and whose only
recommendation to him is his implacable enmity to his country. I think
you might write to Southey; but I would not, on any account, have you
publish such a scoundrel address."

The only entire article ever contributed to the _Review_ by Gifford
himself was that which he wrote, in conjunction with Barron Field, on
Ford's "Dramatic Works." It was an able paper, but it contained a
passage, the publication of which occasioned Gifford the deepest regret.
Towards the conclusion of the article these words occurred: The Editor
"has polluted his pages with the blasphemies of a poor maniac, who, it
seems, once published some detached scenes of the 'Broken Heart.'" This
referred to Charles Lamb, who likened the "transcendent scene [of the
Spartan boy and Calantha] in imagination to Calvary and the Cross." Now
Gifford had never heard of the personal history of Lamb, nor of the
occasional fits of lunacy to which his sister Mary was subject; and when
the paragraph was brought to his notice by Southey, through Murray, it
caused him unspeakable distress. He at once wrote to Southey [Footnote:
When the subject of a memoir of Charles Lamb by Serjeant Talfourd was
under consideration, Southey wrote to a friend: "I wish that I had
looked out for Mr. Talfourd the letter which Gifford wrote in reply to
one in which I remonstrated with him upon his designation of Lamb as a
poor maniac. The words were used in complete ignorance of their peculiar
bearings, and I believe nothing in the course of Gifford's life ever
occasioned him so much self-reproach. He was a man with whom I had no
literary sympathies; perhaps there was nothing upon which we agreed,
except great political questions; but I liked him the better ever after
for his conduct on this occasion."] the following letter:

_Mr. W. Gifford to Mr. Southey_.

_February_ 13, 1812.


I break off here to say that I have this moment received your last
letter to Murray. It has grieved and shocked me beyond expression; but,
my dear friend, I am innocent so far as the intent goes. I call God to
witness that in the whole course of my life I never heard one syllable
of Mr. Lamb or his family. I knew not that he ever had a sister, or that
he had parents living, or that he or any person connected with him had
ever manifested the slightest tendency to insanity. In a word, I declare
to you _in the most solemn manner_ that all I ever knew or ever heard of
Mr. Lamb was merely his name. Had I been aware of one of the
circumstances which you mention, I would have lost my right arm sooner
than have written what I have. The truth is, that I was shocked at
seeing him compare the sufferings and death of a person who just
continues to dance after the death of his lover is announced (for this
is all his merit) to the pangs of Mount Calvary; and not choosing to
attribute it to folly, because I reserved that charge for Weber, I
unhappily in the present case ascribed it to madness, for which I pray
God to forgive me, since the blow has fallen heavily when I really
thought it would not be felt. I considered Lamb as a thoughtless
scribbler, who, in circumstances of ease, amused himself by writing on
any subject. Why I thought so, I cannot tell, but it was the opinion I
formed to myself, for I now regret to say I never made any inquiry upon
the subject; nor by any accident in the whole course of my life did I
hear him mentioned beyond the name.

I remain, my dear Sir,

Yours most sincerely,


It is unnecessary to describe in detail the further progress of the
_Quarterly_. The venture was now fairly launched. Occasionally, when
some friction arose from the editorial pruning of Southey's articles, or
when Mr. Murray remonstrated with the exclusion or inclusion of some
particular article, Mr. Gifford became depressed, or complained, "This
business begins to get too heavy for me, and I must soon have done, I
fear." Such discouragement was only momentary. Gifford continued to edit
the _Review_ for many years, until and long after its complete success
had become assured.

The following extract, from a letter of Southey's to his friend Bedford,
describes very happily the position which Mr. Murray had now attained.

"Murray offers me a thousand guineas for my intended poem in blank
verse, and begs it may not be a line longer than "Thomson's Seasons"! I
rather think the poem will be a post obit, and in that case, twice that
sum, at least, may be demanded for it. What his real feelings may be
towards me, I cannot tell; but he is a happy fellow, living in the light
of his own glory. The _Review_ is the greatest of all works, and it is
all his own creation; he prints 10,000, and fifty times ten thousand
read its contents, in the East and in the West. Joy be with him and his



The origin of Mr. Murray's connection with Lord Byron was as follows.
Lord Byron had made Mr. Dallas [Footnote: Robert Charles Dallas
(1754-1824). His sister married Captain George Anson Byron, and her
descendants now hold the title.] a present of the MS. of the first two
cantos of "Childe Harold," and allowed him to make arrangements for
their publication. Mr. Dallas's first intention was to offer them to the
publisher of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," but Cawthorn did not
rank sufficiently high among his brethren of the trade. He was precluded
from offering them to Longman & Co. because of their refusal to publish
the Satire. He then went to Mr. Miller, of Albemarle Street, and left
the manuscript with him, "enjoining the strictest secrecy as to the
author." After a few days' consideration Miller declined to publish the
poem, principally because of the sceptical stanzas which it contained,
and also because of its denunciation as a "plunderer" of his friend and
patron the Earl of Elgin, who was mentioned by name in the original
manuscript of the poem.

After hearing from Dallas that Miller had declined to publish "Childe
Harold," Lord Byron wrote to him from Reddish's Hotel:

_Lord Byron to Mr. Miller_.

_July_ 30, 1811.


I am perfectly aware of the justice of your remarks, and am convinced
that if ever the poem is published the same objections will be made in
much stronger terms. But, as it was intended to be a poem on _Ariosto's
plan_, that is to say on _no plan_ at all, and, as is usual in similar
cases, having a predilection for the worst passages, I shall retain
those parts, though I cannot venture to defend them. Under these
circumstances I regret that you decline the publication, on my own
account, as I think the book would have done better in your hands; the
pecuniary part, you know, I have nothing to do with.... But I can
perfectly conceive, and indeed approve your reasons, and assure you my
sensations are not _Archiepiscopal_ enough as yet to regret the
rejection of my Homilies.

I am, Sir, your very obedient, humble servant,


"Next to these publishers," proceeds Dallas, in his "Recollections of
the Life of Lord Byron," "I wished to oblige Mr. Murray, who had then a
shop opposite St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street. Both he and his
father before him had published for myself. He had expressed to me his
regret that I did not carry him the 'English Bards and Scotch
Reviewers.' But this was after its success; I think he would have
refused it in its embryo state. After Lord Byron's arrival I had met
him, and he said he wished I would obtain some work of his Lordship's
for him. I now had it in my power, and I put 'Childe Harold's
Pilgrimage' into his hands, telling him that Lord Byron had made me a
present of it, and that I expected he would make a very liberal
arrangement with me for it.

"He took some days to consider, during which time he consulted
his literary advisers, among whom, no doubt, was Mr. Gifford,
who was Editor of the _Quarterly Review_. That Mr. Gifford gave
a favourable opinion I afterwards learned from Mr. Murray himself; but
the objections I have stated stared him in the face, and he was kept in
suspense between the desire of possessing a work of Lord Byron's and the
fear of an unsuccessful speculation. We came to this conclusion: that he
should print, at his expense, a handsome quarto edition, the profits of
which I should share equally with him, and that the agreement for the
copyright should depend upon the success of this edition. When I told
this to Lord Byron he was highly pleased, but still doubted the
copyright being worth my acceptance, promising, however, if the poem
went through the edition, to give me other poems to annex to 'Childe

Mr. Murray had long desired to make Lord Byron's acquaintance, and now
that Mr. Dallas had arranged with him for the publication of the first
two cantos of "Childe Harold," he had many opportunities of seeing Byron
at his place of business. The first time that he saw him was when he
called one day with Mr. Hobhouse in Fleet Street. He afterwards looked
in from time to time, while the sheets were passing through the press,
fresh from the fencing rooms of Angelo and Jackson, and used to amuse
himself by renewing his practice of "Carte et Tierce," with his
walking-cane directed against the book-shelves, while Murray was reading
passages from the poem, with occasional ejaculations of admiration; on
which Byron would say, "You think that a good idea, do you, Murray?"
Then he would fence and lunge with his walking-stick at some special
book which he had picked out on the shelves before him. As Murray
afterwards said, "I was often very glad to get rid of him!"

A correspondence took place with regard to certain omissions,
alterations, and improvements which were strongly urged both by Mr.
Dallas and the publisher. Mr. Murray wrote as follows:

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_September_ 4, 1811.


An absence of some days, passed in the country, has prevented me from
writing earlier, in answer to your obliging letters. [Footnote: These
letters are given in Moore's "Life and Letters of Lord Byron."] I have
now, however, the pleasure of sending you, under a separate cover, the
first proof sheets of your poem; which is so good as to be entitled to
all your care in rendering it perfect. Besides its general merits, there
are parts which, I am tempted to believe, far excel anything that you
have hitherto published; and it were therefore grievous indeed if you do
not condescend to bestow upon it all the improvements of which your mind
is so capable. Every correction already made is valuable, and this
circumstance renders me more confident in soliciting your further
attention. There are some expressions concerning Spain and Portugal
which, however just at the time they were conceived, yet, as they do not
harmonise with the now prevalent feeling, I am persuaded would so
greatly interfere with the popularity which the poem is, in other
respects, certainly calculated to excite, that, in compassion to your
publisher, who does not presume to reason upon the subject, otherwise
than as a mere matter of business, I hope your goodness will induce you
to remove them; and with them perhaps some religious sentiments which
may deprive me of some customers amongst the Orthodox. Could I flatter
myself that these suggestions were not obtrusive, I would hazard
another,--that you would add the two promised cantos, and complete the
poem. It were cruel indeed not to perfect a work which contains so much
that is excellent. Your fame, my Lord, demands it. You are raising a
monument that will outlive your present feelings; and it should
therefore be constructed in such a manner as to excite no other
association than that of respect and admiration for your character and
genius. I trust that you will pardon the warmth of this address, when I
assure you that it arises, in the greatest degree, from a sincere regard
for your best reputation; with, however, some view to that portion of it
which must attend the publisher of so beautiful a poem as you are
capable of rendering in the 'Romaunt of Childe Harold.'"

In compliance with the suggestions of the publisher, Byron altered and
improved the stanzas relating to Elgin and Wellington. With respect to
the religious, or anti-religious sentiments, Byron wrote to Murray: "As
for the 'orthodox,' let us hope they will buy on purpose to abuse--you
will forgive the one if they will do the other." Yet he did alter Stanza
VIII, and inserted what Moore calls a "magnificent stanza" in place of
one that was churlish and sneering, and in all respects very much

Byron then proceeded to another point. "Tell me fairly, did you show the
MS. to some of your corps?" "I will have no traps for applause," he
wrote to Mr. Murray, at the same time forbidding him to show the
manuscript of "Childe Harold" to his Aristarchus, Mr. Gifford, though he
had no objection to letting it be seen by any one else. But it was too
late. Mr. Gifford had already seen the manuscript, and pronounced a
favourable opinion as to its great poetic merits. Byron was not
satisfied with this assurance, and seemed, in his next letter, to be
very angry. He could not bear to have it thought that he was
endeavouring to ensure a favourable review of his work in the
_Quarterly_. To Mr. Dallas he wrote (September 23, 1811):

"I _will_ be angry with Murray. It was a book-selling, back-shop,
Paternoster Row, paltry proceeding; and if the experiment had turned out
as it deserved, I would have raised all Fleet Street, and borrowed the
giant's staff from St. Dunstan's Church, to immolate the betrayer of
trust. I have written to him as he was never written to before by an
author, I'll be sworn; and I hope you will amplify my wrath, till it has
an effect upon him."

Byron at first objected to allow the new poem to be published with his
name, thinking that this would bring down upon him the enmity of his
critics in the North, as well as the venom of the southern scribblers,
whom he had enraged by his Satire. At last, on Mr. Murray's strong
representation, he consented to allow his name to be published on the
title-page as the author. Even to the last, however, his doubts were
great as to the probable success of the poem; and he more than once
talked of suppressing it.

In October 1811 Lord Byron wrote from Newstead Abbey to his friend Mr.
Hodgson: [Footnote: The Rev. Francis Hodgson was then residing at
Cambridge as Fellow and Tutor of King's College. He formed an intimate
friendship with Byron, who communicated with him freely as to his
poetical as well as his religious difficulties. Hodgson afterwards
became Provost of Eton.]

"'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' must wait till Murray's is finished. He is
making a tour in Middlesex, and is to return soon, when high matter may
be expected. He wants to have it in quarto, which is a cursed unsaleable
size; but it is pestilent long, and one must obey one's publisher."

The whole of the sheets were printed off in the following month of
January; and the work was published on March 1, 1812. Of the first
edition only 500 copies, demy quarto, were printed.

It is unnecessary to say with what applause the book was received. The
impression it produced was as instantaneous as it proved to be lasting.
Byron himself briefly described the result of the publication in his
memoranda: "I awoke one morning and found myself famous." The publisher
had already taken pains to spread abroad the merits of the poem. Many of
his friends had re-echoed its praises. The attention of the public was
fixed upon the work; and in three days after its appearance the whole
edition was disposed of. When Mr. Dallas went to see Lord Byron at his
house in St. James's Street, he found him loaded with letters from
critics, poets, and authors, all lavish of their raptures. A handsome
new edition, in octavo, was proposed, to which his Lordship agreed.

Eventually Mr. Murray consented to give Mr. Dallas £600 for the
copyright of the poem; although Mr. Gifford and others were of opinion
that it might prove a bad bargain at that price. There was, however, one
exception, namely Mr. Rogers, who told Mr. Murray not to be
disheartened, for he might rely upon its turning out the most fortunate
purchase he had ever made; and so it proved. Three thousand copies of
the second and third editions of the poem in octavo were printed; and
these went off in rapid succession.

On the appearance of "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" Lord Byron became an
object of interest in the fashionable world of London. His poem was the
subject of conversation everywhere, and many literary, noble, and royal
personages desired to make his acquaintance. In the month of June he was
invited to a party at Miss Johnson's, at which His Royal Highness the
Prince Regent was present. As Lord Byron had not yet been to Court, it
was not considered etiquette that he should appear before His Royal
Highness. He accordingly retired to another room. But on the Prince
being informed that Lord Byron was in the house, he expressed a desire
to see him. Lord Byron was sent for, and the following is Mr. Murray's
account of the conversation that took place.

_John Murray to Mr. Scott_.

_June_ 27, 1812.


I cannot refrain, notwithstanding my fears of intrusion, from mentioning
to you a conversation which Lord Byron had with H.R.H. the Prince
Regent, and of which you formed the leading subject. He was at an
evening party at Miss Johnson's this week, when the Prince, hearing that
Lord Byron was present, expressed a desire to be introduced to him; and
for more than half an hour they conversed on poetry and poets, with
which the Prince displayed an intimacy and critical taste which at once
surprised and delighted Lord Byron. But the Prince's great delight was
Walter Scott, whose name and writings he dwelt upon and recurred to
incessantly. He preferred him far beyond any other poet of the time,
repeated several passages with fervour, and criticized them faithfully.
He spoke chiefly of the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel,' which he expressed
himself as admiring most of the three poems. He quoted Homer, and even
some of the obscurer Greek poets, and appeared, as Lord Byron supposes,
to have read more poetry than any prince in Europe. He paid, of course,
many compliments to Lord Byron, but the greatest was "that he ought to
be offended with Lord B., for that he had thought it impossible for any
poet to equal Walter Scott, and that he had made him find himself
mistaken." Lord Byron called upon me, merely to let off the raptures of
the Prince respecting you, thinking, as he said, that if I were likely
to have occasion to write to you, it might not be ungrateful for you to
hear of his praises.

In reply Scott wrote to Mr. Murray as follows, enclosing a letter to
Lord Byron, which has already been published in the Lives of both

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

EDINBURGH, _July 2_, 1812.


I have been very silent, partly through pressure of business and partly
from idleness and procrastination, but it would be very ungracious to
delay returning my thanks for your kindness in transmitting the very
flattering particulars of the Prince Regent's conversation with Lord
Byron. I trouble you with a few lines to his Lordship expressive of my
thanks for his very handsome and gratifying communication, and I hope he
will not consider it as intrusive in a veteran author to pay my debt of
gratitude for the high pleasure I have received from the perusal of
'Childe Harold,' which is certainly the most original poem which we have
had this many a day....

Your obliged, humble Servant,


This episode led to the opening of an agreeable correspondence between
Scott and Byron, and to a lasting friendship between the two poets.

The fit of inspiration was now on Lord Byron. In May 1813 appeared "The
Giaour," and in the midst of his corrections of successive editions of
it, he wrote in four nights his second Turkish story, "Zuleika,"
afterwards known as "The Bride of Abydos."

With respect to the business arrangement as to the two poems, Mr. Murray
wrote to Lord Byron as follows:

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_November_ 18, 1813.


I am very anxious that our business transactions should occur
frequently, and that they should be settled immediately; for short
accounts are favourable to long friendships.

I restore "The Giaour" to your Lordship entirely, and for it, the "Bride
of Abydos," and the miscellaneous poems intended to fill up the volume
of the small edition, I beg leave to offer you the sum of One Thousand
Guineas; and I shall be happy if you perceive that my estimation of your
talents in my character of a man of business is not much under my
admiration of them as a man.

I do most heartily accept the offer of your portrait, as the most noble
mark of friendship with which you could in any way honour me. I do
assure you that I am truly proud of being distinguished as your
publisher, and that I shall ever continue,

Your Lordship's faithful Servant,


With reference to the foregoing letter we read in Lord Byron's Diary:

"Mr. Murray has offered me one thousand guineas for 'The Giaour' and
'The Bride of Abydos.' I won't. It is too much: though I am strongly
tempted, merely for the say of it. No bad price for a fortnight's (a
week each) what?--the gods know. It was intended to be called poetry."

The "Bride of Abydos" was received with almost as much applause as the
"Giaour." "Lord Byron," said Sir James Mackintosh, "is the author of the
day; six thousand of his 'Bride of Abydos' have been sold within a

"The Corsair" was Lord Byron's next poem, written with great vehemence,
literally "struck off at a heat," at the rate of about two hundred lines
a day,--"a circumstance," says Moore, "that is, perhaps, wholly without
a parallel in the history of genius." "The Corsair" was begun on the
18th, and finished on the 31st of December, 1813.

A sudden impulse induced Lord Byron to present the copyright of this
poem also to Mr. Dallas, with the single stipulation that he would offer
it for publication to Mr. Murray, who eventually paid Mr. Dallas five
hundred guineas for the copyright, and the work was published in
February 1814. The following letters will give some idea of the
reception it met with.

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_February_ 3, 1814.


I have been unwilling to write until I had something to say, an occasion
to which I do not always restrict myself. I am most happy to tell you
that your last poem _is_--what Mr. Southey's is _called_--_a Carmen
Triumphale_. Never, in my recollection, has any work, since the "Letter
of Burke to the Duke of Bedford," excited such a ferment--a ferment
which, I am happy to say, will subside into lasting fame. I sold, on the
day of publication--a thing perfectly unprecedented--10,000 copies....
Gifford did what I never knew him do before--he repeated several
passages from memory."

The "Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte," which appeared in April 1814, was on
the whole a failure. It was known to be Lord Byron's, and its
publication was seized upon by the press as the occasion for many bitter
criticisms, mingled with personalities against the writer's genius and
character. He was cut to the quick by these notices, and came to the
determination to buy back the whole of the copyrights of his works, and
suppress every line he had ever written. On April 29, 1814, he wrote to
Mr. Murray:

_Lord Byron to John Murray_.

_April_ 29, 1814.

I enclose a draft for the money; when paid, send the copyrights. I
release you from the thousand pounds agreed on for "The Giaour" and
"Bride," and there's an end.... For all this, it might be well to assign
some reason. I have none to give, except my own caprice, and I do not
consider the circumstance of consequence enough to require
explanation.... It will give me great pleasure to preserve your
acquaintance, and to consider you as my friend. Believe me very truly,
and for much attention,

Yours, etc.,


Mr. Murray was of course very much concerned at this decision, and
remonstrated. Three days later Lord Byron revoked his determination. To
Mr. Murray he wrote (May 1, 1814):

"If your present note is serious, and it really would be inconvenient,
there is an end of the matter; tear my draft, and go on as usual: in
that case, we will recur to our former basis."

Before the end of the month Lord Byron began the composition of his next
poem, "Lara," usually considered a continuation of "The Corsair." It was
published conjointly with Mr. Rogers's "Jacqueline." "Rogers and I,"
said Lord Byron to Moore, "have almost coalesced into a joint invasion
of the public. Whether it will take place or not, I do not yet know, and
I am afraid 'Jacqueline' (which is very beautiful) will be in bad
company. But in this case, the lady will not be the sufferer."

The two poems were published anonymously in the following August (1814):
Murray allowed 500 guineas for the copyright of each.



We must now revert to the beginning of 1812, at which time Mr. William
Miller, who commenced business in Bond Street in 1791, and had in 1804
removed to 50, Albemarle Street, desired to retire from "the Trade." He
communicated his resolve to Mr. Murray, who had some time held the
intention of moving westward from Fleet Street, and had been on the
point of settling in Pall Mall. Murray at once entered into an
arrangement with Miller, and in a letter to Mr. Constable of Edinburgh
he observed:

_John Murray to Mr. A. Constable_.

_May_ 1, 1812.

"You will probably have heard that Miller is about to retire, and that I
have ventured to undertake to succeed him. I had for some time
determined upon moving, and I did not very long hesitate about accepting
his offer. I am to take no part of his stock but such as I may deem
expedient, and for it and the rest I shall have very long credit. How
far it may answer, I know not; but if I can judge of my own views, I
think it may prove an advantageous opening. Miller's retirement is very
extraordinary, for no one in the trade will believe that he has made a
fortune; but from what he has laid open to me, it is clear that he has
succeeded. In this arrangement, I propose of course to dispose of my
present house, and my medical works, with other parts of my business. I
have two offers for it, waiting my decision as to terms.... I am to
enter at Miller's on September 29th next." [Footnote: The Fleet Street
business was eventually purchased by Thomas and George Underwood. It
appears from the "Memoirs of Adam Black" that Black was for a short time
a partner with the Underwoods. Adam Black quitted the business in 1813.
Upon the failure of the Underwoods in 1831, Mr. Samuel Highley, son of
Mr. Murray's former partner, took possession, and the name of Highley
again appeared over the door.]

The terms arranged with Mr. Miller were as follows: The lease of the
house, No. 50, Albemarle Street, was purchased by Mr. Murray, together
with the copyrights, stock, etc., for the sum of £3,822 12_s_. 6_d_.;
Mr. Miller receiving as surety, during the time the purchase money
remained unpaid, the copyright of "Domestic Cookery," of the _Quarterly
Review_, and the one-fourth share in "Marmion." The debt was not finally
paid off until the year 1821.

Amongst the miscellaneous works which Mr. Murray published shortly after
his removal to Albemarle Street were William Sotheby's translation of
the "Georgies of Virgil"--the most perfect translation, according to
Lord Jeffrey, of a Latin classic which exists in our language; Robert
Bland's "Collection from the Greek Anthology"; Prince Hoare's "Epochs of
the Arts"; Lord Glenbervie's work on the "Cultivation of Timber";
Granville Penn's "Bioscope, or Dial of Life explained"; John Herman
Merivale's "Orlando in Roncesvalles"; and Sir James Hall's splendid work
on "Gothic Architecture." Besides these, there was a very important
contribution to our literature--in the "Miscellaneous Works of Gibbon"
in 5 volumes, for the copyright of which Mr. Murray paid Lord Sheffield
the sum of £1,000.

In 1812 he published Sir John Malcolm's "Sketch of the Sikhs," and in
the following year Mr. Macdonald Kinneir's "Persia." Mr. D'Israeli's
"Calamities of Authors" appeared in 1812, and Murray forwarded copies of
the work to Scott and Southey.

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

_July_ 2,1812.

I owe you best thanks for the 'Calamities of Authors,' which has all the
entertaining and lively features of the 'Amenities of Literature.' I am
just packing them up with a few other books for my hermitage at
Abbotsford, where my present parlour is only 12 feet square, and my
book-press in Lilliputian proportion. Poor Andrew Macdonald I knew in
days of yore, and could have supplied some curious anecdotes respecting
him. He died of a poet's consumption, viz. want of food.

"The present volume of 'Somers' [Footnote: Lord Somers' "Tracts," a new
edition in 12 volumes.] will be out immediately; with whom am I to
correspond on this subject since the secession of Will. Miller? I shall
be happy to hear you have succeeded to him in this department, as well
as in Albemarle Street. What has moved Miller to retire? He is surely
too young to have made a fortune, and it is uncommon to quit a thriving
trade. I have had a packet half finished for Gifford this many a day."

Southey expressed himself as greatly interested in the "Calamities of
Authors," and proposed to make it the subject of an article for the

_Mr. Southey to John Murray_.

_August_ 14, 1812.

"I should like to enlarge a little upon the subject of literary
property, on which he has touched, in my opinion, with proper feeling.
Certainly I am a party concerned. I should like to say something upon
the absurd purposes of the Literary Fund, with its despicable
ostentation of patronage, and to build a sort of National Academy in the
air, in the hope that Canning might one day lay its foundation in a more
solid manner. [Footnote: Canning had his own opinion on the subject.
When the Royal Society of Literature was about to be established, an
application was made to him to join the committee. He refused, for
reasons "partly general, partly personal." He added, "I am really of
opinion, with Dr. Johnson, that the multitudinous personage, called The
Public, is after all, the best patron of literature and learned men."]
And I could say something on the other side of the picture, showing that
although literature in almost all cases is the worst trade to which a
man can possibly betake himself, it is the best and wisest of all
pursuits for those whose provision is already made, and of all
amusements for those who have leisure to amuse themselves. It has long
been my intention to leave behind me my own Memoirs, as a post-obit for
my family--a wise intention no doubt, and one which it is not very
prudent to procrastinate. Should this ever be completed, it would
exhibit a case directly in contrast to D'Israeli's view of the subject.
I chose literature for my own profession, with every advantage of
education it is true, but under more disadvantages perhaps of any other
kind than any of the persons in his catalogue. I have never repented the
choice. The usual censure, ridicule, and even calumnies, which it has
drawn on me never gave me a moment's pain; but on the other hand,
literature has given me friends; among the best and wisest and most
celebrated of my contemporaries it has given me distinction. If I live
twenty years longer, I do not doubt that it will give me fortune, and if
it pleases God to take me before my family are provided for, I doubt as
little that in my name and in my works they will find a provision. I
want to give you a 'Life of Wesley.' The history of the Dissenters must
be finished by that time, and it will afford me opportunity."

During the year 1813 the recklessness of the younger Ballantyne,
combined with the formation of the incipient estate at Abbotsford, were
weighing heavily on Walter Scott. This led to a fresh alliance with
Constable, "in which," wrote Scott, "I am sensible he has gained a great
advantage"; but in accordance with the agreement Constable, in return
for a share in Scott's new works, was to relieve the Ballantynes of some
of their heavy stock, and in May Scott was enabled "for the first time
these many weeks to lay my head on a quiet pillow." But nothing could
check John Ballantyne. "I sometimes fear," wrote Scott to him, "that
between the long dates of your bills and the tardy settlements of the
Edinburgh trade, some difficulties will occur even in June; and July I
always regard with deep anxiety." How true this forecast proved to be is
shown by the following letter:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_,

EDINBURGH, _July 5_, 1813.

I delayed answering your favour, thinking I could have overtaken the
"Daemonology" for the _Review_, but I had no books in the country where
it found me, and since that Swift, who is now nearly finished, has kept
me incessantly labouring. When that is off my hand I will have plenty of
leisure for reviewing, though you really have no need of my assistance.
The volume of "Somers" being now out of my hands I take the liberty to
draw at this date as usual for £105. Now I have a favour to ask which I
do with the more confidence because, if it is convenient and agreeable
to you to oblige me in the matter, it will be the means of putting our
connection as author and publisher upon its former footing, which I
trust will not be disagreeable to you. I am making up a large sum of
money to pay for a late purchase, and as part of my funds is secured on
an heritable bond which cannot be exacted till Martinmas, I find myself
some hundreds short, which the circumstances of the money market here
renders it not so easy to supply as formerly. Now if you will oblige me
by giving me a lift with your credit and accepting the enclosed bills,
[Footnote: Three bills for £300 each at three, four, and six months
respectively.] it will accommodate me particularly at this moment, and
as I shall have ample means of putting you in cash to replace them as
they fall due, will not, I should hope, occasion you any inconvenience.
Longmans' house on a former occasion obliged me in this way, and I hope
found their account in it. But I entreat you will not stand on the
least ceremony should you think you could not oblige me without
inconveniencing yourself. The property I have purchased cost about
£6,000, so it is no wonder I am a little out for the moment. Will you
have the goodness to return an answer in course of post, as, failing
your benevolent aid, I must look about elsewhere?

You will understand distinctly that I do not propose that you should
advance any part of the money by way of loan or otherwise, but only the
assistance of your credit, the bills being to be retired by cash
remitted by me before they fall due.

Believe me, very truly,

Your obedient Servant,


Mr. Murray at once replied:

_John Murray to Mr. Scott_.

_July_ 8, 1813.


I have the pleasure of returning accepted the bills which I received
from you this morning. In thus availing myself of your confidential
application, I trust that you will do me the justice to believe that it
is done for kindness already received, and not with the remotest view
towards prospective advantages. I shall at all times feel proud of being
one of your publishers, but this must be allowed to arise solely out of
your own feelings and convenience when the occasions shall present
themselves. I am sufficiently content in the belief that even negative
obstacles to our perfect confidence have now subsided.

When weightier concerns permit we hope that you will again appear in our
_Review_. In confidence I may tell you that your long silence led us to
avail ourselves of your friend Mr. Rose's offer to review Ferriar,
[Footnote: Dr. Ferriar on "Apparitions."] and his article is already

I will send you a new edition of the "Giaour," in which there are one or
two stanzas added of peculiar beauty.

I trust that your family are well, and remain, dear Sir,

Your obliged and faithful Servant,


Within a few months of this correspondence, Scott was looking into an
old writing-desk in search of some fishing-tackle, when his eye chanced
to light upon the Ashestiel fragment of "Waverley," begun several years
before. He read over the introductory chapters, and then determined to
finish the story. It is said that he first offered it anonymously to Sir
R. Phillips, London, who refused to publish it. "Waverley" was
afterwards accepted by Constable & Co., and published on half profits,
on July 7, 1814. When it came out, Murray got an early copy of the
novel; he read it, and sent it to Mr. Canning, and wrote upon the
title-page, "By Walter Scott." The reason why he fixed upon Scott as the
author was as follows. When he met Ballantyne at Boroughbridge, in 1809,
to settle some arrangements as to the works which Walter Scott proposed
to place in his hands for publication, he remembered that among those
works were three--1st, an edition of "Beaumont and Fletcher"; 2nd, a
poem; and 3rd, a novel. Now, both the edition of "Beaumont and Fletcher"
(though edited by Weber) and the poem, the "Lady of the Lake," had been
published; and now, at last, appeared _the novel_. [Footnote: Indeed, in
Ballantyne & Co.'s printed list of "New Works and Publications for
1809-10," issued August 1810 (now before us), we find the following
entry: "Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since; a novel in 3 vols. 12mo."
The work was not, however, published until July 1814.] He was confirmed
in his idea that Walter Scott was the author after carefully reading the
book. Canning called on Murray next day; said he had begun it, found it
very dull, and concluded: "You are quite mistaken; it cannot be by
Walter Scott." But a few days later he wrote to Murray: "Yes, it is so;
you are right: Walter Scott, and no one else."

In the autumn of 1814 Mrs. Murray went to Leith by sailing-ship from the
Thames, to visit her mother and friends in Edinburgh. She was
accompanied by her son John and her two daughters. During her absence,
Mr. Murray wrote to her two or three times a week, and kept her _au
courant_ with the news of the day. In his letter of August 9 he
intimated that he had been dining with D'Israeli, and that he afterwards
went with him to Sadler's Wells Theatre to see the "Corsair," at which
he was "woefully disappointed and enraged.... They have actually omitted
his wife altogether, and made him a mere ruffian, ultimately overcome by
the Sultan, and drowned in the New River!"

Mr. Blackwood, of Edinburgh, was then in London, spending several days
with Mr. Murray over their accounts and future arrangements. The latter
was thinking of making a visit to Paris, in the company of his friend
D'Israeli, during the peace which followed the exile of Napoleon to
Elba. D'Israeli had taken a house at Brighton, from which place the
voyagers intended to set sail, and make the passage to Dieppe in about
fourteen hours. On August 13 Mr. Murray informs his wife that "Lord
Byron was here yesterday, and I introduced him to Blackwood, to whom he
was very civil. They say," he added, "that Madame de Staël has been
ordered to quit Paris, for writing lightly respecting the Bourbons." Two
days later he wrote to Mrs. Murray:

_August_ 15, 1814.

"I dined yesterday with D'Israeli, and in the afternoon we partly walked
and partly rode to Islington, to drink tea with Mrs. Lindo, who, with
Mr. L. and her family, were well pleased to see me. Mr. Cervetto was
induced to accompany the ladies at the piano with his violoncello, which
he did delightfully. We walked home at 10 o'clock. On Saturday we passed
a very pleasant day at Petersham with Turner and his family....

"I have got at last Mr. Eagle's 'Journal of Penrose, the Seaman,' for
which, as you may remember, I am to pay £200 in twelve months for 1,000
copies: too dear perhaps; but Lord Byron sent me word this morning by
letter (for he borrowed the MS. last night): 'Penrose is most amusing. I
never read so much of a book at one sitting in my life. He kept me up
half the night, and made me dream of him the other half. It has all the
air of truth, and is most entertaining and interesting in every point of

Writing again on August 24, 1814, he says:

"Lord Byron set out for Newstead on Sunday. It is finally settled to be
his again, the proposed purchaser forfeiting £25,000. 'Lara' and
'Jacqueline' are nearly sold off, to the extent of 6,000, which leaves
me £130, and the certain sale of 10,000 more in the 8vo form. Mr.
Canning called upon Gifford yesterday, and from their conversation I
infer very favourably for my _Review_. We shall now take a decided tone
in Politics, and we are all in one boat. Croker has gone down to the
Prince Regent, at Brighton, where I ought to have been last night, to
have witnessed the rejoicings and splendour of the Duke of Clarence's
birthday. But I am ever out of luck. 'O, indolence and indecision of
mind! if not in yourselves vices, to how much exquisite misery do you
frequently prepare the way!' Have you come to this passage in 'Waverley'
yet? Pray read 'Waverley'; it is excellent."

On September 5, 1814, Mr. Murray communicated with Mrs. Murray as to
the education of his son John, then six-and-a-half years old:

_John Murray to Mrs. Murray_.

"I am glad that you venture to say something about the children, for it
is only by such minutiae that I can judge of the manner in which they
amuse or behave themselves. I really do not see the least propriety in
leaving John, at an age when the first impressions are so deep and
lasting, to receive the rudiments and foundation of his education in
Scotland. If learning English, his native language, mean anything, it is
not merely to read it correctly and understand it grammatically, but to
speak and pronounce it like the most polished native. But how can you
expect this to be effected, even with the aid of the best teachers, when
everybody around him, with whom he can practise his instructions, speaks
in a totally different manner? No! I rather think it better that he
should go to Edinburgh after he has passed through the schools here, and
when he is sixteen or seventeen. He should certainly go to some school
next spring, and I most confidingly trust that you are unremitting in
your duty to give him daily lessons of preparation, or he may be so far
behind children of his age when he does go to school, that the derision
he may meet there may destroy emulation. All this, however, is matter
for serious consideration and for future consultation, in which your
voice shall have its rightful influence...."

Mr. Murray was under the necessity of postponing his visit to France. He
went to Brighton instead, and spent a few pleasant days with Mr.
D'Israeli and his friends.

On September 24 Mr. Murray, having returned to London, informed his
wife, still at Edinburgh, of an extraordinary piece of news.

_John Murray to Mrs. Murray_.

"I was much surprised to learn from Dallas, whom I accidentally met
yesterday, that Lord Byron was expected in town every hour. I
accordingly left my card at his house, with a notice that I would attend
him as soon as he pleased; and it pleased him to summon my attendance
about seven in the evening. He had come to town on business, and
regretted that he would not be at Newstead until a fortnight, as he
wished to have seen me there on my way to Scotland. Says he, 'Can you
keep a secret?' 'Certainly--positively--my wife's out of town!' 'Then--I
am going to be MARRIED!' 'The devil! I shall have no poem this winter
then?' 'No.' 'Who is the lady who is to do me this injury?' 'Miss
Milbanke--do you know her?' 'No, my lord.'

"So here is news for you! I fancy the lady is rich, noble, and
beautiful; but this shall be my day's business to enquire about. Oh!
how he did curse poor Lady C---- as the fiend who had interrupted all
his projects, and who would do so now if possible. I think he hinted
that she had managed to interrupt this connexion two years ago. He
thought she was abroad, and, to his torment and astonishment, he finds
her not only in England, but in London. He says he has written some
small poems which his friends think beautiful, particularly one of eight
lines, his very best--all of which, I believe, I am to have; and,
moreover, he gives me permission to publish the octavo edition of 'Lara'
with his name, which secures, I think, £700 to you and me. So Scott's
poem is announced ['Lord of the Isles'], and I am cut out. I wish I had
been in Scotland six weeks ago, and I might have come in for a share.
Should I apply for one to him, it would oblige me to be a partner with
Constable, who is desperately in want of money. He has applied to Cadell
& Davies (the latter told me in confidence) and they refused."

At the beginning of October Mr. Murray set out for Edinburgh, journeying
by Nottingham for the purpose of visiting Newstead Abbey.

The following is Mr. Murray's account of his visit to Newstead. His
letter is dated Matlock, October 5, 1814:

"I got to Newstead about 11 o'clock yesterday and found the steward, my
namesake, and the butler waiting for me. The first, who is good-looking
and a respectable old man of about sixty-five years, showed me over the
house and grounds, which occupied two hours, for I was anxious to
examine everything. But never was I more disappointed, for my notions, I
suppose, had been raised to the romantic. I had surmised the possibly
easy restoration of this once famous abbey, the mere skeleton of which
is now fast crumbling to ruin. Lord Byron's immediate predecessor
stripped the whole place of all that was splendid and interesting; and
you may judge of what he must have done to the mansion when inform you
that he converted the ground, which used to be covered with the finest
trees, like a forest, into an absolute desert. Not a tree is left
standing, and the wood thus shamefully cut down was sold in one day for
£60,000. The hall of entrance has about eighteen large niches, which had
been filled with statues, and the side walls covered with family
portraits and armour. All these have been mercilessly torn down, as well
as the magnificent fireplace, and sold. All the beautiful paintings
which filled the galleries--valued at that day at £80,000--have
disappeared, and the whole place is crumbling into dust. No sum short of
£100,000 would make the place habitable. Lord Byron's few apartments
contain some modern upholstery, but serve only to show what ought to
have been there. They are now digging round the cloisters for a
traditionary cannon, and in their progress, about five days ago, they
discovered a corpse in too decayed a state to admit of removal. I saw
the drinking-skull [Footnote: When the father of the present Mr. Murray
was a student in Edinburgh, he wrote to his father (April 10,1827): "I
saw yesterday at a jeweller's shop in Edinburgh a great curiosity, no
less than Lord Byron's skull cup, upon which he wrote the poem. It is
for sale; the owner, whose name I could not learn (it appears he does
not wish it known), wants £200 for it."] and the marble mausoleum erected
over Lord Byron's dog. I came away with my heart aching and full of
melancholy reflections--producing a lowness of spirits which I did not
get the better of until this morning, when the most enchanting scenery I
have ever beheld has at length restored me. I am far more surprised that
Lord Byron should ever have lived at Newstead, than that he should be
inclined to part with it; for, as there is no possibility of his being
able, by any reasonable amount of expense, to reinstate it, the place
can present nothing but a perpetual memorial of the wickedness of his
ancestors. There are three, or at most four, domestics at board wages.
All that I was asked to taste was a piece of bread-and-butter. As my
foot was on the step of the chaise, when about to enter it, I was
informed that his lordship had ordered that I should take as much game
as I liked. What makes the steward, Joe Murray, an interesting object to
me, is that the old man has seen the abbey in all its vicissitudes of
greatness and degradation. Once it was full of unbounded hospitality and
splendour, and now it is simply miserable. If this man has feelings--of
which, by the way, he betrays no symptom--he would possibly be miserable
himself. He has seen three hundred of the first people in the county
filling the gallery, and seen five hundred deer disporting themselves in
the beautiful park, now covered with stunted offshoots of felled trees.
Again I say it gave me the heartache to witness all this ruin, and I
regret that my romantic picture has been destroyed by the reality."

Among the friends that welcomed Mr. Murray to Edinburgh was Mr. William
Blackwood, who then, and for a long time after, was closely connected
with him in his business transactions. Blackwood was a native of
Edinburgh; having served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Bell &
Bradfute, booksellers, he was selected by Mundell & Company to take
charge of a branch of their extensive publishing business in Glasgow. He
returned to Edinburgh, and again entered the service of Bell et
Bradfute; but after a time went to London to master the secrets of the
old book trade under the well-known Mr. Cuthill. Returning to Edinburgh,
he set up for himself in 1804, at the age of twenty-eight, at a shop in
South Bridge Street--confining himself, for the most part, to old books.
He was a man of great energy and decision of character, and his early
education enabled him to conduct his correspondence with a remarkable
degree of precision and accuracy. Mr. Murray seems to have done business
with him as far back as June 1807, and was in the habit of calling upon
Blackwood, who was about his own age, whenever he visited Edinburgh. The
two became intimate, and corresponded frequently; and at last, when
Murray withdrew from the Ballantynes, in August 1810 he transferred the
whole of his Scottish agency to the house of William Blackwood. In
return for the publishing business sent to him from London, Blackwood
made Murray his agent for any new works published by him in Edinburgh.
In this way Murray became the London publisher for Hogg's new poems, and
"The Queen's Wake," which had reached its fourth edition.

Mr. Murray paid at this time another visit to Abbotsford. Towards the
end of 1814 Scott had surrounded the original farmhouse with a number of
buildings--kitchen, laundry, and spare bedrooms--and was able to
entertain company. He received Murray with great cordiality, and made
many enquiries as to Lord Byron, to whom Murray wrote on his return to

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

"Walter Scott commissioned me to be the bearer of his warmest greetings
to you. His house was full the day I passed with him; and yet, both in
corners and at the surrounded table, he talked incessantly of you.
Unwilling that I should part without bearing some mark of his love (a
poet's love) for you, he gave me a superb Turkish dagger to present to
you, as the only remembrance which, at the moment, he could think of to
offer you. He was greatly pleased with the engraving of your portrait,
which I recollected to carry with me; and during the whole dinner--when
all were admiring the taste with which Scott had fitted up a sort of
Gothic cottage--he expressed his anxious wishes that you might honour
him with a visit, which I ventured to assure him you would feel no less
happy than certain in effecting when you should go to Scotland; and I am
sure he would hail your lordship as 'a very brother.'"

After all his visits had been paid, and he had made his arrangements
with his printers and publishers, Mr. Murray returned to London with his
wife and family. Shortly after his arrival he received a letter from Mr.

_Mr. Wm. Blackwood to John Murray_.

_November 8_, 1814.

"I was much gratified by your letter informing me of your safe arrival.
How much you must be overwhelmed just now, and your mind distracted by
so many calls upon your attention at once. I hope that you are now in
one of your best frames of mind, by which you are enabled, as you have
told me, to go through, with more satisfaction to yourself, ten times
the business you can do at other times. While you are so occupied with
your great concerns, I feel doubly obliged to you for your remembrance
of my small matters."

After referring to his illness, he proceeds:

"Do not reflect upon your visit to the bard (Walter Scott). You would
have blamed yourself much more if you had not gone. The advance was made
by him through Ballantyne, and you only did what was open and candid. We
shall be at the bottom of these peoples' views by-and-bye; at present I
confess I only see very darkly--but let us have patience; a little time
will develop all these mysteries. I have not seen Ballantyne since, and
when I do see him I shall say very little indeed. If there really is a
disappointment in not being connected with Scott's new poem, you should
feel it much less than any man living--having such a poet as Lord

Although Murray failed to obtain an interest in "The Lady of the Lake,"
he was offered and accepted, at Scott's desire, a share in a new edition
of "Don Roderick."



During Mrs. Murray's absence in Edinburgh, the dwelling-house at 50,
Albemarle Street was made over to the carpenters, painters, and house
decorators. "I hope," said Mr. Murray to his wife, "to leave the
drawing-room entirely at your ladyship's exclusive command." But the
drawing-room was used for other purposes than the reception of ordinary
visitors. It became for some time the centre of literary friendship and
intercommunication at the West End. In those days there was no Athenaeum
Club for the association of gentlemen known for their literary,
artistic, or scientific attainments. That institution was only
established in 1823, through the instrumentality of Croker, Lawrence,
Chantrey, Sir Humphry Davy, and their friends. Until then, Murray's
drawing-room was the main centre of literary intercourse in that quarter
of London. Men of distinction, from the Continent and America, presented
their letters of introduction to Mr. Murray, and were cordially and
hospitably entertained by him; meeting, in the course of their visits,
many distinguished and notable personages.

In these rooms, early in 1815, young George Ticknor, from Boston, in
America, then only twenty-three, met Moore, Campbell, D'Israeli,
Gifford, Humphry Davy, and others. He thus records his impressions of

"Among other persons, I brought letters to Gifford, the satirist, but
never saw him till yesterday. Never was I so mistaken in my
anticipations. Instead of a tall and handsome man, as I had supposed him
from his picture--a man of severe and bitter remarks in conversation,
such as I had good reason to believe him from his books, I found him a
short, deformed, and ugly little man, with a large head sunk between
his shoulders, and one of his eyes turned outward, but withal, one of
the best-natured, most open and well-bred gentlemen I have ever met. He
is editor of the _Quarterly Review_, and was not a little surprised and
pleased to hear that it was reprinted with us, which I told him, with an
indirect allusion to the review of 'Inchiquen's United States.'.... He
carried me to a handsome room over Murray's book-store, which he has
fitted up as a sort of literary lounge, where authors resort to read
newspapers, and talk literary gossip. I found there Elmsley, Hallam,
Lord Byron's 'Classic Hallam, much renowned for Greek,' now as famous as
being one of his lordship's friends, Boswell, a son of Johnson's
biographer, etc., so that I finished a long forenoon very pleasantly."
[Footnote: "Life, Letters, and Journal of George Ticknor," i. 48.]

The following letter and Ticknor's reference to Gifford only confirm the
testimony of all who knew him that in private life the redoubtable
editor and severe critic was an amiable and affectionate man.

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_,

JAMES STREET, _October_ 20, 1814.


What can I say in return for your interesting and amusing letter? I live
here quite alone, and see nobody, so that I have not a word of news for
you. I delight in your visit to Scotland, which I am sure would turn to
good, and which I hope you will, as you say, periodically repeat. It
makes me quite happy to find you beating up for recruits, and most
ardently do I wish you success. Mention me kindly to Scott, and tell him
how much I long to renew our wonted acquaintance. Southey's article is,
I think, excellent. I have softened matters a little. Barrow is hard at
work on Flinders [_Q. R_. 23]. I have still a most melancholy house. My
poor housekeeper is going fast. Nothing can save her, and I lend all my
care to soften her declining days. She has a physician every second day,
and takes a world of medicines, more for their profit than her own, poor
thing. She lives on fruit, grapes principally, and a little game, which
is the only food she can digest. Guess at my expenses; but I owe in some
measure the extension of my feeble life to her care through a long
succession of years, and I would cheerfully divide my last farthing with
her. I will not trouble you again on this subject, which is a mere
concern of my own; but you have been very kind to her, and she is
sensible of it."

With respect to this worthy woman, it may be added that she died on
February 6, 1815, carefully waited on to the last by her affectionate
master. She was buried in South Audley Churchyard, where Gifford erected
a tomb over her, and placed on it a very touching epitaph, concluding
with these words: "Her deeply-affected master erected this stone to her
memory, as a faithful testimony of her uncommon worth, and of his
gratitude, respect, and affection for her long and meritorious
services." [Footnote: It will serve to connect the narrative with one of
the famous literary quarrels of the day, if we remind the reader that
Hazlitt published a cruel and libellous pamphlet in 1819, entitled "A
Letter to William Gifford," in which he hinted that some improper
connection had subsisted between himself and his "frail memorial."
Hazlitt wrote this pamphlet because of a criticism on the "Round Table"
in the _Quarterly_, which Gifford did not write, and of a criticism of
Hunt's "Rimini," published by Mr. Murray, which was also the work of
another writer. But Gifford never took any notice of these libellous
attacks upon him. He held that secrecy between himself and the
contributors to the _Quarterly_ was absolutely necessary. Hazlitt, in
the above pamphlet, also attacks Murray, Croker, Canning, Southey, and
others whom he supposed to be connected with the _Review_.]

Murray's own description of his famous drawing-room may also be given,
from a letter to a relative:

"I have lately ventured on the bold step of quitting the old
establishment to which I have been so long attached, and have moved to
one of the best, in every respect, that is known in my business, where I
have succeeded in a manner the most complete and flattering. My house is
excellent; and I transact all the departments of my business in an
elegant library, which my drawing-room becomes during the morning; and
there I am in the habit of seeing persons of the highest rank in
literature and talent, such as Canning, Frere, Mackintosh, Southey,
Campbell, Walter Scott, Madame de Staël, Gifford, Croker, Barrow, Lord
Byron, and others; thus leading the most delightful life, with means of
prosecuting my business with the highest honour and emolument."

It was in Murray's drawing-room that Walter Scott and Lord Byron first
met. They had already had some friendly intercourse by letter and had
exchanged gifts, but in the early part of 1815 Scott was summoned to
London on matters connected with his works. Mr. Murray wrote to Lord
Byron on April 7:

"Walter Scott has this moment arrived, and will call to-day between
three and four, for the chance of having the pleasure of seeing you
before he sets out for Scotland. I will show you a beautiful caricature
of Buonaparte."

Lord Byron called at the hour appointed, and was at once introduced to
Mr. Scott, who was in waiting. They greeted each other in the most
affectionate manner, and entered into a cordial conversation. How
greatly Mr. Murray was gratified by a meeting which he had taken such
pains to bring about, is shown by the following memorandum carefully
preserved by him:

"1815. _Friday, April_ 7.--This day Lord Byron and Walter Scott met for
the first time and were introduced by me to each other. They conversed
together for nearly two hours. There were present, at different times,
Mr. William Gifford, James Boswell (son of the biographer of Johnson),
William Sotheby, Robert Wilmot, Richard Heber, and Mr. Dusgate."

Mr. Murray's son--then John Murray, Junior--gives his recollections as

"I can recollect seeing Lord Byron in Albemarle Street. So far as I can
remember, he appeared to me rather a short man, with a handsome
countenance, remarkable for the fine blue veins which ran over his pale,
marble temples. He wore many rings on his fingers, and a brooch in his
shirt-front, which was embroidered. When he called, he used to be
dressed in a black dress-coat (as we should now call it), with grey, and
sometimes nankeen trousers, his shirt open at the neck. Lord Byron's
deformity in his foot was very evident, especially as he walked
downstairs. He carried a stick. After Scott and he had ended their
conversation in the drawing-room, it was a curious sight to see the two
greatest poets of the age--both lame--stumping downstairs side by side.
They continued to meet in Albemarle Street nearly every day, and
remained together for two or three hours at a time. Lord Byron dined
several times at Albemarle Street, On one of these occasions, he met Sir
John Malcolm--a most agreeable and accomplished man--who was all the
more interesting to Lord Byron, because of his intimate knowledge of
Persia and India. After dinner, Sir John observed to Lord Byron, how
much gratified he had been to meet him, and how surprised he was to find
him so full of gaiety and entertaining conversation. Byron replied,
'Perhaps you see me now at my best.' Sometimes, though not often, Lord
Byron read passages from his poems to my father. His voice and manner
were very impressive. His voice, in the deeper tones, bore some
resemblance to that of Mrs. Siddons."

Shortly before this first interview between Scott and Byron the news had
arrived that Bonaparte had escaped from Elba, and landed at Cannes on
March 1, 1815.

A few days before--indeed on the day the battle was fought--Blackwood
gave great praise to the new number of the _Quarterly_, containing the
contrast of Bonaparte and Wellington. It happened that Southey wrote the
article in No. 25, on the "Life and Achievements of Lord Wellington," in
order to influence public opinion as much as possible, and to encourage
the hearts of men throughout the country for the great contest about to
take place in the Low Countries. About the same time Sir James
Mackintosh had written an able and elaborate article for the
_Edinburgh_, to show that the war ought to have been avoided, and that
the consequences to England could only be unfortunate and inglorious.
The number was actually printed, stitched, and ready for distribution in
June; but it was thought better to wait a little, for fear of accidents,
and especially for the purpose of using it instantly after the first
reverse should occur, and thus to give it the force of prophecy. The
Battle of Waterloo came like a thunderclap. The article was suppressed,
and one on "Gall and his Craniology" substituted. "I think," says
Ticknor, "Southey said he had seen the repudiated article." [Footnote:
"Life, Letters, and Journals of George Ticknor "(2nd ed.), i. p. 41.]

Lord Byron did not write another "Ode on Napoleon." He was altogether
disappointed in his expectations. Nevertheless, he still, like Hazlitt,
admired Napoleon, and hated Wellington. When he heard of the result of
the Battle of Waterloo, and that Bonaparte was in full retreat upon
Paris, he said, "I'm d----d sorry for it!"

Mr. Murray, about this time, began to adorn his dining-room with
portraits of the distinguished men who met at his table. His portraits
include those of Gifford, [Footnote: This portrait was not painted for
Mr. Murray, but was purchased by him.] by Hoppner, R.A.; Byron and
Southey, by Phillips; Scott and Washington Irving, by Stewart Newton;
Croker, by Eddis, after Lawrence; Coleridge, Crabbe, Mrs. Somerville,
Hallam, T. Moore, Lockhart, and others. In April 1815 we find Thomas
Phillips, afterwards R.A., in communication with Mr. Murray, offering to
paint for him a series of Kit-cat size at eighty guineas each, and in
course of time his pictures, together with those of John Jackson, R.A.,
formed a most interesting gallery of the great literary men of the
time, men and women of science, essayists, critics, Arctic voyagers, and
discoverers in the regions of Central Africa.

Byron and Southey were asked to sit for their portraits to Phillips.
Though Byron was willing, and even thought it an honour, Southey
pretended to grumble. To Miss Barker he wrote (November 9, 1815):

"Here, in London, I can find time for nothing; and, to make things
worse, the Devil, who owes me an old grudge, has made me sit to Phillips
for a picture for Murray. I have in my time been tormented in this
manner so often, and to such little purpose, that I am half tempted to
suppose the Devil was the inventor of portrait painting."

Meanwhile Mr. Murray was again in treaty for a share in a further work
by Walter Scott. No sooner was the campaign of 1815 over, than a host of
tourists visited France and the Low Countries, and amongst them Murray
succeeded in making his long-intended trip to Paris, and Scott set out
to visit the battlefields in Belgium. Before departing, Scott made an
arrangement with John Ballantyne to publish the results of his travels,
and he authorized him to offer the work to Murray, Constable, and the
Longmans, in equal shares.

In 1815 a very remarkable collection of documents was offered to Mr.
Murray for purchase and publication. They were in the possession of one
of Napoleon's generals, a friend of Miss Waldie. [Footnote: Afterwards
Mrs. Eaton, author of "Letters from Italy."] The collection consisted of
the personal correspondence of Bonaparte, when in the height of his
power, with all the crowned heads and leading personages of Europe, upon
subjects so strictly confidential that they had not even been
communicated to their own ministers or private secretaries. They were
consequently all written by their own hands.

As regards the contents of these letters, Mr. Murray had to depend upon
his memory, after making a hurried perusal of them. He was not allowed
to copy any of them, but merely took a rough list. No record was kept of
the dates. Among them was a letter from the King of Bavaria, urging his
claims as a true and faithful ally, and claiming for his reward the
dominion of Wurtemberg.

There were several letters from the Prussian Royal family, including
one from the King, insinuating that by the cession of Hanover to him his
territorial frontier would be rendered more secure. The Emperor Paul, in
a letter written on a small scrap of paper, proposed to transfer his
whole army to Napoleon, to be employed in turning the English out of
India, provided he would prevent them passing the Gut and enclosing the

The Empress of Austria wrote an apology for the uncultivated state of
mind of her daughter, Marie Louise, about to become Napoleon's bride;
but added that her imperfect education presented the advantage of
allowing Napoleon to mould her opinions and principles in accordance
with his own views and wishes.

This correspondence would probably have met with an immense sale, but
Mr. Murray entertained doubts as to the propriety of publishing
documents so confidential, and declined to purchase them for the sum
proposed. The next day, after his refusal, he ascertained that Prince
Lieven had given, on behalf of his government, not less than £10,000 for
the letters emanating from the Court of Russia alone. Thus the public
missed the perusal of an important series of international scandals.

In December 1815 Mr. Murray published "Emma" for Miss Jane Austen, and
so connected his name with another English classic. Miss Austen's first
novel had been "Northanger Abbey." It remained long in manuscript, and
eventually she had succeeded in selling it to a bookseller at Bath for
£10. He had not the courage to publish it, and after it had remained in
his possession for some years, Miss Austen bought it back for the same
money he had paid for it. She next wrote "Sense and Sensibility," and
"Pride and Prejudice." The latter book was summarily rejected by Mr.
Cadell. At length these two books were published anonymously by Mr.
Egerton, and though they did not make a sensation, they gradually
attracted attention and obtained admirers. No one could be more
surprised than the authoress, when she received no less than £150 from
the profits of her first published work--"Sense and Sensibility."

When Miss Austen had finished "Emma," she put herself in communication
with Mr. Murray, who read her "Pride and Prejudice," and sent it to
Gifford. Gifford replied as follows:

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_.

"I have for the first time looked into 'Pride and Prejudice'; and it is
really a very pretty thing. No dark passages; no secret chambers; no
wind-howlings in long galleries; no drops of blood upon a rusty
dagger--things that should now be left to ladies' maids and sentimental

In a later letter he said:

_September_ 29, 1815.

"I have read 'Pride and Prejudice' _again_--'tis very good--wretchedly
printed, and so pointed as to be almost unintelligible. Make no apology
for sending me anything to read or revise. I am always happy to do
either, in the thought that it may be useful to you.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Of 'Emma,' I have nothing but good to say. I was sure of the writer
before you mentioned her. The MS., though plainly written, has yet some,
indeed many little omissions; and an expression may now and then be
amended in passing through the press. I will readily undertake the

Miss Austen's two other novels, "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion,"
were also published by Murray, but did not appear until after her death
in 1818. The profits of the four novels which had been published before
her death did not amount to more than seven hundred pounds.

Mr. Murray also published the works of Mr. Malthus on "Rent," the "Corn
Laws," and the "Essay on Population." His pamphlet on Rent appeared in
March 1815.

Murray's correspondence with Scott continued. On December 25, 1815, he

"I was about to tell you that Croker was so pleased with the idea of a
Caledonian article from you, that he could not refrain from mentioning
it to the Prince Regent, who is very fond of the subject, and he said he
would be delighted, and is really anxious about it. Now, it occurs to
me, as our _Edinburgh_ friends choose on many occasions to bring in the
Prince's name to abuse it, this might offer an equally fair opportunity
of giving him that praise which is so justly due to his knowledge of the
history of his country....

"I was with Lord Byron yesterday. He enquired after you, and bid me say
how much he was indebted to your introduction of your poor Irish friend
Maturin, who had sent him a tragedy, which Lord Byron received late in
the evening, and read through, without being able to stop. He was so
delighted with it that he sent it immediately to his fellow-manager, the
Hon. George Lamb, who, late as it came to him, could not go to bed
without finishing it. The result is that they have laid it before the
rest of the Committee; they, or rather Lord Byron, feels it his duty to
the author to offer it himself to the managers of Covent Garden. The
poor fellow says in his letter that his hope of subsistence for his
family for the next year rests upon what he can get for this play. I
expressed a desire of doing something, and Lord Byron then confessed
that he had sent him fifty guineas. I shall write to him tomorrow, and I
think if you could draw some case for him and exhibit his merits,
particularly if his play succeeds, I could induce Croker and Peel to
interest themselves in his behalf, and get him a living.

".... Have you any fancy to dash off an article on 'Emma'? It wants
incident and romance, does it not? None of the author's other novels
have been noticed, and surely 'Pride and Prejudice' merits high

Scott immediately complied with Murray's request. He did "dash off an
article on 'Emma,'" which appeared in No. 27 of the _Quarterly_. In
enclosing his article to Murray, Scott wrote as follows:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

_January_ 19, 1816.

Dear Sir,

Enclosed is the article upon "Emma." I have been spending my holidays in
the country, where, besides constant labour in the fields during all the
hours of daylight, the want of books has prevented my completing the
Highland article. (The "Culloden Papers," which appeared in next
number.) It will be off, however, by Tuesday's post, as I must take
Sunday and Monday into the account of finishing it. It will be quite
unnecessary to send proofs of "Emma," as Mr. Gifford will correct all
obvious errors, and abridge it where necessary.

_January_, 25, 1816.

"My article is so long that I fancy you will think yourself in the
condition of the conjuror, who after having a great deal of trouble in
raising the devil, could not get rid of him after he had once made his
appearance. But the Highlands is an immense field, and it would have
been much more easy for me to have made a sketch twice as long than to
make it shorter. There still wants eight or nine pages, which you will
receive by tomorrow's or next day's post; but I fancy you will be glad
to get on."

The article on the "Culloden Papers," which occupied fifty pages of the
_Review_ (No. 28), described the clans of the Highlands, their number,
manners, and habits; and gave a summary history of the Rebellion of '45.
It was graphically and vigorously written, and is considered one of
Scott's best essays.



Scott's "poor Irish friend Maturin," referred to in the previous
chapter, was a young Irish clergyman, who was under the necessity of
depending upon his brains and pen for the maintenance of his family.
Charles Maturin, after completing his course of education at Trinity
College, married Miss Harriet Kinsburg. His family grew, but not his
income. He took orders, and obtained the curacy of St. Peter's Church,
Dublin, but owing to his father's affairs having become embarrassed, he
was compelled to open a boarding-school, with the view of assisting the
family. Unfortunately, he became bound for a friend, who deceived him,
and eventually he was obliged to sacrifice his interest in the school.
Being thus driven to extremities, he tried to live by literature, and
produced "The Fatal Revenge; or, the Family of Montorio," the first of a
series of romances, in which he outdid Mrs. Radcliffe and Monk Lewis.
"The Fatal Revenge" was followed by "The Wild Irish Boy," for which
Colburn gave him £80, and "The Milesian Chief," all full of horrors and
misty grandeur. These works did not bring him in much money; but, in
1815, he determined to win the height of dramatic fame in his "Bertram;
or, the Castle of St. Aldebrand," a tragedy. He submitted the drama to
Walter Scott, as from an "obscure Irishman," telling him of his
sufferings as an author and the father of a family, and imploring his
kind opinion. Scott replied in the most friendly manner, gave him much
good advice, spoke of the work as "grand and powerful, the characters
being sketched with masterly enthusiasm"; and, what was practically
better, sent him £50 as a token of his esteem and sympathy, and as a
temporary stop-gap until better times came round. He moreover called the
attention of Lord Byron, then on the Committee of Management of Drury
Lane Theatre, to the play, and his Lordship strongly recommended a
performance of it. Thanks to the splendid acting of Kean, it succeeded,
and Maturin realized about £1,000.

"Bertram" was published by Murray, a circumstance which brought him into
frequent communication with the unfortunate Maturin. The latter offered
more plays, more novels, and many articles for the _Quarterly_. With
reference to one of his articles--a review of Sheil's "Apostate"
--Gifford said, "A more potatoe-headed arrangement, or rather
derangement, I have never seen. I have endeavoured to bring some order
out of the chaos. There is a sort of wild eloquence in it that makes it
worth preserving."

Maturin continued to press his literary work on Murray, who however,
though he relieved him by the gift of several large sums of money,
declined all further offers of publication save the tragedy of "Manuel."

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_March_ 15, 1817.

"Maturin's new tragedy, 'Manuel,' appeared on Saturday last, and I am
sorry to say that the opinion of Mr. Gifford was established by the
impression made on the audience. The first act very fine, the rest
exhibiting a want of judgment not to be endured. It was brought out with
uncommon splendour, and was well acted. Kean's character as an old
man--a warrior--was new and well sustained, for he had, of course,
selected it, and professed to be--and he acted as if he were--really
pleased with it.... I have undertaken to print the tragedy at my own
expense, and to give the poor Author the whole of the profit."

In 1824 Maturin died, in Dublin, in extreme poverty.

The following correspondence introduces another great name in English
literature. It is not improbable that it was Southey who suggested to
Murray the employment of his brother-in-law, Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
from his thorough knowledge of German, as the translator of Goethe's
"Faust." The following is Mr. Coleridge's first letter to Murray:

_Mr. Coleridge to John Murray_.

JOSIAH WADE'S, Esq., 2, QUEEN'S SQUARE, BRISTOL. _[August_ 23, 1814.]

Dear Sir,

I have heard, from my friend Mr. Charles Lamb, writing by desire of Mr.
Robinson, that you wish to have the justly-celebrated "Faust" of Goethe
translated, and that some one or other of my partial friends have
induced you to consider me as the man most likely to execute the work
adequately, those excepted, of course, whose higher power (established
by the solid and satisfactory ordeal of the wide and rapid sale of their
works) it might seem profanation to employ in any other manner than in
the development of their own intellectual organization. I return my
thanks to the recommender, whoever he be, and no less to you for your
flattering faith in the recommendation; and thinking, as I do, that
among many volumes of praiseworthy German poems, the "Louisa" of Voss,
and the "Faust" of Goethe, are the two, if not the only ones, that are
emphatically _original_ in their conception, and characteristic of a new
and peculiar sort of thinking and imagining, I should not be averse from
exerting my best efforts in an attempt to import whatever is importable
of either or of both into our own language.

But let me not be suspected of a presumption of which I am not
consciously guilty, if I say that I feel two difficulties; one arising
from long disuse of versification, added to what I know, better than the
most hostile critic could inform me, of my comparative weakness; and the
other, that _any_ work in Poetry strikes me with more than common awe,
as proposed for realization by myself, because from long habits of
meditation on language, as the symbolic medium of the connection of
Thought with Thought, and of Thoughts as affected and modified by
Passion and Emotion, I should spend days in avoiding what I deemed
faults, though with the full preknowledge that their admission would not
have offended perhaps three of all my readers, and might be deemed
Beauties by 300--if so many there were; and this not out of any respect
for the Public (_i.e._ the persons who might happen to purchase and look
over the Book), but from a hobby-horsical, superstitious regard to my
own feelings and sense of Duty. Language is the sacred Fire in this
Temple of Humanity, and the Muses are its especial and vestal
Priestesses. Though I cannot prevent the vile drugs and counterfeit
Frankincense, which render its flame at once pitchy, glowing, and
unsteady, I would yet be no voluntary accomplice in the Sacrilege. With
the commencement of a PUBLIC, commences the degradation of the GOOD and
the BEAUTIFUL--both fade and retire before the accidentally AGREEABLE.
"Othello" becomes a hollow lip-worship; and the "CASTLE SPECTRE," or any
more recent thing of Froth, Noise, and Impermanence, that may have
overbillowed it on the restless sea of curiosity, is the _true_ Prayer
of Praise and Admiration.

I thought it right to state to you these opinions of mine, that you
might know that I think the Translation of the "Faust" a task demanding
(from _me_, I mean), no ordinary efforts--and why? This--that it is
painful, very painful, and even odious to me, to attempt anything of a
literary nature, with any motive of _pecuniary_ advantage; but that I
bow to the all-wise Providence, which has made me a _poor_ man, and
therefore compelled me by other duties inspiring feelings, to bring
_even my Intellect to the Market_. And the finale is this. I should like
to attempt the Translation. If you will mention your terms, at once and
irrevocably (for I am an idiot at bargaining, and shrink from the very
thought), I will return an answer by the next Post, whether in my
present circumstances, I can or cannot undertake it. If I do, I will do
it immediately; but I must have all Goethe's works, which I cannot
procure in Bristol; for to give the "Faust" without a preliminary
critical Essay would be worse than nothing, as far as regards the
PUBLIC. If you were to ask me as a Friend, whether I think it would suit
_the General Taste_, I should reply that I cannot calculate on caprice
and accident (for instance, some fashionable man or review happening to
take it up favourably), but that otherwise my fears would be stronger
than my hopes. Men of genius will admire it, of necessity. Those most,
who think deepest and most imaginatively. The "Louisa" would delight
_all_ of good hearts.

I remain, dear Sir, With due respect, S.T. COLERIDGE.

To this letter Mr. Murray replied as follows:

_John Murray to Mr. Coleridge_.

_August_ 29, 1814.

Dear Sir,

I feel greatly obliged by the favour of your attention to the request
which I had solicited our friend Mr. Robinson to make to you for the
translation of Goethe's extraordinary drama of "Faust," which I suspect
that no one could do justice to besides yourself. It will be the first
attempt to render into classical English a German work of peculiar but
certainly of unquestionable Genius; and you must allow that its effects
upon the public must be doubtful. I am desirous however of making the
experiment, and this I would not do under a less skilful agent than the
one to whom I have applied. I am no less anxious that you should
receive, as far as I think the thing can admit, a fair remuneration; and
trusting that you will not undertake it unless you feel disposed to
execute the labour perfectly _con amore_, and in a style of
versification equal to "Remorse," I venture to propose to you the sum of
One Hundred Pounds for the Translation and the preliminary Analysis,
with such passages translated as you may judge proper of the works of
Goethe, with a copy of which I will have the pleasure of supplying you
as soon as I have your final determination. The sum which I mention
shall be paid to you in two months from the day on which you place the
complete Translation and Analysis in my hands; this will allow a
reasonable time for your previous correction of the sheets through the
press. I shall be glad to hear from you by return of Post, if
convenient, as I propose to set out this week for the Continent. If this
work succeeds, I am in hopes that it will lead to many similar

With sincere esteem, I am, dear Sir, Your faithful Servant, J. Murray

I should hope that it might not prove inconvenient to you to complete
the whole for Press in the course of November next.

Mr. Coleridge replied as follows, from the same address:

_Mr. Coleridge to John Murray_.

_August_ 31, 1814.

Dear Sir,

I have received your letter. Considering the necessary labour, and (from
the questionable nature of the original work, both as to its fair claims
to Fame--the diction of the good and wise according to unchanging
principles--and as to its chance for Reputation, as an accidental result
of local and temporary taste), the risk of character on the part of the
Translator, who will assuredly have to answer for any disappointment of
the reader, the terms proposed are humiliatingly low; yet such as, under
modifications, I accede to. I have received testimonials from men not
merely of genius according to my belief, but of the highest accredited
reputation, that my translation of "Wallenstein" was in language and in
metre superior to the original, and the parts most admired were
substitutions of my own, on a principle of compensation. Yet the whole
work went for waste-paper. I was abused--nay, my own remarks in the
Preface were transferred to a Review, as the Reviewer's sentiments
_against_ me, without even a hint that he had copied them from my own
Preface. Such was the fate of "Wallenstein"! And yet I dare appeal to
any number of men of Genius--say, for instance, Mr. W. Scott, Mr.
Southey, Mr. Wordsworth, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Sotheby, Sir G. Beaumont, etc.,
whether the "Wallenstein" with all its defects (and it has grievous
defects), is not worth all Schiller's other plays put together. But I
wonder not. It was _too_ good, and not good enough; and the advice of
the younger Pliny: "Aim at pleasing either _all_, or _the few,"_ is as
prudentially good as it is philosophically accurate. I wrote to Mr.
Longman before the work was published, and foretold its fate, even to a
detailed accuracy, and advised him to put up with the loss from the
purchase of the MSS and of the Translation, as a much less evil than the
publication. I went so far as to declare that its success was, in the
state of public Taste, impossible; that the enthusiastic admirers of
"The Robbers," "Cabal and Love," etc., would lay the blame on me; and
that he himself would suspect that if he had only lit on _another_
Translator then, etc. Everything took place as I had foretold, even his
own feelings--so little do Prophets gain from the fulfilment of their

On the other hand, though I know that executed as alone I can or dare do
it--that is, to the utmost of my power (for which the intolerable Pain,
nay the far greater Toil and Effort of doing otherwise, is a far safer
Pledge than any solicitude on my part concerning the approbation of the
PUBLIC), the translation of so very difficult a work as the "Faustus,"
will be most inadequately remunerated by the terms you propose; yet they
very probably are the highest it may be worth your while to offer to
_me_. I say this as a philosopher; for, though I have now been much
talked of, and written of, for evil and not for good, but for suspected
capability, yet none of my works have ever sold. The "Wallenstein" went
to the waste. The "Remorse," though acted twenty times, rests quietly on
the shelves in the second edition, with copies enough for seven years'
consumption, or seven times seven. I lost £200 by the non-payment, from
forgetfulness, and under various pretences, by "The Friend"; [Footnote:
Twenty-seven numbers of _The Friend_ were published by Coleridge at
Penrith in Cumberland in 1809-10, but the periodical proved a failure,
principally from the irregularity of its appearance. It was about this
time that he was addicted to opium-eating.] and for my poems I _did_ get
from £10 to £15. And yet, forsooth, the _Quarterly Review_ attacks me
for neglecting and misusing my powers! I do not quarrel with the
Public--all is as it must be--but surely the Public (if there be such a
Person) has no right to quarrel with _me_ for not getting into jail by
publishing what they will not read!

The "Faust," you perhaps know, is only a _Fragment_. Whether Goethe ever
will finish it, or whether it is ever his object to do so, is quite
unknown. A large proportion of the work cannot be rendered in blank
verse, but must be given in wild _lyrical_ metres; and Mr. Lamb informs
me that the Baroness de Staël has given a very unfavourable account of
the work. Still, however, I will undertake it, and that instantly, so as
to let you have the last sheet by the middle of November, on the
following terms:

1. That on the delivery of the last MS. sheet you remit 100 guineas to
Mrs. Coleridge, or Mr. Robert Southey, at a bill of five weeks. 2. That
I, or my widow or family, may, any time after two years from the first
publication, have the privilege of reprinting it in any collection of
all my poetical writings, or of my works in general, which set off with
a Life of me, might perhaps be made profitable to my widow. And 3rd,
that if (as I long ago meditated) I should re-model the whole, give it a
finale, and be able to bring it, thus re-written and re-cast, on the
stage, it shall not be considered as a breach of the engagement between
us, I on my part promising that you shall, for an equitable
consideration, have the copy of this new work, either as a separate
work, or forming a part of the same volume or both, as circumstances may
dictate to you. When I say that I am confident that in this _possible_
and not probable case, I should not repeat or retain one fifth of the
original, you will perceive that I consult only my dread of appearing
to act amiss, as it would be even more easy to compose the whole anew.

If these terms suit you I will commence the Task as soon as I receive
Goethe's works from you. If you could procure Goethe's late Life of
himself, which extends but a short way, or any German biographical work
of the Germans living, it would enable me to render the preliminary
Essay more entertaining.

Respectfully, dear Sir,


Mr. Murray's reply to this letter has not been preserved. At all events,
nothing further was done by Coleridge with respect to the translation of
"Faust," which is to be deplored, as his exquisite and original melody
of versification might have produced a translation almost as great as
the original.

Shortly after Coleridge took up his residence with the Gillmans at
Highgate, and his intercourse with Murray recommenced. Lord Byron, while
on the managing committee of Drury Lane Theatre, had been instrumental
in getting Coleridge's "Remorse" played upon the stage, as he
entertained a great respect for its author. He was now encouraging Mr.
Murray to publish other works by Coleridge--among others, "Zapolya" and

On April 12, 1816, Coleridge gave the following lines to Mr. Murray,
written in his own hand: [Footnote: The "Song, by Glycine" was first
published in "Zapolya: A Christmas Tale," 1817, Part II., Act ii., Scene
I. It was set to music by W. Patten in 1836; and again, with the title
"May Song," in 1879, by B.H. Loehr.]


"A sunny shaft did I behold,
  From sky to earth it slanted,
And pois'd therein a Bird so bold--
  Sweet bird! thou wert enchanted!
He sank, he rose, he twinkled, he troll'd,
  Within that shaft of sunny mist:
His Eyes of Fire, his Beak of Gold,
  All else of Amethyst!
And thus he sang: Adieu! Adieu!
  Love's dreams prove seldom true.
Sweet month of May! we must away!
  Far, far away!
  Today! today!"

In the following month (May 8, 1816) Mr. Coleridge offered Mr. Murray
his "Remorse" for publication, with a Preface. He also offered his poem
of "Christabel," still unfinished. For the latter Mr. Murray agreed to
give him seventy guineas, "until the other poems shall be completed,
when the copyright shall revert to the author," and also £20 for
permission to publish the poem entitled "Kubla Khan."

Next month (June 6) Murray allowed Coleridge £50 for an edition of
"Zapolya: A Christmas Tale," which was then in MS.; and he also
advanced him another £50 for a play which was still to be written.
"Zapolya" was afterwards entrusted to another publisher (Rest Fenner),
and Coleridge repaid Murray £50. Apparently (see _letter_ of March 29,
1817) Murray very kindly forewent repayment of the second advance of
£50. There was, of course, no obligation to excuse a just debt, but the
three issues of "Christabel" had resulted in a net profit of a little
over £100 to the publisher.

_Mr. Coleridge to John Murray_.

HIGHGATE, _July_ 4, 1816.

I have often thought that there might be set on foot a review of old
books, _i.e.,_ of all works important or remarkable, the authors of
which are deceased, with a probability of a tolerable sale, if only the
original _plan_ were a good one, and if no articles were admitted but
from men who understood and recognized the Principles and Rules of
Criticism, which should form the first number. I would not take the
works chronologically, but according to the likeness or contrast of the
_kind_ of genius--_ex. gr_. Jeremy Taylor, Milton (his prose works), and
Burke--Dante and Milton--Scaliger and Dr. Johnson. Secondly, if
especial attention were paid to all men who had produced, or aided in
producing, any great revolution in the Taste or opinions of an age, as
Petrarch, Ulrich von Hutten, etc. (here I will dare risk the charge of
self-conceit by referring to my own parallel of Voltaire and Erasmus, of
Luther and Rousseau in the seventh number of "The Friend "). Lastly, if
proper care was taken that in every number of the _Review_ there should
be a fair proportion of positively _amusing_ matter, such as a review of
Paracelsus, Cardan, Old Fuller; a review of Jest Books, tracing the
various metempsychosis of the same joke through all ages and countries;
a History of Court Fools, for which a laborious German has furnished
ample and highly interesting materials; foreign writers, though alive,
not to be excluded, if only their works are of established character in
their own country, and scarcely heard of, much less translated, in
English literature. Jean Paul Richter would supply two or three
delightful articles.

Any works which should fall in your way respecting the Jews since the
destruction of the Temple, I should of course be glad to look through.
Above all, Mezeray's (no! that is not the name, I think) "History of the
Jews," that I _must_ have.

I shall be impatient for the rest of Mr. Frere's sheets. Most
unfeignedly can I declare that I am unable to decide whether the
_admiration_ which the _excellence_ inspires, or the wonder which the
knowledge of the countless _difficulties_ so happily overcome, never
ceases to excite in my mind during the re-perusal and collation of them
with the original Greek, be the greater. I have not a moment's
hesitation in fixing on Mr. Frere as the man of the correctest and most
genial taste among all our contemporaries whom I have ever met with,
personally or in their works. Should choice or chance lead you to sun
and air yourself on Highgate Hill during any of your holiday excursions,
my worthy friend and his amiable and accomplished wife will be happy to
see you. We dine at four, and drink tea at six.

Yours, dear Sir, respectfully, S.T. COLERIDGE.

Mr. Murray did not accept Mr. Coleridge's proposal to publish his works
in a collected form or his articles for the _Quarterly_, as appears from
the following letter:

_Mr. Coleridge to John Murray_.

HIGHGATE, _March_ 26, 1817.


I cannot be offended by your opinion that my talents are not adequate to
the requisites of matter and manner for the _Quarterly Review,_ nor
should I consider it as a disgrace to fall short of Robert Southey in
any department of literature. I owe, however, an honest gratification to
the conversation between you and Mr. Gillman, for I read Southey's
article, on which Mr. Gillman and I have, it appears, formed very
different opinions. It is, in my judgment, a very masterly article.
[Footnote: This must have been Southey's article on Parliamentary Reform
in No. 31, which, though due in October 1816, was not, published until
February 1817.] I would to heaven, my dear sir, that the opinions of
Southey, Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Mr. Frere, and of men like these in
learning and genius, concerning my comparative claims to be a man of
letters, were to be received as the criterion, instead of the wretched,
and in deed and in truth mystical jargon of the _Examiner_ and
_Edinburgh Review_.

Mr. Randall will be so good as to repay you the £50, and I understand
from Mr. Gillman that you are willing to receive this as a settlement
respecting the "Zapolya." The corrections and additions to the two first
books of the "Christabel" may become of more value to you when the work
is finished, as I trust it will be in the course of the spring, than
they are at present. And let it not be forgotten, that while I had the
utmost malignity of personal enmity to cry down the work, with the
exception of Lord Byron, there was not one of the many who had so many
years together spoken so warmly in its praise who gave it the least
positive furtherance after its publication. It was openly asserted that
the _Quarterly Review_ did not wish to attack it, but was ashamed to say
a word in its favor. Thank God! these things pass from me like drops
from a duck's back, except as far as they take the bread out of my
mouth; and this I can avoid by consenting to publish only for the
_present_ times whatever I may write. You will be so kind as to
acknowledge the receipt of the £50 in such manner as to make all matters
as clear between us as possible; for, though you, I am sure, could not
have intended to injure my character, yet the misconceptions, and
perhaps misrepresentations, of your words have had that tendency. By a
letter from R. Southey I find that he will be in town on the 17th. The
article in Tuesday's _Courier_ was by me, and two other articles on
Apostacy and Renegadoism, which will appear this week.

Believe me, with respect, your obliged,


The following letter completes Coleridge's correspondence with Murray on
this subject:

_Mr. Coleridge to John Murray_.

[Highgate], _March_ 29, 1817.

Dear Sir,

From not referring to the paper dictated by yourself, and signed by me
in your presence, you have wronged yourself in the receipt you have been
so good as to send me, and on which I have therefore written as
follows--"A mistake; I am still indebted to Mr. Murray £20 _legally_
(which I shall pay the moment it is in my power), and £30 from whatever
sum I may receive from the 'Christabel' when it is finished. Should Mr.
Murray decline its publication, I conceive myself bound _in honor_ to
repay." I strive in vain to discover any single act or expression of my
own, or for which I could be directly or indirectly responsible as a
moral being, that would account for the change in your mode of thinking
respecting me. But with every due acknowledgment of the kindness and
courtesy that I received from you on my first coming to town,

I remain, dear Sir, your obliged, S.T. COLERIDGE.

Leigh Hunt was another of Murray's correspondents. When the _Quarterly_
was started, Hunt, in his Autography, says that "he had been invited,
nay pressed by the publisher, to write in the new Review, which
surprised me, considering its politics and the great difference of my
own." Hunt adds that he had no doubt that the invitation had been made
at the instance of Gifford himself. Murray had a high opinion of Hunt as
a critic, but not as a politician. Writing to Walter Scott in 1810 he

_John Murray to Mr. Scott_,

"Have you got or seen Hunt's critical essays, prefixed to a few novels
that he edited. Lest you should not, I send them. Hunt is most vilely
wrongheaded in politics, and has thereby been turned away from the path
of elegant criticism, which might have led him to eminence and

Hunt was then, with his brother, joint editor of the _Examiner_, and
preferred writing for the newspaper to contributing articles to the

On Leigh Hunt's release from Horsemonger Lane Gaol, where he had been
imprisoned for his libel on the Prince Regent, he proceeded, on the
strength of his reputation, to compose the "Story of Rimini," the
publication of which gave the author a place among the poets of the day.
He sent a portion of the manuscript to Mr. Murray before the poem was
finished, saying that it would amount to about 1,400 lines. Hunt then
proceeded (December 18, 1815) to mention the terms which he proposed to
be paid for his work when finished. "Booksellers," he said, "tell me
that I ought not to ask less than £450 (which is a sum I happen to want
just now); and my friends, not in the trade, say I ought not to ask less
than £500, with such a trifling acknowledgment upon the various editions
after the second and third, as shall enable me to say that I am still
profiting by it."

Mr. Murray sent his reply to Hunt through their common friend, Lord

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_December_ 27, 1815.

"I wish your lordship to do me the favour to look at and to consider
with your usual kindness the accompanying note to Mr. Leigh Hunt
respecting his poem, for which he requests £450. This would presuppose a
sale of, at least, 10,000 copies. Now, if I may trust to my own
experience in these matters, I am by no means certain that the sale
would do more than repay the expenses of paper and print. But the poem
is peculiar, and may be more successful than I imagine, in which event
the proposition which I have made to the author will secure to him all
the advantages of such a result, I trust that you will see in this an
anxious desire to serve Mr. Hunt, although as a mere matter of business
I cannot avail myself of his offer. I would have preferred calling upon
you today were I not confined by a temporary indisposition; but I think
you will not be displeased at a determination founded upon the best
judgment I can form of my own business. I am really uneasy at your
feelings in this affair, but I think I may venture to assume that you
know me sufficiently well to allow me to trust my decision entirely to
your usual kindness."

_John Murray to Mr. Leigh Hunt_.

_December_ 27, 1815.

"I have now read the MS. poem, which you confided to me, with particular
attention, and find that it differs so much from any that I have
published that I am fearful of venturing upon the extensive speculation
to which your estimate would carry it. I therefore wish that you would
propose its publication and purchase to such houses as Cadell, Longman,
Baldwin, Mawman, etc., who are capable of becoming and likely to become
purchasers, and then, should you not have found any arrangement to your
mind, I would undertake to print an edition of 500 or 750 copies as a
trial at my own risk, and give you one half of the profits. After this
edition the copyright shall be entirely your own property. By this
arrangement, in case the work turn out a prize, as it may do, I mean
that you should have every advantage of its success, for its popularity
once ascertained, I am sure you will find no difficulty in procuring
purchasers, even if you should be suspicious of my liberality from this
specimen of fearfulness in the first instance. I shall be most happy to
assist you with any advice which my experience in these matters may
render serviceable to you."

Leigh Hunt at once accepted the offer.

After the poem was printed and published, being pressed for money, he
wished to sell the copyright. After a recitation of his pecuniary
troubles, Hunt concluded a lengthy letter as follows:

"What I wanted to ask you then is simply this--whether, in the first
instance, you think well enough of the "Story of Rimini" to make you
bargain with me for the copyright at once; or, in the second instance,
whether, if you would rather wait a little, as I myself would do, I
confess, if it were convenient, you have still enough hopes of the work,
and enough reliance on myself personally, to advance me £450 on
security, to be repaid in case you do not conclude the bargain, or
merged in the payment of the poem in case you do."

Mr. Murray's reply was not satisfactory, as will be observed from the
following letter of Leigh Hunt:

_Mr. Leigh Hunt to John Murray_,

_April_ 12, 1816.

Dear Sir,

I just write to say something which I had omitted in my last, and to add
a word or two on the subject of an expression in your answer to it. I
mean the phrase "plan of assistance." I do not suppose that you had the
slightest intention of mortifying me by that phrase; but I should wish
to impress upon you, that I did not consider my application to you as
coming in the shape of what is ordinarily termed an application for
assistance. Circumstances have certainly compelled me latterly to make
requests, and resort to expedients, which, however proper in themselves,
I would not willingly have been acquainted with; but I have very good
prospects before me, and you are mistaken (I beg you to read this in the
best and most friendly tone you can present to yourself) if you have at
all apprehended that I should be in the habit of applying to you for
assistance, or for anything whatsoever, for which I did not conceive the
work in question to be more than a security.

I can only say, with regard to yourself, that I am quite contented and
ought to be so, as long as you are sincere with me, and treat me in the
same gentlemanly tone.

Very sincerely yours,


This negotiation was ultimately brought to a conclusion by Mr. Hunt, at
Mr. Murray's suggestion, disposing of the copyright of "Rimini" to
another publisher.



Thomas Campbell appeared like a meteor as early as 1799, when, in his
twenty-second year, he published his "Pleasures of Hope." The world was
taken by surprise at the vigour of thought and richness of fancy
displayed in the poem. Shortly after its publication, Campbell went to
Germany, and saw, from the Benedictine monastery of Scottish monks at
Ratisbon, a battle which was not, as has often been said, the Battle of
Hohenlinden. What he saw, however, made a deep impression on his mind,
and on his return to Scotland he published the beautiful lines
beginning, "On Linden when the sun was low." In 1801 he composed "The
Exile of Erin" and "Ye Mariners of England." The "Battle of the Baltic"
and "Lochiel's Warning" followed; and in 1803 he published an edition of
his poems. To have composed such noble lyrics was almost unprecedented
in so young a man; for he was only twenty-six years of age when his
collected edition appeared. He was treated as a lion, and became
acquainted with Walter Scott and the leading men in Edinburgh. In
December 1805 we find Constable writing to Murray, that Longman & Co.
had offered the young poet £700 for a new volume of his poems.

One of the earliest results of the association of Campbell with Murray
was a proposal to start a new magazine, which Murray had long
contemplated. This, it will be observed, was some years before the
communications took place between Walter Scott and Murray with respect
to the starting of the _Quarterly_.

The projected magazine, however, dropped out of sight, and Campbell
reverted to his proposed "Lives of the British Poets, with Selections
from their Writings." Toward the close of the year he addressed the
following letter to Mr. Scott:

_Mr. T. Campbell to Mr. Scott_.

_November 5_, 1806.

My Dear Scott,

A very excellent and gentlemanlike man--albeit a bookseller--Murray, of
Fleet Street, is willing to give for our joint "Lives of the Poets," on
the plan we proposed to the trade a twelvemonth ago, a thousand pounds.
For my part, I think the engagement very desirable, and have no
uneasiness on the subject, except my fear that you may be too much
engaged to have to do with it, as five hundred pounds may not be to you
the temptation that it appears to a poor devil like myself. Murray is
the only gentleman, except Constable, in the trade;--I may also,
perhaps, except Hood. I have seldom seen a pleasanter man to deal with.
.... Our names are what Murray principally wants--_yours_ in
particular.... I will not wish, even in confidence, to say anything ill
of the London booksellers _beyond their deserts_; but I assure you that,
to compare this offer of Murray's with their usual offers, it is
magnanimous indeed.... The fallen prices of literature-which is getting
worse by the horrible complexion of the times-make me often rather
gloomy at the life I am likely to lead.

Scott entered into Campbell's agreement with kindness and promptitude,
and it was arranged, under certain stipulations, that the plan should
have his zealous cooperation; but as the number and importance of his
literary engagements increased, he declined to take an active part
either in the magazine or the other undertaking. "I saw Campbell two
days ago," writes Murray to Constable, "and he told me that Mr. Scott
had declined, and modestly asked if it would do by _himself_ alone; but
this I declined in a way that did not leave us the less friends."

At length, after many communications and much personal intercourse,
Murray agreed with Campbell to bring out his work, without the
commanding name of Walter Scott, and with the name of Thomas Campbell
alone as Editor of the "Selections from the British Poets." The
arrangement seems to have been made towards the end of 1808. In January
1809 Campbell writes of his intention "to devote a year exclusively to
the work," but the labour it involved was perhaps greater than he had
anticipated. It was his first important prose work; and prose requires
continuous labour. It cannot, like a piece of poetry, be thrown off at a
heat while the fit is on. Campbell stopped occasionally in the midst of
his work to write poems, among others, his "Gertrude of Wyoming," which
confirmed his poetical reputation. Murray sent a copy of the volume to
Walter Scott, and requested a review for the _Quarterly_, which was then
in its first year. What Campbell thought of the review will appear from
the following letter:

_Mr. T. Campbell to John Murray_.

_June 2_, 1809.

My Dear Murray,

I received the review, for which I thank you, and beg leave through you
to express my best acknowledgments to the unknown reviewer. I do not by
this mean to say that I think every one of his censures just. On the
contrary, if I had an opportunity of personal conference with so candid
and sensible a man, I think I could in some degree acquit myself of a
part of the faults he has found. But altogether I am pleased with his
manner, and very proud of his approbation. He reviews like a gentleman,
a Christian, and a scholar.

Although the "Lives of the Poets" had been promised within a year from
January 1809, four years passed, and the work was still far from

In the meantime Campbell undertook to give a course of eleven Lectures
on Poetry at the Royal Institution, for which he received a hundred
guineas. He enriched his Lectures with the Remarks and Selections
collected for the "Specimens," for which the publisher had agreed to pay
a handsome sum. The result was a momentary hesitation on the part of Mr.
Murray to risk the publication of the work. On this, says Campbell's
biographer, a correspondence ensued between the poet and the publisher,
which ended to the satisfaction of both. Mr. Murray only requested that
Mr. Campbell should proceed with greater alacrity in finishing the long
projected work.

At length, about the beginning of 1819, fourteen years after the project
had been mentioned to Walter Scott, and about ten years after the book
should have appeared, according to Campbell's original promise, the
"Essays and Selections of English Poetry" were published by Mr. Murray.
The work was well received. The poet was duly paid for it, and Dr.
Beattie, Campbell's biographer, says he "found himself in the novel
position of a man who has money to lay out at interest." This statement
must be received with considerable deduction, for, as the correspondence
shows, Campbell's pecuniary difficulties were by no means at an end.

It appears that besides the £1,000, which was double the sum originally
proposed to be paid to Campbell for the "Selections," Mr. Murray, in
October 1819, paid him £200 "for books," doubtless for those he had
purchased for the "Collections," and which he desired to retain.

We cannot conclude this account of Campbell's dealing with Murray
without referring to an often-quoted story which has for many years
sailed under false colours. It was Thomas Campbell who wrote "Now
Barabbas was a publisher," whether in a Bible or otherwise is not
authentically recorded, and forwarded it to a friend; but Mr. Murray was
not the publisher to whom it referred, nor was Lord Byron, as has been
so frequently stated, the author of the joke.

The great burden of the correspondence entailed by the _Quarterly
Review_ now fell on Mr. Murray, for Gifford had become physically
incapable of bearing it. Like the creaking gate that hangs long on its
hinges, Gifford continued to live, though painfully. He became gradually
better, and in October 1816 Mr. Murray presented him with a chariot, by
means of which he might drive about and take exercise in the open air.
Gifford answered:

"I have a thousand thanks to give you for the pains you have taken about
the carriage, without which I should only have talked about it, and died
of a cold. It came home yesterday, and I went to Fulham in it. It is
everything that I could wish, neat, easy, and exceedingly comfortable."

Among the other works published by Mr. Murray in 1816 may be mentioned,
"The Last Reign of Napoleon," by Mr. John Cam Hobhouse, afterwards Lord
Broughton. Of this work the author wrote to Mr. Murray:

_January_, 1816.

"I must have the liberty of cancelling what sheets I please, for a
reason that I now tell you in the strictest confidence: the letters are
to go to Paris previously to publication, and are to be read carefully
through by a most intimate friend of mine, who was entirely in the
secrets of the late Imperial Ministry, and who will point out any
statements as to facts, in which he could from his _knowledge_ make any
necessary change."

The first edition, published without the author's name, was rapidly
exhausted, and Hobhouse offered a second to Murray, proposing at the
same time to insert his name as author on the title-page.

"If I do," he said, "I shall present the book to Lord Byron in due form,
not for his talents as a poet, but for his qualities as a companion and
a friend. I should not write 'My dear Byron,' _à la Hunt_." [Footnote:
Leigh Hunt had dedicated his "Rimini" to the noble poet, addressing him
as "My dear Byron."]

Mr. D'Israeli also was busy with his "Inquiry into the Literary and
Political Character of James the First." He wrote to his publisher as
follows: "I am sorry to say every one, to whom I have mentioned the
subject, revolts from it as a thing quite untenable, and cares nothing
about 'James.' This does not stop me from finishing."

Mr. Croker, in the midst of his work at the Admiralty, his articles for
the _Quarterly_, and his other literary labours, found time to write his
"Stories for Children from the History of England." In sending the later
stories Mr. Croker wrote to Mr. Murray:

_The Rt. Hon. J.W. Croker to John Murray_.

"I send you seven stories, which, with eleven you had before, brings us
down to Richard III., and as I do not intend to come down beyond the
Revolution, there remain nine stories still. I think you told me that
you gave the first stories to your little boy to read. Perhaps you or
Mrs. Murray would be so kind as to make a mark over against such words
as he may not have understood, and to favour me with any criticism the
child may have made, for on this occasion I should prefer a critic of 6
years old to one of 60."

Thus John Murray's son, John Murray the Third, was early initiated into
the career of reading for the press. When the book came out it achieved
a great success, and set the model for Walter Scott in his charming
"Tales of a Grandfather."

It may be mentioned that "Croker's Stories for Children" were published
on the system of division of profits. Long after, when Mr. Murray was in
correspondence with an author who wished him to pay a sum of money down
before he had even seen the manuscript, the publisher recommended the
author to publish his book on a division of profits, in like manner as
Hallam, Milman, Mahon, Croker, and others had done. "Under this system,"
he said, "I have been very successful. For Mr. Croker's 'Stories from
the History of England,' selling for 2_s_. _6d_., if I had offered the
small sum of twenty guineas, he would have thought it liberal. However,
I printed it to divide profits, and he has already received from me the
moiety of £1,400. You will perhaps be startled at my assertion; for
woeful experience convinces me that not more than one publication in
fifty has a sale sufficient to defray its expenses."

The success of Scott's, and still more of Byron's Poems, called into
existence about this time a vast array of would-be poets, male and
female, and from all ranks and professions. Some wrote for fame, some
for money; but all were agreed on one point--namely, that if Mr. Murray
would undertake the publication of the poems, the authors' fame was

When in doubt about any manuscript, he usually conferred with Croker,
Campbell, or Gifford, who always displayed the utmost kindness in
helping him with their opinions. Croker was usually short and pithy. Of
one poem he said: "Trash--the dullest stuff I ever read." This was
enough to ensure the condemnation of the manuscript. Campbell was more
guarded, as when reporting on a poem entitled "Woman," he wrote, "In my
opinion, though there are many excellent lines in it, the poem is not
such as will warrant a great sum being speculated upon it. But, as it is
short, I think the public, not the author or publisher, will be in fault
if it does not sell one edition."

Of a poem sent for his opinion, Gifford wrote:

"Honestly, the MS. is totally unfit for the press. Do not deceive
yourself: this MS. is not the production of a male. A man may write as
great nonsense as a woman, and even greater; but a girl may pass through
those execrable abodes of ignorance, called boarding schools, without
learning whether the sun sets in the East or in the West, whereas a boy
can hardly do this, even at Parson's Green."

James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, was another of Murray's

The publication of "The Queen's Wake" in 1813 immediately brought Hogg
into connection with the leading authors and publishers of the day, Hogg
sent a copy of the volume to Lord Byron, his "brother poet," whose
influence he desired to enlist on behalf of a work which Hogg wished
Murray to publish.

The poem which the Ettrick Shepherd referred to was "The Pilgrims of the
Sun," and the result of Lord Byron's conversation with Mr. Murray was,
that the latter undertook to publish Hogg's works. The first letter from
him to Murray, December 26, 1814, begins:

"What the deuce have you made of my excellent poem that you are never
publishing it, while I am starving for want of money, and cannot even
afford a Christmas goose to my friends?"

To this and many similar enquiries Mr. Murray replied on April 10, 1815:

My Dear Friend,

I entreat you not to ascribe to inattention the delay which has occurred
in my answer to your kind and interesting letter. Much more, I beg you
not for a moment to entertain a doubt about the interest which I take in
your writings, or the exertions which I shall ever make to promote their
sale and popularity.... They are selling every day.

I have forgotten to tell you that Gifford tells me that he would
receive, with every disposition to favour it, any critique which you
like to send of new Scottish works. If I had been aware of it in time I
certainly would have invited your remarks on "Mannering." Our article is
not good and our praise is by no means adequate, I allow, but I suspect
you very greatly overrate the novel. "Meg Merrilies" is worthy of
Shakespeare, but all the rest of the novel might have been written by
Scott's brother or any other body.

The next letter from the Shepherd thanks Murray for some "timeous" aid,
and asks a novel favour.

_May_ 7, 1815.

I leave Edinburgh on Thursday for my little farm on Yarrow. I will have
a confused summer, for I have as yet no home that I can dwell in; but I
hope by-and-by to have some fine fun there with you, fishing in Saint
Mary's Loch and the Yarrow, eating bull-trout, singing songs, and
drinking whisky. This little possession is what I stood much in need
of--a habitation among my native hills was what of all the world I
desired; and if I had a little more money at command, I would just be as
happy a man as I know of; but that is an article of which I am ever in
want. I wish you or Mrs. Murray would speer me out a good wife with a
few thousands. I dare say there is many a romantic girl about London who
would think it a fine ploy to become a Yarrow Shepherdess! Believe me,
dear Murray,

Very sincerely yours, JAMES HOGG.

Here, for the present, we come to an end of the Shepherd's letters; but
we shall find him turning up again, and Mr. Murray still continuing his
devoted friend and adviser.



On January 2, 1815, Lord Byron was married to Miss Milbanke, and during
the honeymoon, while he was residing at Seaham, the residence of his
father-in-law Sir Ralph Milbanke, he wrote to Murray desiring him to
make occasional enquiry at his chambers in the Albany to see if they
were kept in proper order.

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_February_ 17, 1815.


I have paid frequent attention to your wish that I should ascertain if
all things appeared to be safe in your chambers, and I am happy in being
able to report that the whole establishment carries an appearance of
security, which is confirmed by the unceasing vigilance of your faithful
and frigid Duenna [Mrs. Mule].

Every day I have been in expectation of receiving a copy of "Guy
Mannering," of which the reports of a friend of mine, who has read the
first two volumes, is such as to create the most extravagant
expectations of an extraordinary combination of wit, humour and pathos.
I am certain of one of the first copies, and this you may rely upon
receiving with the utmost expedition.

I hear many interesting letters read to me from the Continent, and one
in particular from Mr. Fazakerly, describing his interview of four hours
with Bonaparte, was particularly good. He acknowledged at once to the
poisoning of the sick prisoners in Egypt; they had the plague, and would
have communicated it to the rest of his army if he had carried them on
with him, and he had only to determine if he should leave them to a
cruel death by the Turks, or to an easy one by poison. When asked his
motive for becoming a Mahomedan, he replied that there were great
political reasons for this, and gave several; but he added, the Turks
would not admit me at first unless I submitted to two indispensable
ceremonies.... They agreed at length to remit the first and to commute
the other for a solemn vow, for every offence to give expiation by the
performance of some good action. "Oh, gentlemen," says he, "for good
actions, you know you may command me," and his first good action was to
put to instant death an hundred of their priests, whom he suspected of
intrigues against him. Not aware of his summary justice, they sent a
deputation to beg the lives of these people on the score of his
engagement. He answered that nothing would have made him so happy as
this opportunity of showing his zeal for their religion; but that they
had arrived too late; their friends had been dead nearly an hour.

He asked Lord Ebrington of which party he was, in Politics. "The
Opposition." "The Opposition? Then can your Lordship tell me the reason
why the Opposition are so unpopular in England?" With something like
presence of mind on so delicate a question, Lord Ebrington instantly
replied: "Because, sir, we always insisted upon it, that you would be
successful in Spain."

During the spring and summer of 1815 Byron was a frequent visitor at
Albemarle Street, and in April, as has been already recorded, he first
met Walter Scott in Murray's drawing-room.

In March, Lord and Lady Byron took up their residence at 13, Piccadilly
Terrace. The following letter is undated, but was probably written in
the autumn of 1815.

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

My Lord,

I picked up, the other day, some of Napoleon's own writing paper, all
the remainder of which has been burnt; it has his portrait and eagle, as
you will perceive by holding a sheet to the light either of sun or
candle: so I thought I would take a little for you, hoping that you will
just write me a poem upon any twenty-four quires of it in return.

By the autumn of 1815 Lord Byron found himself involved in pecuniary
embarrassments, which had, indeed, existed before his marriage, but were
now considerably increased and demanded immediate settlement. His first
thought was to part with his books, though they did not form a very
valuable collection. He mentioned the matter to a book collector, who
conferred with other dealers on the subject. The circumstances coming to
the ears of Mr. Murray, he at once communicated with Lord Byron, and
forwarded him a cheque for £1,500, with the assurance that an equal sum
should be at his service in the course of a few weeks, offering, at the
same time, to dispose of all the copyrights of his poems for his
Lordship's use.

Lord Byron could not fail to be affected by this generous offer, and
whilst returning the cheque, he wrote:

_November_ 14, 1815.

"Your present offer is a favour which I would accept from you, if I
accepted such from any man ... The circumstances which induce me to part
with my books, though sufficiently, are not _immediately_, pressing. I
have made up my mind to this, and there's an end. Had I been disposed to
trespass upon your kindness in this way, it would have been before now;
but I am not sorry to have an opportunity of declining it, as it sets my
opinion of you, and indeed of human nature, in a different light from
that in which I have been accustomed to consider it."

Meanwhile Lord Byron had completed his "Siege of Corinth" and
"Parisina," and sent the packet containing them to Mr. Murray. They had
been copied in the legible hand of Lady Byron. On receiving the poems
Mr. Murray wrote to Lord Byron as follows:

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_December_, 1815.

My Lord,

I tore open the packet you sent me, and have found in it a Pearl. It is
very interesting, pathetic, beautiful--do you know, I would almost say
moral. I am really writing to you before the billows of the passions you
excited have subsided. I have been most agreeably disappointed (a word I
cannot associate with the poem) at the story, which--what you hinted to
me and wrote--had alarmed me; and I should not have read it aloud to my
wife if my eye had not traced the delicate hand that transcribed it.

Mr. Murray enclosed to Lord Byron two notes, amounting to a thousand
guineas, for the copyright of the poems, but Lord Byron refused the
notes, declaring that the sum was too great.

"Your offer," he answered (January 3, 1816), "is _liberal_ in the
extreme, and much more than the poems can possibly be worth; but I
cannot accept it, and will not. You are most welcome to them as
additions to the collected volumes, without any demand or expectation on
my part whatever.... I am very glad that the handwriting was a
favourable omen of the _morale_ of the piece; but you must not trust to
that, as my copyist would write out anything I desired in all the
ignorance of innocence--I hope, however, in this instance, with no great
peril to either."

The money, therefore, which Murray thought the copyright of the "Siege
of Corinth" and "Parisina" was worth, remained untouched in the
publisher's hands. It was afterwards suggested, by Mr. Rogers and Sir
James Mackintosh, to Lord Byron, that a portion of it (£600) might be
applied to the relief of Mr. Godwin, the author of "An Enquiry into
Political Justice," who was then in difficulties; and Lord Byron himself
proposed that the remainder should be divided between Mr. Maturin and
Mr. Coleridge. This proposal caused the deepest vexation to Mr. Murray,
who made the following remonstrance against such a proceeding.

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

ALBEMARLE STREET, _Monday_, 4 o'clock.

My Lord,

I did not like to detain you this morning, but I confess to you that I
came away impressed with a belief that you had already reconsidered this
matter, as it refers to me--Your Lordship will pardon me if I cannot
avoid looking upon it as a species of cruelty, after what has passed, to
take from me so large a sum--offered with no reference to the marketable
value of the poems, but out of personal friendship and gratitude
alone,--to cast it away on the wanton and ungenerous interference of
those who cannot enter into your Lordship's feelings for me, upon,
persons who have so little claim upon you, and whom those who so
interested themselves might more decently and honestly enrich from their
own funds, than by endeavouring to be liberal at the cost of another,
and by forcibly resuming from me a sum which you had generously and
nobly resigned.

I am sure you will do me the justice to believe that I would strain
every nerve in your service, but it is actually heartbreaking to throw
away my earnings on others. I am no rich man, abounding, like Mr.
Rogers, in superfluous thousands, but working hard for independence, and
what would be the most grateful pleasure to me if likely to be useful to
you personally, becomes merely painful if it causes me to work for
others for whom I can have no such feelings.

This is a most painful subject for me to address you upon, and I am ill
able to express my feelings about it. I commit them entirely to your
liberal construction with a reference to your knowledge of my character.

I have the honour to be, etc.,


This letter was submitted to Gifford before it was despatched, and he

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_.

"I have made a scratch or two, and the letter now expresses my genuine
sentiments on the matter. But should you not see Rogers? It is evident
that Lord Byron is a little awkward about this matter, and his officious
friends have got him into a most _unlordly_ scrape, from which they can
only relieve him by treading back their steps. The more I consider their
conduct, the more I am astonished at their impudence. A downright
robbery is honourable to it. If you see Rogers, do not be shy to speak:
he trembles at report, and here is an evil one for him."

In the end Lord Byron was compelled by the increasing pressure of his
debts to accept the sum offered by Murray and use it for his own

It is not necessary here to touch upon the circumstances of Lord Byron's
separation from his wife; suffice it to say that early in 1816 he
determined to leave England, and resolved, as he had before contemplated
doing, to sell off his books and furniture. He committed the
arrangements to Mr. Murray, through Mr. Hanson, his solicitor, in
Bloomsbury Square. A few months before, when Lord Byron was in straits
for money, Mr. Hanson communicated with Mr. Murray as follows:

_Mr. Hanson to John Murray_.

_November_ 23, 1815.

"Mr. Hanson's compliments to Mr. Murray. He has seen Lord Byron, and his
Lordship has no objection to his Library being taken at a valuation. Mr.
Hanson submits to Mr. Murray whether it would not be best to name one
respectable bookseller to set a value on them. In the meantime, Mr.
Hanson has written to Messrs. Crook & Armstrong, in whose hands the
books now are, not to proceed further in the sale."

On December 28, 1815, Mr. Murray received the following valuation:

"Mr. Cochrane presents respectful compliments to Mr. Murray, and begs to
inform him that upon carefully inspecting the books in Skinner Street,
he judges the fair value of them to be £450."

Mr. Murray sent Lord Byron a bill of £500 for the books as a temporary
accommodation. But the books were traced and attached by the sheriff. On
March 6, 1816, Lord Byron wrote to Murray:

"I send to you to-day for this reason: the books you purchased are again
seized, and, as matters stand, had much better be sold at once by public
auction. I wish to see you to-morrow to return your bill for them,
which, thank Heaven, is neither due nor paid. _That_ part, so far as
_you_ are concerned, being settled (which it can be, and shall be, when
I see you tomorrow), I have no further delicacy about the matter. This
is about the tenth execution in as many months; so I am pretty well
hardened; but it is fit I should pay the forfeit of my forefathers'
extravagance as well as my own; and whatever my faults may be, I suppose
they will be pretty well expiated in time--or eternity."

A letter was next received by Mr. Murray's solicitor, Mr. Turner, from
Mr. Gunn, to the following effect:

_Mr. Gunn to Mr. Turner_.

_March_ 16, 1816.


Mr. Constable, the plaintiff's attorney, has written to say he will
indemnify the sheriff to sell the books under the execution; as such, we
must decline taking your indemnity.

The result was, that Lord Byron, on March 22, paid to Crook & Armstrong
£231 15_s_., "being the amount of three levies, poundage, and expenses,"
and also £25 13_s_. 6_d_., the amount of Crook & Armstrong's account.
Crook & Armstrong settled with Levy, the Jew, who had lent Byron money;
and also with the officer, who had been in possession twenty-three days,
at 5_s_. a day. The books were afterwards sold by Mr. Evans at his
house, 26, Pall Mall, on April 5, 1816, and the following day. The
catalogue describes them as "A collection of books, late the property of
a nobleman, about to leave England on a tour."

Mr. Murray was present at the sale, and bought a selection of books for
Mrs. Leigh, for Mr. Rogers, and for Mr. J.C. Hobhouse, as well as for
himself. He bought the large screen, with the portraits of actors and
pugilists, which is still at Albemarle Street. There was also a silver
cup and cover, nearly thirty ounces in weight, elegantly chased. These
articles realised £723 12_s_. 6_d_., and after charging the costs,
commission, and Excise duty, against the sale of the books, the balance
was handed over to Lord Byron.

The "Sketch from Private Life" was one of the most bitter and satirical
things Byron had ever written. In sending it to Mr. Murray (March 30,
1816), he wrote: "I send you my last night's dream, and request to have
fifty copies struck off for private distribution. I wish Mr. Gifford to
look at it; it is from life." Afterwards, when Lord Byron called upon
Mr. Murray, he said: "I could not get to sleep last night, but lay
rolling and tossing about until this morning, when I got up and wrote
that; and it is very odd, Murray, after doing that, I went to bed again,
and never slept sounder in my life."

The lines were printed and sent to Lord Byron. But before publishing
them, Mr. Murray took advice of his special literary adviser and
solicitor, Mr. Sharon Turner. His reply was as follows:

_Mr. Turner to John Murray_.

_April_ 3, 1816.

There are some expressions in the Poem that I think are libellous, and
the severe tenor of the whole would induce a jury to find them to be so.
The question only remains, to whom it is applicable. It certainly does
not itself name the person. But the legal pleadings charge that innuendo
must mean such a person. How far evidence extrinsic to the work might be
brought or received to show that the author meant a particular person, I
will not pretend to affirm. Some cases have gone so far on this point
that I should not think it safe to risk. And if a libel, it is a libel
not only by the author, but by the printer, the publisher, and every

I am, dear Murray, yours most faithfully,


Mr. Murray did not publish the poems, but after their appearance in the
newspapers, they were announced by many booksellers as "Poems by Lord
Byron on his Domestic Circumstances." Among others, Constable printed
and published them, whereupon Blackwood, as Murray's agent in Edinburgh,
wrote to him, requesting the suppression of the verses, and threatening
proceedings. Constable, in reply, said he had no wish to invade literary
property, but the verses had come to him without either author's name,
publisher's name, or printer's name, and that there was no literary
property in publications to which neither author's, publisher's, nor
printer's name was attached. Blackwood could proceed no farther. In his
letter to Murray (April 17, 1816), he wrote:

"I have distributed copies of 'Fare Thee Well' and 'A Sketch' to Dr.
Thomas Brown, Walter Scott, and Professor Playfair. One cannot read
'Fare Thee Well' without crying. The other is 'vigorous hate,' as you
say. Its power is really terrible; one's blood absolutely creeps while
reading it."

Byron left England in April 1816, and during his travels he corresponded
frequently with Mr. Murray.

The MSS. of the third canto of "Childe Harold" and "The Prisoner of
Chillon" duly reached the publisher. Mr. Murray acknowledged the MSS.:

_Mr. Murray to Lord Byron_.

_September_ 12, 1816.

My Lord,

I have rarely addressed you with more pleasure than upon the present
occasion. I was thrilled with delight yesterday by the announcement of
Mr. Shelley with the MS. of "Childe Harold." I had no sooner got the
quiet possession of it than, trembling with auspicious hope about it, I
carried it direct to Mr. Gifford. He has been exceedingly ill with
jaundice, and unable to write or do anything. He was much pleased by my
attention. I called upon him today. He said he was unable to leave off
last night, and that he had sat up until he had finished every line of
the canto. It had actually agitated him into a fever, and he was much
worse when I called. He had persisted this morning in finishing the
volume, and he pronounced himself infinitely more delighted than when he
first wrote to me. He says that what you have heretofore published is
nothing to this effort. He says also, besides its being the most
original and interesting, it is the most finished of your writings; and
he has undertaken to correct the press for you.

Never, since my intimacy with Mr. Gifford, did I see him so heartily
pleased, or give one-fiftieth part of the praise, with one-thousandth
part of the warmth. He speaks in ecstasy of the Dream--the whole volume
beams with genius. I am sure he loves you in his heart; and when he
called upon me some time ago, and I told him that you were gone, he
instantly exclaimed in a full room, "Well! he has not left his equal
behind him--that I will say!" Perhaps you will enclose a line for

Respecting the "Monody," I extract from a letter which I received this
morning from Sir James Mackintosh: "I presume that I have to thank you
for a copy of the 'Monody' on Sheridan received this morning. I wish it
had been accompanied by the additional favour of mentioning the name of
the writer, at which I only guess: it is difficult to read the poem
without desiring to know."

Generally speaking it is not, I think, popular, and spoken of rather for
fine passages than as a whole. How could you give so trite an image as
in the last two lines? Gifford does not like it; Frere does. _A-propos_
of Mr. Frere: he came to me while at breakfast this morning, and between
some stanzas which he was repeating to me of a truly original poem of
his own, he said carelessly,

"By the way, about _half-an-hour ago_ I was so silly (taking an immense
pinch of snuff and priming his nostrils with it) as to get _married I_
"Perfectly true. He set out for Hastings about an hour after he left me,
and upon my conscience I verily believe that, if I had had your MS. to
have put into his hands, as sure as fate he would have sat with me
reading it [Footnote: He had left his wife at the church so as to bring
his poem to Murray.] all the morning and totally forgotten his little

I saw Lord Holland today looking very well. I wish I could send you
Gifford's "Ben Jonson"; it is full of fun and interest, and allowed on
all hands to be most ably done; would, I am sure, amuse you. I have very
many new important and interesting works of all kinds in the press,
which I should be happy to know any means of sending. My Review is
improving in sale beyond my most sanguine expectations. I now sell
nearly 9,000. Even Perry says the _Edinburgh, Review_ is going to the
devil. I was with Mrs. Leigh today, who is very well; she leaves town on
Saturday. Her eldest daughter, I fancy, is a most engaging girl; but
yours, my Lord, is unspeakably interesting and promising, and I am happy
to add that Lady B. is looking well. God bless you! my best wishes and
feelings are always with you, and I sincerely wish that your happiness
may be as unbounded as your genius, which has rendered me so much,

My Lord, your obliged Servant,


The negotiations for the purchase of the third canto were left in the
hands of Mr. Kinnaird, who demurred to Mr. Murray's first offer of 1,500
guineas, and eventually £2,000 was fixed as the purchase price.

Mr. Murray wrote to Lord Byron on December 13, 1816, informing him that,
at a dinner at the Albion Tavern, he had sold to the assembled
booksellers 7,000 of his third canto of "Childe Harold" and 7,000 of his
"Prisoner of Chillon." He then proceeds:

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

"In literary affairs I have taken the field in great force--opening with
the Third Canto and "Chillon," and, following up my blow, I have since
published 'Tales of my Landlord,' another novel, I believe (but I really
don't know) by the author of 'Waverley'; but much superior to what has
already appeared, excepting the character of Meg Merrilies. Every one is
in ecstasy about it, and I would give a finger if I could send it you,
but this I will contrive. Conversations with your friend Buonaparte at
St. Helena, amusing, but scarce worth sending. Lord Holland has just put
forth a very improved edition of the Life of Lope de Vega and Inez de
Castro.' Gifford's 'Ben Jonson' has put to death all former editions,
and is very much liked."

At Mr. Murray's earnest request, Scott had consented to review the third
canto of "Childe Harold" in the _Quarterly_. In forwarding the MS. he
wrote as follows:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

EDINBURGH, _January_ 10, 1817.

My Dear Sir,

I have this day sent under Croker's cover a review of Lord Byron's last
poems. You know how high I hold his poetical reputation, but besides,
one is naturally forced upon so many points of delicate consideration,
that really I have begun and left off several times, and after all send
the article to you with full power to cancel it if you think any part of
it has the least chance of hurting his feelings. You know him better
than I do, and you also know the public, and are aware that to make any
successful impression on them the critic must appear to speak with
perfect freedom. I trust I have not abused this discretion. I am sure I
have not meant to do so, and yet during Lord Byron's absence, and under
the present circumstances, I should feel more grieved than at anything
that ever befell me if there should have slipped from my pen anything
capable of giving him pain.

There are some things in the critique which are necessarily and
unavoidably personal, and sure I am if he attends to it, which is
unlikely, he will find advantage from doing so. I wish Mr. Gifford and
you would consider every word carefully. If you think the general tenor
is likely to make any impression on him, if you think it likely to hurt
him either in his feelings or with the public, in God's name fling the
sheets in the fire and let them be as _not written_. But if it appears,
I should wish him to get an early copy, and that you would at the same
time say I am the author, at your opportunity. No one can honour Lord
Byron a genius more than I do, and no one had so great a wish to love
him personally, though personally we had not the means of becoming very
intimate. In his family distress (deeply to be deprecated, and in which
probably he can yet be excused) I still looked to some moment of
reflection when bad advisers (and, except you were one, I have heard of
few whom I should call good) were distant from the side of one who is so
much the child of feeling and emotion. An opportunity was once afforded
me of interfering, but things appeared to me to have gone too far; yet,
even after all, I wish I had tried it, for Lord Byron always seemed to
give me credit for wishing him sincerely well, and knew me to be
superior to what Commodore Trunnion would call "the trash of literary
envy and petty rivalry."

Lord Byron's opinion of the article forms so necessary a complement to
Walter Scott's sympathetic criticism of the man and the poet, that we
make no excuse for reproducing it, as conveyed in a letter to Mr. Murray
(March 3, 1817).

"In acknowledging the arrival of the article from the _Quarterly_, which
I received two days ago, I cannot express myself better than in the
words of my sister Augusta, who (speaking of it) says, that it is
written in a spirit 'of the most feeling and kind nature.'

"It is, however, something more. It seems to me (as far as the subject
of it may be permitted to judge) to be very well written as a
composition, and I think will do the journal no discredit, because even
those who condemn its partiality, must praise its generosity. The
temptations to take another and a less favourable view of the question
have been so great and numerous, that, what with public opinion,
politics, etc., he must be a gallant as well as a good man who has
ventured in that place, and at this time, to write such an article, even
anonymously. Such things, however, are their own reward; and I even
flatter myself that the writer, whoever he may be (and I have no guess),
will not regret that the perusal of this has given me as much
gratification as any composition of that nature could give, and more
than any has given--and I have had a good many in my time of one kind or
the other. It is not the mere praise, but there is a _tact_ and a
_delicacy_ throughout, not only with regard to me but to _others_,
which, as it had not been observed _elsewhere_, I had till now doubted
whether it could be observed _anywhere_."

"When I tell you," Lord Byron wrote to Moore a week later, "that Walter
Scott is the author of the article in the _Quarterly_, you will agree
with me that such an article is still more honourable to him than to

We conclude this episode with the following passage from a letter from
Scott to Murray:

"I am truly happy Lord Byron's article meets your ideas of what may make
some impression on his mind. In genius, poetry has seldom had his equal,
and if he has acted very wrong in some respects, he has been no worse
than half the men of his rank in London who have done the same, and are
not spoken of because not worth being railed against."

Lady Byron also wrote to Mr. Murray:

I am inclined to ask a question, which I hope you will not decline
answering, if not contrary to your engagements. Who is the author of the
review of "Childe Harold" in the _Quarterly_? Your faithful Servant, A.

Among other ladies who wrote on the subject of Lord Byron's works was
Lady Caroline Lamb, who had caricatured him (as he supposed) in her
"Glenarvon." Her letter is dated Welwyn, franked by William Lamb:

_Lady Caroline Lamb to John Murray_.

_November_ 5, 1816.

"You cannot need my assuring you that if you will entrust me with the
new poems, none of the things you fear shall occur, in proof of which I
ask you to enquire with yourself, whether, if a person in constant
correspondence and friendship with another, yet keeps a perfect silence
on one subject, she cannot do so when at enmity and at a distance."

This letter, to which no reply seems to have been sent, is followed by
another, in which her Ladyship says:

I wish to ask you one question: are you offended with me or my letter?
If so, I am sorry, but depend upon it if after seven years' acquaintance
you choose to cut off what you ever termed your left hand, I have too
much gratitude towards you to allow of it. Accept therefore every
apology for every supposed fault. I always write eagerly and in haste, I
never read over what I have written. If therefore I said anything I
ought not, pardon it--it was not intended; and let me entreat you to
remember a maxim I have found very useful to me, that there is nothing
in this life worth quarrelling about, and that half the people we are
offended with never intended to give us cause.

Thank you for Holcroft's "Life," which is extremely curious and
interesting. I think you will relent and send me "Childe Harold" before
any one has it--this is the first time you have not done so--and the
_Quarterly Review_; and pray also any other book that is curious.... I
quite pine to see the _Quarterly Review_ and "Childe Harold." Have mercy
and send them, or I shall gallop to town to see you. Is 450 guineas too
dear for a new barouche? If you know this let me know, as we of the
country know nothing.

Yours sincerely, C.L.

In sending home the MS. of the first act of "Manfred," Lord Byron wrote,
giving but unsatisfactory accounts of his own health. Mr. Murray

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_March_ 20, 1817.

My Lord,

I have to acknowledge your kind letter, dated the 3rd, received this
hour; but I am sorry to say that it has occasioned, me great anxiety
about your health. You are not wont to cry before you are hurt; and I am
apprehensive that you are worse even than you allow. Pray keep quiet and
take care of yourself. My _Review_ shows you that you are worth
preserving and that the world yet loves you. If you become seriously
worse, I entreat you to let me know it, and I will fly to you with a
physician; an Italian one is only a preparation for the anatomist. I
will not tell your sister of this, if you will tell me true. I had hopes
that this letter would have confirmed my expectations of your speedy
return, which has been stated by Mr. Kinnaird, and repeated to me by Mr.
Davies, whom I saw yesterday, and who promises to write. We often
indulge our recollections of you, and he allows me to believe that I am
one of the few who really know you.

Gifford gave me yesterday the first act of "Manfred" with a delighted
countenance, telling me it was wonderfully poetical, and desiring me to
assure you that it well merits publication. I shall send proofs to you
with his remarks, if he have any; it is a wild and delightful thing, and
I like it myself hugely....

I have just received, in a way perfectly unaccountable, a MS. from St.
Helena--with not a word. I suppose it to be originally written by
Buonaparte or his agents.--It is very curious--his life, in which each
event is given in almost a word--a battle described in a short sentence.
I call it therefore simply _Manuscrit venu de Ste. Helene d'une maniere
inconnue_. [Footnote: This work attracted a considerable amount of
attention in London, but still more in Paris, as purporting to be a
chapter of autobiography by Napoleon, then a prisoner in St. Helena. It
was in all probability the work of some of the deposed Emperor's friends
and adherents in Paris, issued for the purpose of keeping his name
prominently before the world. M. de Meneval, author of several books on
Napoleon's career, has left it on record that the "M.S. venu de Sainte
Helene" was written by M. Frederic Lullin de Chateauvieux, "genevois
deja connu dans le monde savant. Cet ecrivain a avoue, apres vingt cinq
ans de silence, qu'il avait compose l'ouvrage en 1816, qu'il avait porte
lui-meme a Londres, et l'avait mis a la poste, a l'adresse du Libraire
Murray."] Lord Holland has a motion on our treatment of Buonaparte at
St. Helena for Wednesday next; and on Monday I shall publish. You will
have seen Buonaparte's Memorial on this subject, complaining bitterly of
all; pungent but very injudicious, as it must offend all the other
allied powers to be reminded of their former prostration.

_April_ 12, 1817.

Our friend Southey has got into a confounded scrape. Some twenty years
ago, when he knew no better and was a Republican, he wrote a certain
drama, entitled, "Wat Tyler," in order to disseminate wholesome doctrine
amongst the _lower_ orders. This he presented to a friend, with a
fraternal embrace, who was at that time enjoying the cool reflection
generated by his residence in Newgate. This friend, however, either
thinking its publication might prolong his durance, or fancying that it
would not become profitable as a speculation, quietly put it into his
pocket; and now that the author has most manfully laid about him,
slaying Whigs and Republicans by the million, this cursed friend
publishes; but what is yet worse, the author, upon sueing for an
injunction, to proceed in which he is obliged to swear that he is the
author, is informed by the Chancellor that it is seditious--and that for
sedition there is no copyright. I will inclose either now or in my next
a second copy, for as there is no copyright, everyone has printed it,
which will amuse you.

On July 15th and 20th Lord Byron wrote to Mr. Murray that the fourth
canto of "Childe Harold" was completed, and only required to be "copied
and polished," but at the same time he began to "barter" for the price
of the canto, so completely had his old scruples on this score
disappeared. Mr. Murray replied, offering 1,500 guineas for the

Mr. Hobhouse spent a considerable part of the year 1817 travelling about
in Italy, whither he had gone principally to see Lord Byron. He wrote to
Mr. Murray on the subject of Thorwaldsen's bust of the poet:

"I shall conclude with telling you about Lord B.'s bust. It is a
masterpiece by Thorwaldsen [Footnote: The bust was made for Mr.
Hobhouse, at his expense. Lord Byron said, "I would not pay the price of
a Thorwaldsen bust for any head and shoulders, except Napoleon's or my
children's, or some 'absurd womankind's,' as Monkbarns calls them, or my
sister's."] who is thought by most judges to surpass Canova in this
branch of sculpture. The likeness is perfect: the artist worked _con
amore_, and told me it was the finest head he had ever under his hand. I
would have had a wreath round the brows, but the poet was afraid of
being mistaken for a king or a conqueror, and his pride or modesty made
him forbid the band. However, when the marble comes to England I shall
place a golden laurel round it in the ancient style, and, if it is
thought good enough, suffix the following inscription, which may serve
at least to tell the name of the portrait and allude to the excellence
of the artist, which very few lapidary inscriptions do;

'In vain would flattery steal a wreath from fame,
  And Rome's best sculptor only half succeed,
If England owned no share in Byron's name
  Nor hailed the laurel she before decreed.'

Of course you are very welcome to a copy--I don't mean of the verses,
but of the bust. But, with the exception of Mr. Kinnaird, who has
applied, and Mr. Davies, who may apply, no other will be granted.
Farewell, dear Sir."

The fourth canto duly reached London in Mr. Hobhouse's portmanteau, and
was published in the spring of 1818.



Lord Byron informed Mr. Murray, on October 12, 1817, that he had written
"a poem in or after the excellent manner of Mr. Whistlecraft (whom I
take to be Frere)"; and in a subsequent letter he said, "Mr.
Whistlecraft has no greater admirer than myself. I have written a story
in eighty-nine stanzas in imitation of him, called 'Beppo,' the short
name for Giuseppe, that is the Joe of the Italian Joseph." Lord Byron
required that it should be printed anonymously, and in any form that Mr.
Murray pleased. The manuscript of the poem was not, however, sent off
until the beginning of 1818; and it reached the publisher about a month

Meanwhile the friendly correspondence between the poet and his publisher

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_September_ 22, 1818.

"I was much pleased to find, on my arrival from Edinburgh on Saturday
night, your letter of August 26. The former one of the 21st I received
whilst in Scotland. The Saturday and Sunday previous I passed most
delightfully with Walter Scott, who was incessant in his inquiries after
your welfare. He entertains the noblest sentiments of regard towards
you, and speaks of you with the best feelings. I walked about ten miles
with him round a very beautiful estate, which he has purchased by
degrees, within two miles of his favourite Melrose. He has nearly
completed the centre and one wing of a castle on the banks of the Tweed,
where he is the happiness as well as pride of the whole neighbourhood.
He is one of the most hospitable, merry, and entertaining of mortals. He
would, I am confident, do anything to serve you; and as the Paper
[Footnote: The review of the fourth canto of "Childe Harold," _Q.R.,_
No.37.] which I now enclose is a second substantial proof of the
interest he takes in your literary character, perhaps it may naturally
enough afford occasion for a letter from you to him. I sent you by Mr.
Hanson four volumes of a second series of 'Tales of my Landlord,' and
four others are actually in the press. Scott does not yet avow them, but
no one doubts his being their author.... I sent also by Mr. Hanson a
number or two of _Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine,_ and I have in a
recent parcel sent the whole. I think that you will find in it a very
great share of talent, and some most incomparable fun.... John Wilson,
who wrote the article on Canto IV. of 'Childe Harold' (of which, by the
way, I am anxious to know your opinion), has very much interested
himself in the journal, and has communicated some most admirable papers.
Indeed, he possesses very great talents and a variety of knowledge. I
send you a very well-constructed kaleidoscope, a newly-invented toy
which, if not yet seen in Venice, will I trust amuse some of your female

The following letter is inserted here, as it does not appear in Moore's

_Lord Byron to John Murray_.

VENICE, _November_ 24, 1818,


Mr. Hanson has been here a week, and went five days ago. He brought
nothing but his papers, some corn-rubbers, and a kaleidoscope. "For what
we have received the Lord make us thankful"! for without His aid I shall
not be so. He--Hanson-left everything else in _Chancery Lane_ whatever,
except your copy-papers for the last Canto, [Footnote: Of "Childe
Harold."] etc., which having a degree of parchment he brought with him.
You may imagine his reception; he swore the books were a "waggon-load";
if they were, he should have come in a waggon; he would in that case
have come quicker than he did.

Lord Lauderdale set off from hence twelve days ago accompanied by a
cargo of Poesy directed to Mr. Hobhouse, all spick and span, and in MS.;
you will see what it is like. I have given it to Master Southey, and he
shall have more before I have done with him.

You may make what I say here as public as you please, more particularly
to Southey, whom I look upon--and will say so publicly-to be a dirty,
lying rascal, and will prove it in ink--or in his blood, if I did not
believe him to be too much of a poet to risk it! If he has forty reviews
at his back, as he has the _Quarterly_, I would have at him in his
scribbling capacity now that he has begun with me; but I will do nothing
underhand; tell him what I say from _me_ and every one else you please.

You will see what I have said, if the parcel arrives safe. I understand
Coleridge went about repeating Southey's lie with pleasure. I can
believe it, for I had done him what is called a favour.... I can
understand Coleridge's abusing me--but how or why _Southey_, whom I had
never obliged in any sort of way, or done him the remotest service,
should go about fibbing and calumniating is more than I readily
comprehend. Does he think to put me down with his _Canting_, not being
able to do it with his poetry? We will try the question. I have read his
review of Hunt, where he has attacked Shelley in an oblique and shabby
manner. Does he know what that review has done? I will tell you; it has
_sold_ an edition of the "Revolt of Islam" which otherwise nobody would
have thought of reading, and few who read can understand, I for one.

Southey would have attacked me too there, if he durst, further than by
hints about Hunt's friends in general, and some outcry about an
"Epicurean System" carried on by men of the most opposite habits and
tastes and opinions in life and poetry (I believe) that ever had their
names in the same volume--Moore, Byron, Shelley, Hazlitt, Haydon, Leigh
Hunt, Lamb. What resemblance do ye find among all or any of these men?
And how could any sort of system or plan be carried on or attempted
amongst them? However, let Mr. Southey look to himself; since the wine
is tapped, he shall drink it.

I got some books a few weeks ago--many thanks. Amongst them is Israeli's
new edition; it was not fair in you to show him my copy of his former
one, with all the marginal notes and nonsense made in Greece when I was
not two-and-twenty, and which certainly were not meant for his perusal,
nor for that of his readers.

I have a great respect for Israeli and his talents, and have read his
works over and over and over repeatedly, and been amused by them
greatly, and instructed often. Besides, I hate giving pain, unless
provoked; and he is an author, and must feel like his brethren; and
although his Liberality repaid my marginal flippancies with a
compliment--the highest compliment--that don't reconcile me to
myself--nor to _you_. It was a breach of confidence to do this without
my leave; I don't know a living man's book I take up so often or lay
down more reluctantly than Israeli's, and I never will forgive you--that
is, for many weeks. If he had got out of humour I should have been less
sorry; but even then I should have been sorry; but really he has heaped
his "coals of fire" so handsomely upon my head that they burn

You ask me of the two reviews [Footnote: Of "Childe Harold" in the
_Quarterly_ and _Blackwood._]--I will tell you. Scott's is the review
of one poet on another--his friend; Wilson's, the review of a poet too,
on another--his _Idol_; for he likes me better than he chooses to avow
to the public with all his eulogy. I speak judging only from the
article, for I don't know him personally.

Here is a long letter--can you read it?

Yours ever,


In the course of September 1818 Lord Byron communicated to Mr. Moore
that he had finished the first canto of a poem in the style and manner
of "Beppo." "It is called," he said, "'Don Juan,' and is meant to be a
little quietly facetious upon everything; but," he added, "I doubt
whether it is not--at least so far as it has yet gone--too free for
these very modest days." In January 1819 Lord Byron requested Mr. Murray
to print for private distribution fifty copies of "Don Juan." Mr. Murray
urged him to occupy himself with some great work worthy of his
reputation. "This you have promised to Gifford long ago, and to Hobhouse
and Kinnaird since." Lord Byron, however, continued to write out his
"Don Juan," and sent the second canto in April 1819, together with the
"Letter of Julia," to be inserted in the first canto.

Mr. Murray, in acknowledging the receipt of the first and second cantos,
was not so congratulatory as he had formerly been. The verses contained,
no doubt, some of the author's finest poetry, but he had some objections
to suggest. "I think," he said, "you may modify or substitute other
words for the lines on Romilly, whose death should save him." But Byron
entertained an extreme detestation for Romilly, because, he said, he had
been "one of my assassins," and had sacrificed him on "his legal altar";
and the verse [Footnote: St. 16, First Canto.] was allowed to stand
over. "Your history," wrote Murray, "of the plan of the progress of 'Don
Juan' is very entertaining, but I am clear for sending him to hell,
because he may favour us with a description of some of the characters
whom he finds there." Mr. Murray suggested the removal of some offensive
words in Canto II. "These," he said, "ladies may not read; the Shipwreck
is a little too particular, and out of proportion to the rest of the
picture. But if you do anything it must be done with extreme caution;
think of the effects of such seductive poetry! It probably surpasses in
talent anything that you ever wrote. Tell me if you think seriously of
completing this work, or if you have sketched the story. I am very sorry
to have occasioned you the trouble of writing again the "Letter of
Julia"; but you are always very forgiving in such cases." The lines in
which the objectionable words appeared were obliterated by Lord Byron.

From the following letter we see that Mr. Murray continued his

_John Murray to Lord Byron_.

_May 3_, 1819.

"I find that 'Julia's Letter' has been safely received, and is with the
printer. The whole remainder of the second canto will be sent by
Friday's post. The inquiries after its appearance are not a few. Pray
use your most tasteful discretion so as to wrap up or leave out certain
approximations to indelicacy."

Mr. Douglas Kinnaird, who was entrusted with the business portion of
this transaction, wrote to Mr. Murray:

_Mr. Douglas Kinnaird to John Murray_.

_June 7_, 1819.

My Dear Sir,

Since I had the pleasure of seeing you, I have received from Lord Byron
a letter in which he expresses himself as having left to Mr. Hobhouse
and myself the sole and whole discretion and duty of settling with the
publisher of the MSS. which are now in your hands the consideration to
be given for them. Observing that you have advertised "Mazeppa," I feel
that it is my duty to request you will name an early day--of course
previous to your publishing that or any other part of the MSS.--when we
may meet and receive your offer of such terms as you may deem proper for
the purchase of the copyright of them. The very liberal footing on which
Lord Byron's intercourse with you in your character of publisher of his
Lordship's works has hitherto been placed, leaves no doubt in my mind
that our interview need be but very short, and that the terms you will
propose will be met by our assent.

The parties met, and Mr. Murray agreed to give £525 for "Mazeppa," and
£1,575 for the first and second cantos of "Don Juan," with "The Ode to
Venice" thrown in.

In accordance with Lord Byron's directions to his publisher to "keep the
anonymous," Cantos I. and II. of "Don Juan" appeared in London, in
quarto, in July 1819, without the name of either author, publisher, or
bookseller. The book was immediately pounced upon by the critics; but it
is unnecessary to quote their reviews, as they are impartially given in
the latest accredited editions of Lord Byron's poems. A few criticisms
from Mr. Murray's private correspondence may be given.

_Mr. Gifford to John Murray_.

RYDE, _July_ 1, 1819.

"Lord B.'s letter is shockingly amusing. [Footnote: Probably that
written in May; printed in the "Life."] He must be mad; but then there's
method in his madness. I dread, however, the end. He is, or rather might
be, the most extraordinary character of his age. I have lived to see
three great men--men to whom none come near in their respective
provinces--Pitt, Nelson, Wellington. Morality and religion would have
placed our friend among them as the fourth boast of the time; even a
decent respect for the good opinion of mankind might have done much now;
but all is tending to displace him."

Mr. Murray, who was still in communication with Mr. Blackwood, found
that he refused to sell "Don Juan" because it contained personalities
which he regarded as even more objectionable than those of which Murray
had complained in the _Magazine_.

When the copyright of "Don Juan" was infringed by other publishers, it
became necessary to take steps to protect it at law, and Mr. Sharon
Turner was consulted on the subject. An injunction was applied for in
Chancery, and the course of the negotiation will be best ascertained
from the following letters:

_Mr. Sharon Turner to John Murray_.

_October_ 21, 1819.


... on "Don Juan" I have much apprehension. I had from the beginning,
and therefore advised the separate assignment. The counsel who is
settling the bill also doubts if the Chancellor will sustain the
injunction. I think, when Mr. Bell comes to town, it will be best to
have a consultation with him on the subject. The counsel, Mr. Loraine,
shall state to him his view on the subject, and you shall hear what Mr.
Bell feels upon it. Shall I appoint the consultation? The evil, if not
stopped, will be great. It will circulate in a cheap form very
extensively, injuring society wherever it spreads. Yet one consideration
strikes me. You could wish Lord Byron to write less objectionably. You
may also wish him to return you part of the £1,625. If the Chancellor
should dissolve the injunction on this ground, that will show Lord B.
that he must expect no more copyright money for such things, and that
they are too bad for law to uphold. Will not this affect his mind and
purify his pen? It is true that to get this good result you must
encounter the risk and expense of the injunction and of the argument
upon it. Will you do this? If I laid the case separately before three of
our ablest counsel, and they concurred in as many opinions that it
could not be supported, would this equally affect his Lordship's mind,
and also induce him to return you an adequate proportion of the purchase
money? Perhaps nothing but the Court treating him as it treated Southey
[Footnote: In the case of "Wat Tyler," see Murray's letter to Byron in
preceding chapter, April 12, 1817.] may sufficiently impress Lord B.
After the consultation with Bell you will better judge. Shall I get it
appointed as soon as he comes to town?

Ever yours faithfully,


Mr. Bell gave his opinion that the Court would not afford protection to
the book. He admitted, however, that he had not had time to study it.

The next letter relates to the opinion of Mr. Shadwell, afterwards

_Mr. Sharon Turner to John Murray_.

_November_ 12, 1819.

Dear Murray,

I saw Mr. Shadwell to-day on "Don Juan." He has gone through the book
with more attention than Mr. Bell had time to do. He desires me to say
that he does not think the Chancellor would refuse an injunction, or
would overturn it if obtained....

Yours most faithfully,


In the event the injunction to restrain the publication of "Don Juan" by
piratical publishers was granted.

Towards the end of 1819 Byron thought of returning to England. On
November 8 he wrote to Mr. Murray:

"If she [the Countess Guiccioli] and her husband make it up, you will
perhaps see me in England sooner than you expect. If not, I will retire
with her to France or America, change my name, and lead a quiet
provincial life. If she gets over this, and I get over my Tertian ague,
I will perhaps look in at Albemarle Street _en passant_ to Bolivar."

When Mr. Hobhouse, then living at Ramsbury, heard of Byron's intention
to go to South America, he wrote to Mr. Murray as follows:

" ... To be sure it is impossible that Lord B. should seriously
contemplate, or, if he does, he must not expect us to encourage, this
mad scheme. I do not know what in the world to say, but presume some one
has been talking nonsense to him. Let Jim Perry go to Venezuela if he
will--he may edit his 'Independent Gazette' amongst the Independents
themselves, and reproduce his stale puns and politics without let or
hindrance. But our poet is too good for a planter--too good to sit down
before a fire made of mare's legs, to a dinner of beef without salt and
bread. It is the wildest of all his meditations--pray tell him. The
plague and Yellow Jack, and famine and free quarter, besides a thousand
other ills, will stare him in the face. No tooth-brushes, no
corn-rubbers, no _Quarterly Reviews_. In short, plenty of all he
abominates and nothing of all he loves. I shall write, but you can tell
facts, which will be better than my arguments."

Byron's half-formed intention was soon abandoned, and the Countess
Guiccioli's serious illness recalled him to Ravenna, where he remained
for the next year and a half.

Hobhouse's next letter to Murray (January 1820), in which he reported
"Bad news from Ravenna--a great pity indeed," is dated _Newgate_, where
he had been lodged in consequence of his pamphlet entitled "A Trifling
Mistake in Thomas Lord Erskine's Recent Pamphlet," containing several
very strong reflections on the House of Commons as then constituted.

During his imprisonment, Mr. Hobhouse was visited by Mr. Murray and Ugo
Foscolo, as well as by many of his political friends.

Lady Caroline Lamb also wrote to Mr. Murray from Brockett Hall, asking
for information about Byron and Hobhouse.

_Lady Caroline Lamb to John Murray_.

You have never written to tell me about him. Now, did you know the pain
and agony this has given me, you had not been so remiss. If you could
come here on Wednesday for one night, I have a few people and a supper.
You could come by the Mail in two hours, much swifter than even in your
swift carriage; and I have one million of things to say and ask also. Do
tell me how that dear Radical Hob is, and pray remember me to him. I
really hope you will be here at dinner or supper on Wednesday. Your
bedroom shall be ready, and you can be back in Town before most people
are up, though I rise here at seven.

Yours quite disturbed my mind, for want of your telling me how he
[Byron] looks, what he says, if he is grown fat, if he is no uglier than
he used to be, if he is good-humoured or cross-grained, putting his
brows down--if his hair curls or is straight as somebody said, if he has
seen Hobhouse, if he is going to stay long, if you went to Dover as you
intended, and a great deal more, which, if you had the smallest tact or
aught else, you would have written long ago; for as to me, I shall
certainly not see him, neither do I care he should know that I ever
asked after him. It is from mere curiosity I should like to hear all you
can tell me about him. Pray come here immediately.



Notwithstanding the remarkable sale of "Don Juan," Murray hesitated
about publishing any more of the cantos. After the fifth canto was
published, Lord Byron informed Murray that it was "hardly the beginning
of the work," that he intended to take Don Juan through the tour of
Europe, put him through the Divorce Court, and make him finish as
Anacharsis Clootz in the French Revolution. Besides being influenced by
his own feelings, it is possible that the following letter of Mr. Croker
may have induced Mr. Murray to have nothing further to do with the work:

_Mr. Croker to John Murray_.

MUNSTER HOUSE, _March_ 26, 1820.

_A rainy Sunday_.


I have to thank you for letting me see your two new cantos [the 3rd and
4th], which I return. What sublimity! what levity! what boldness! what
tenderness! what majesty! what trifling! what variety! what
_tediousness_!--for tedious to a strange degree, it must be confessed
that whole passages are, particularly the earlier stanzas of the fourth
canto. I know no man of such general powers of intellect as Brougham,
yet I think _him_ insufferably tedious; and I fancy the reason to be
that he has such _facility_ of expression that he is never recalled to a
_selection_ of his thoughts. A more costive orator would be obliged to
choose, and a man of his talents could not fail to choose the best; but
the power of uttering all and everything which passes across his mind,
tempts him to say all. He goes on without thought--I should rather say,
without pause. His speeches are poor from their richness, and dull from
their infinite variety. An impediment in his speech would make him a
perfect Demosthenes. Something of the same kind, and with something of
the same effect, is Lord Byron's wonderful fertility of thought and
facility of expression; and the Protean style of "Don Juan," instead of
checking (as the fetters of rhythm generally do) his natural activity,
not only gives him wider limits to range in, but even generates a more
roving disposition. I dare swear, if the truth were known, that his
digressions and repetitions generate one another, and that the happy
jingle of some of his comical rhymes has led him on to episodes of which
he never originally thought; and thus it is that, with the most
extraordinary merit, _merit of all kinds_, these two cantos have been
to _me_, in several points, tedious and even obscure.

As to the PRINCIPLES, all the world, and you, Mr. Murray, _first of
all_, have done this poem great injustice. There are levities here and
there, more than good taste approves, but nothing to make such a
terrible rout about--nothing so bad as "Tom Jones," nor within a hundred
degrees of "Count Fathom."

The writer goes on to remark that the personalities in the poem are more
to be deprecated than "its imputed looseness of principle":

I mean some expressions of political and personal feelings which, I
believe, he, in fact, never felt, and threw in wantonly and _de gaieté
de coeur_, and which he would have omitted, advisedly and _de bonté de
coeur_, if he had not been goaded by indiscreet, contradictory, and
urgent _criticisms_, which, in some cases, were dark enough to be called
_calumnies_. But these are blowing over, if not blown over; and I cannot
but think that if Mr. Gifford, or some friend in whose taste and
disinterestedness Lord Byron could rely, were to point out to him the
cruelty to individuals, the injury to the national character, the
offence to public taste, and the injury to his own reputation, of such
passages as those about Southey and Waterloo and the British Government
and the head of that Government, I cannot but hope and believe that
these blemishes in the first cantos would be wiped away in the next
edition; and that some that occur in the two cantos (which you sent me)
would never see the light. What interest can Lord Byron have in being
the poet of a party in politics?... In politics, he cannot be what he
appears, or rather what Messrs. Hobhouse and Leigh Hunt wish to make him
appear. A man of his birth, a man of his taste, a man of his talents, a
man of his habits, can have nothing in common with such miserable
creatures as we now call _Radicals_, of whom I know not that I can
better express the illiterate and blind ignorance and vulgarity than by
saying that the best informed of them have probably never heard of Lord
Byron. No, no, Lord Byron may be indulgent to these jackal followers of
his; he may connive at their use of his name--nay, it is not to be
denied that he has given them too, too much countenance--but he never
can, I should think, now that he sees not only the road but the rate
they are going, continue to take a part so contrary to all his own
interests and feelings, and to the feelings and interests of all the
respectable part of his country.... But what is to be the end of all
this rigmarole of mine? To conclude, this--to advise you, for your own
sake as a tradesman, for Lord Byron's sake as a poet, for the sake of
good literature and good principles, which ought to be united, to take
such measures as you may be able to venture upon to get Lord Byron to
revise these two cantos, and not to make another step in the odious path
which Hobhouse beckons him to pursue....

Yours ever,


But Byron would alter nothing more in his "Don Juan." He accepted the
corrections of Gifford in his "Tragedies," but "Don Juan" was never
submitted to him. Hobhouse was occasionally applied to, because he knew
Lord Byron's handwriting; but even his suggestions of alterations or
corrections of "Don Juan" were in most cases declined, and moreover
about this time a slight coolness had sprung up between him and Byron.
When Hobhouse was standing for Westminster with Sir Francis Burdett,
Lord Byron sent a song about him in a letter to Mr. Murray. It ran to
the tune of "My Boy Tammy? O!"

"Who are now the People's men?
  My boy Hobby O!
Yourself and Burdett, Gentlemen,
  And Blackguard Hunt and Cobby O!

"When to the mob you make a speech,
  My boy Hobby O!
How do you keep without their reach
  The watch without your fobby O?"
[Footnote: The rest of the song is printed in _Murray's Magazine_, No. 3.]

Lord Byron asked Murray to show the song not only to some of his
friends--who got it by heart and had it printed in the newspapers--but
also to Hobhouse himself. "I know," said his Lordship, "that he will
never forgive me, but I really have no patience with him for letting
himself be put in quod by such a set of ragamuffins." Mr. Hobhouse,
however, was angry with Byron for his lampoon and with Murray for
showing it to his friends. He accordingly wrote the following letter,
which contains some interesting particulars of the Whig Club at
Cambridge in Byron's University days:

_Mr. Hobhouse to John Murray_.

2, HANOVER SQUARE, _November_, 1820.

I have received your letter, and return to you Lord Byron's. I shall
tell you very frankly, because I think it much better to speak a little
of a man to his face than to say a great deal about him behind his back,
that I think you have not treated me as I deserved, nor as might have
been expected from that friendly intercourse which has subsisted between
us for so many years. Had Lord Byron transmitted to me a lampoon on you,
I should, if I know myself at all, either have put it into the fire
without delivery, or should have sent it at once to you. I should not
have given it a circulation for the gratification of all the small wits
at the great and little houses, where no treat is so agreeable as to
find a man laughing at his friend. In this case, the whole coterie of
the very shabbiest party that ever disgraced and divided a nation--I
mean the Whigs--are, I know, chuckling over that silly charge made by
Mr. Lamb on the hustings, and now confirmed by Lord Byron, of my having
belonged to a Whig club at Cambridge. Such a Whig as I then was, I am
now. I had no notion that the name implied selfishness and subserviency,
and desertion of the most important principles for the sake of the least
important interest. I had no notion that it implied anything more than
an attachment to the principles the ascendency of which expelled the
Stuarts from the Throne. Lord Byron belonged to this Cambridge club, and
desired me to scratch out his name, on account of the criticism in the
_Edinburgh Review_ on his early poems; but, exercising my discretion on
the subject, I did not erase his name, but reconciled him to the said

The members of the club were but few, and with those who
have any marked politics amongst them, I continue to agree at
this day. They were but ten, and you must know most of them--Mr.
W. Ponsonby, Mr. George O'Callaghan, the Duke of Devonshire,
Mr. Dominick Browne, Mr. Henry Pearce, Mr. Kinnaird, Lord
Tavistock, Lord Ellenborough, Lord Byron, and myself. I was
not, as Lord Byron says in the song, the founder of this Club;

"But when we at Cambridge were
My boy Hobbie O!
If my memory do not err,
You founded a Whig Clubbie O!"

on the contrary, thinking myself of mighty importance
in those days, I recollect very well that some difficulty attended my
consenting to belong to the club, and I have by me a letter from
Lord Tavistock, in which the distinction between being a Whig
_party_ man and a Revolution Whig is strongly insisted upon.

I have troubled you with this detail in consequence of Lord Byron's
charge, which he, who despises and defies, and has lampooned the Whigs
all round, only invented out of wantonness, and for the sake of annoying
me--and he has certainly succeeded, thanks to your circulating this
filthy ballad. As for his Lordship's vulgar notions about the _mob_,
they are very fit for the Poet of the _Morning Post_, and for nobody
else. Nothing in the ballad annoyed me but the charge about the
Cambridge club, because nothing else had the semblance of truth; and I
own it has hurt me very much to find Lord Byron playing into the hands
of the Holland House sycophants, for whom he has himself the most
sovereign contempt, and whom in other days I myself have tried to induce
him to tolerate.

I shall say no more on this unpleasant subject except that, by a letter
which I have just received from Lord Byron, I think he is ashamed of his
song. I shall certainly speak as plainly to him as I have taken the
liberty to do to you on this matter. He was very wanton and you very
indiscreet; but I trust neither one nor the other meant mischief, and
there's an end of it. Do not aggravate matters by telling how much I
have been annoyed. Lord Byron has sent me a list of his new poems and
some prose, all of which he requests me to prepare for the press for
him. The monied arrangement is to be made by Mr. Kinnaird. When you are
ready for me, the materials may be sent to me at this place, where I
have taken up my abode for the season.

I remain, very truly yours, JOHN CAM HOBHOUSE.

Towards the end of 1820 Lord Byron wrote a long letter to Mr. Murray on
Mr. Bowles's strictures on the "Life and Writings of Pope." It was a
subject perhaps unworthy of his pen, but being an ardent admirer of
Pope, he thought it his duty to "bowl him [Bowles] down." "I mean to lay
about me," said Byron, "like a dragon, till I make manure of Bowles for
the top of Parnassus."

After some revision, the first and second letters to Bowles were
published, and were well received.

The tragedy of "Sardanapalus," the last three acts of which had been
written in a fortnight, was despatched to Murray on May 30, 1821, and
was within a few weeks followed by "The Two Foscari: an Historical
Tragedy"--which had been composed within a month--and on September 10
by "Cain, a Mystery." The three dramas, "Sardanapalus," "The Two
Foscari," and "Cain, a Mystery," were published together in December
1821, and Mr. Murray paid Lord Byron for them the sum of £2,710.

"Cain" was dedicated, by his consent, to Sir Walter Scott, who, in
writing to Mr. Murray, described it as "a very grand and tremendous
drama." On its first appearance it was reprinted in a cheap form by two
booksellers, under the impression that the Court of Chancery would not
protect it, and it therefore became necessary to take out an injunction
to restrain these piratical publishers.

The case came before Lord Chancellor Eldon on February 9. Mr. Shadwell,
Mr. Spence, and Sergeant Copley were retained by Mr. Murray, and after
considerable discussion the injunction was refused, the Lord Chancellor
intimating that the publisher must establish his right to the
publication at law, and obtain the decision of a jury, on which he would
grant the injunction required. This was done accordingly, and the
copyright in "Cain" was thus secured.

On the death of Allegra, his natural daughter, Lord Byron entrusted to
Mr. Murray the painful duty of making arrangements for the burial of the
remains in Harrow Church. Mr. Cunningham, the clergyman of Harrow, wrote
in answer to Mr. Murray:

_Rev. J.W. Cunningham to John Murray_.

_August_ 20, 1822.


Mr. Henry Drury was so good as to communicate to me a request conveyed
to you by Lord Byron respecting the burial of a child in this church.
Mr. H. Drury will probably have also stated to you my willingness to
comply with the wish of Lord Byron. Will you forgive me, however, for so
far trespassing upon you (though a stranger) as to suggest an inquiry
whether it might not be practicable and desirable to fulfil for the
_present_ only a _part_ of his Lordship's wish--by burying the child,
and putting up a tablet with simply its name upon the tablet; and thus
leaving Lord B. more leisure to reflect upon the character of the
inscription he may wish to be added. It does seem to me that whatever he
may wish in the moment of his distress about the loss of this child, he
will afterwards regret that he should have taken pains to proclaim to
the world what he will not, I am sure, consider as honourable to his
name. And if this be probable, then it appears to me the office of a
true friend not to suffer him to commit himself but to allow his mind an
opportunity of calm deliberation. I feel constrained to say that the
inscription he proposed will be felt by every man of refined taste, to
say nothing of sound morals, to be an offence against taste and
propriety. My correspondence with his Lordship has been so small that I
can scarcely venture myself to urge these objections. You perhaps will
feel no such scruple. I have seen no person who did not concur in the
propriety of stating them. I would entreat, however, that should you
think it right to introduce my name into any statement made to Lord
Byron, you will not do it without assuring him of my unwillingness to
oppose the smallest obstacle to his wishes, or give the slightest pain
to his mind. The injury which, in my judgment, he is from day to day
inflicting upon society is no justification for measures of retaliation
and unkindness.

Your obedient and faithful Servant, J.W. CUNNINGHAM.

No communication having been received by the Rector, he placed the
application from Lord Byron before the churchwardens.

_Rev. J.W. Cunningham to John Murray_.

"The churchwardens have been urged to issue their prohibition by several
leading and influential persons, laymen, in the parish. You are aware
that as to _ex-parishioners_ the consent of the churchwardens is no less
necessary than my own; and that therefore the enclosed prohibition is
decisive as to the putting up of the monument. You will oblige me by
making known to Lord Byron the precise circumstances of the case.

I am, your obedient Servant, J.W. CUNNINGHAM.

The prohibition was as follows:

HARROW, _September_ 17, 1822.

Honored Sir,

I object on behalf of the parish to admit the tablet of Lord Byron's
child into the church.

JAMES WINKLEY, _Churchwarden_.

The remains of Allegra, after long delay, were at length buried in the
church, just under the present door mat, over which the congregation
enter the church; but no memorial tablet or other record of her appears
on the walls of Harrow Church.



No attempt has here been made to present a strictly chronological record
of Mr. Murray's life; we have sought only so to group his correspondence
as to lay before our readers the various episodes which go to form the
business life of a publisher. In pursuance of this plan we now proceed
to narrate the closing incidents of his friendship with Lord Byron,
reserving to subsequent chapters the various other transactions in which
he was engaged.

During the later months of Byron's residence in Italy this friendship
had suffered some interruption, due in part perhaps to questions which
had arisen out of the publication of "Don Juan," and in part to the
interference of the Hunts. With the activity aroused by his expedition
to Greece, Byron's better nature reasserted itself, and his last letter
to his publisher, though already printed in Moore's Life, cannot be
omitted from these pages:

_Lord Byron to John Murray_.

MISSOLONGHI, _February_ 25, 1824.

I have heard from Mr. Douglas Kinnaird that you state "a report of a
satire on Mr. Gifford having arrived from Italy, _said_ to be written by
_me_! but that _you_ do not believe it." I dare say you do not, nor any
body else, I should think. Whoever asserts that I am the author or
abettor of anything of the kind on Gifford lies in his throat. I always
regarded him as my literary father, and myself as his prodigal son; if
any such composition exists, it is none of mine. _You_ know as well as
anybody upon _whom_ I have or have not written; and _you_ also know
whether they do or did not deserve that same. And so much for such
matters. You will perhaps be anxious to hear some news from this part
of Greece (which is the most liable to invasion); but you will hear
enough through public and private channels. I will, however, give you
the events of a week, mingling my own private peculiar with the public;
for we are here jumbled a little together at present.

On Sunday (the 15th, I believe) I had a strong and sudden convulsive
attack, which left me speechless, though not motionless-for some strong
men could not hold me; but whether it was epilepsy, catalepsy, cachexy,
or apoplexy, or what other _exy_ or _epsy_ the doctors have not decided;
or whether it was spasmodic or nervous, etc.; but it was very
unpleasant, and nearly carried me off, and all that. On Monday, they put
leeches to my temples, no difficult matter, but the blood could not be
stopped till eleven at night (they had gone too near the temporal artery
for my temporal safety), and neither styptic nor caustic would cauterise
the orifice till after a hundred attempts.

On Tuesday a Turkish brig of war ran on shore. On Wednesday, great
preparations being made to attack her, though protected by her consorts,
the Turks burned her and retired to Patras. On Thursday a quarrel ensued
between the Suliotes and the Frank guard at the arsenal: a Swedish
officer was killed, and a Suliote severely wounded, and a general fight
expected, and with some difficulty prevented. On Friday, the officer was
buried; and Captain Parry's English artificers mutinied, under pretence
that their lives were in danger, and are for quitting the country:--they

On Saturday we had the smartest shock of an earthquake which I remember
(and I have felt thirty, slight or smart, at different periods; they are
common in the Mediterranean), and the whole army discharged their arms,
upon the same principle that savages beat drums, or howl, during an
eclipse of the moon:--it was a rare scene altogether--if you had but
seen the English Johnnies, who had never been out of a cockney workshop
before!--or will again, if they can help it--and on Sunday, we heard
that the Vizier is come down to Larissa, with one hundred and odd
thousand men.

In coming here, I had two escapes; one from the Turks _(one_ of my
vessels was taken but afterwards released), and the other from
shipwreck. We drove twice on the rocks near the Scrofes (islands near
the coast).

I have obtained from the Greeks the release of eight-and-twenty Turkish
prisoners, men, women, and children, and sent them to Patras and Prevesa
at my own charges. One little girl of nine years old, who prefers
remaining with me, I shall (if I live) send, with her mother, probably,
to Italy, or to England, and adopt her. Her name is Hato, or Hatagée.
She is a very pretty lively child. All her brothers were killed by the
Greeks, and she herself and her mother merely spared by special favour
and owing to her extreme youth, she being then but five or six years

My health is now better, and I ride about again. My office here is no
sinecure, so many parties and difficulties of every kind; but I will do
what I can. Prince Mavrocordato is an excellent person, and does all in
his power; but his situation is perplexing in the extreme. Still we have
great hopes of the success of the contest. You will hear, however, more
of public news from plenty of quarters: for I have little time to write.

Believe me, yours, etc., etc.,

N. BN.

The fierce lawlessness of the Suliotes had now risen to such a height
that it became necessary, for the safety of the European population, to
get rid of them altogether; and, by some sacrifices on the part of Lord
Byron, this object was at length effected. The advance of a month's pay
by him, and the discharge of their arrears by the Government (the
latter, too, with money lent for that purpose by the same universal
paymaster), at length induced these rude warriors to depart from the
town, and with them vanished all hopes of the expedition against

Byron died at Missolonghi on April 19, 1824, and when the body arrived
in London, Murray, on behalf of Mr. Hobhouse, who was not personally
acquainted with Dr. Ireland, the Dean of Westminster, wrote to him,
conveying "the request of the executors and nearest relatives of the
deceased for permission that his Lordship's remains may be deposited in
Westminster Abbey, in the most private manner, at an early hour in the

Dr. _Ireland to John Murray_. ISLIP, OXFORD, _July_ 8, 1824.

Dear Sir,

No doubt the family vault is the most proper place for the remains of
Lord Byron. It is to be wished, however, that nothing had been said
_publicly_ about Westminster Abbey before it was known whether the
remains could be received there. In the newspapers, unfortunately, it
has been proclaimed by somebody that the Abbey was to be the spot, and,
on the appearance of this article, I have been questioned as to the
truth of it from Oxford. My answer has been that the proposal has been
made, but civilly declined. I had also informed the members of the
church at Westminster (after your first letter) that I could not grant
the favour asked. I cannot, therefore, answer now that the case will not
be mentioned (as it has happened) by some person or other who knows it.
The best thing to be done, however, by the executors and relatives, is
to carry away the body, and say as little about it as possible. Unless
the subject is provoked by some injudicious parade about the remains,
perhaps the matter will draw little or no notice.

Yours very truly,


The death of Byron brought into immediate prominence the question of
his autobiographical memoirs, the MS. of which he had given to Moore,
who was at that time his guest at La Mira, near Venice, in 1819.

"A short time before dinner," wrote Moore, "he left the room, and in a
minute or two returned carrying in his hand a white-leather bag. 'Look
here,' he said, holding it up, 'this would be worth something to Murray,
though _you_, I daresay, would not give sixpence for it.' 'What is it?'
I asked. 'My Life and Adventures,' he answered. On hearing this I raised
my hands in a gesture of wonder. 'It is not a thing,' he continued,
'that can be published during my lifetime, but you may have it if you
like: there, do whatever you please with it.'"

Moore was greatly gratified by the gift, and said the Memoirs would make
a fine legacy for his little boy. Lord Byron informed Mr. Murray by
letter what he had done. "They are not," he said, "for publication
during my life, but when I am cold you may do what you please." In a
subsequent letter to Mr. Murray, Lord Byron said: "As you say my _prose_
is good, why don't you treat with Moore for the reversion of my
Memoirs?--conditionally recollect; not to be published before decease.
He has the permission to dispose of them, and I advised him to do so."
Moore thus mentions the subject in his Memoirs:

"_May_ 28, 1820.--Received a letter at last from Lord Byron, through
Murray, telling me he had informed Lady B. of his having given me his
Memoirs for the purpose of their being published after his death, and
offering her the perusal of them in case she might wish to confute any
of his statements. Her note in answer to this offer (the original of
which he enclosed me) is as follows":

KIRKBY MALLORY, _March_ 10, 1820.

I received your letter of January 1st, offering for my perusal a Memoir
of part of my life. I decline to inspect it. I consider the publication
or circulation of such a composition at any time is prejudicial to Ada's
future happiness. For my own sake I have no reason to shrink from
publication; but notwithstanding the injuries which I have suffered, I
should lament more of the _consequences._


To LORD BYRON. [Footnote: For Byron's reply to this letter, see Moore's
Memoirs, iii. 115.]

Moore received the continuation of Lord Byron's Memoirs on December 26,
1820, the postage amounting to forty-six francs and a half. "He advises
me," said Moore in his Diary, "to dispose of the reversion of the MS.
now." Accordingly, Moore, being then involved in pecuniary
responsibilities by the defalcations of his deputy in Bermuda,
endeavoured to dispose of the "Memoirs of Lord Byron." He first wrote to
the Messrs. Longman, who did not offer him enough; and then to Mr.
Murray, who offered him the sum of 2,000 guineas, on condition that he
should be the editor of the Memoirs, and write the Life of Lord Byron.

_John Murray to Lord Byron_. _July_ 24, 1821.

Dear Lord Byron,

I have just received a letter from Mr. Moore--the subject of it is every
way worthy of your usual liberality--and I had not a moment's hesitation
in acceding to a proposal which enabled me in any way to join in
assisting so excellent a fellow. I have told him--which I suppose you
will think fair--that he should give me all additions that you may from
time to time make--and in case of survivorship edit the whole--and I
will leave it as an heirloom to my son.

I have written to accede to Mr. Moore's proposal. I remain, dear Lord
Byron, Your grateful and faithful Servant, JOHN MURRAY.

Mr. Moore accepted the proposal, and then proceeded to draw upon Mr.
Murray for part of the money. It may be added that the agreement between
Murray and Moore gave the former the right of publishing the Memoirs
three months after his Lordship's death. When that event was
authenticated, the manuscript remained at Mr. Murray's absolute disposal
if Moore had not previously redeemed it by the repayment of the 2,000

During the period that Mr. Moore had been in negotiation with the
Longmans and Murray respecting the purchase of the Memoirs, he had given
"Lady Holland the MS. to read." Lord John Russell also states, in his
"Memoirs of Moore," that he had read "the greater part, if not the
whole," and that he should say that some of it was too gross for
publication. When the Memoirs came into the hands of Mr. Murray, he
entrusted the manuscript to Mr. Gifford, whose opinion coincided with
that of Lord John Russell. A few others saw the Memoirs, amongst them
Washington Irving and Mr. Luttrell. Irving says, in his "Memoirs," that
Moore showed him the Byron recollections and that they were quite

Mr. Moore himself seems to have been thrown into some doubt as to the
sale of the manuscript by the opinion of his friends. "Lord Holland," he
said, "expressed some scruples as to the sale of Lord Byron's Memoirs,
and he wished that I could have got the 2,000 guineas in any other way;
he seemed to think it was in cold blood, depositing a sort of quiver of
poisoned arrows for a future warfare upon private character." [Footnote:
Lord John Russell's "Memoirs, Journals, and Correspondence of Thomas
Moore," iii. p. 298.] Mr. Moore had a long conversation on the subject
with Mr. J.C. Hobhouse, "who," he says in his Journal, "is an upright
and honest man." When speaking of Lord Byron, Hobhouse said, "I know
more about Lord Byron than any one else, and much more than I should
wish any one else to know."

Lady Byron offered, through Mr. Kinnaird, to advance 2,000 guineas for
the redemption of the Memoirs from Mr. Murray, but the negotiation was
not brought to a definite issue. Moore, when informed of the offer,
objected to Lady Byron being consulted about the matter, "for this would
be treachery to Lord Byron's intentions and wishes," but he agreed to
place the Memoirs at the disposal of Lord Byron's sister, Mrs. Leigh,
"to be done with exactly as she thought proper." Moore was of opinion
that those parts of the manuscript should be destroyed which were found
objectionable; but that those parts should be retained which were not,
for his benefit and that of the public.

At the same time it must be remembered that Moore's interest in the
Memoirs had now entirely ceased, for in consequence of the death of Lord
Byron they had become Mr. Murray's absolute property, in accordance with
the terms of his purchase. But although Mr. Murray had paid so large a
sum for the manuscript, and would probably have made a considerable
profit by its publication, he was nevertheless willing to have it
destroyed, if it should be the deliberate opinion of his Lordship's
friends and relatives that such a step was desirable.

Mr. Murray therefore put himself into communication with Lord Byron's
nearest friends and relations with respect to the disposal of the
Memoirs. His suggestion was at first strongly opposed by some of them;
but he urged his objections to publication with increased zeal, even
renouncing every claim to indemnification for what he had paid to Mr.
Moore. A meeting of those who were entitled to act in the matter was at
length agreed upon, and took place in Murray's drawing-room, on May 17,
1824. There were present Mr. Murray, Mr. Moore, Mr. J.C. Hobhouse,
Colonel Doyle representing Lady Byron, Mr. Wilmot Horton representing
Mrs. Leigh, and Mr. Luttrell, a friend of Moore's. Young Mr.
Murray--then sixteen; the only person of those assembled now living
[1891]--was also in the room. The discussion was long and stormy before
the meeting broke up, and nearly led to a challenge between Moore and
Hobhouse. A reference to the agreement between Moore and Murray became
necessary, but for a long time that document could not be found; it was
at length discovered, but only after the decision to commit the
manuscript to the flames had been made and carried out, and the party
remained until the last sheet of Lord Byron's Memoirs had vanished in
smoke up the Albemarle Street chimney.

Immediately after the burning, Mrs. Leigh wrote the following account to
her friend, the Rev. Mr. Hodgson, an old friend of Byron's:

_The Hon. Mrs. Leigh to the Rev. f. Hodgson_.

"The parties, Messrs. Moore, Murray, Hobhouse, Col. Doyle for Lady B.,
and Mr. Wilmot for me, and Mr. Luttrell, a friend of Mr. Moore's, met at
Mr. Murray's; and after a long dispute and nearly quarrelling, upon Mr.
Wilmot stating what was my wish and opinion, the MS. was burnt, and
Moore paid Murray the 2,000 guineas. Immediately almost _after_ this was
done, the legal agreement between Moore and Murray (which had been
mislaid), was found, and, strange to say, it appeared from it (what both
had forgotten), that the property of the MS. was Murray's _bond fide_.
Consequently _he_ had the right to dispose of it as he pleased; and as
he had behaved most handsomely upon the occasion ... it was desired by
our family that he should receive the 2,000 guineas back." [Footnote:
"Memoir of the Rev. F. Hodgson," ii. 139-40.]

But the Byrons did not repay the money. Mr. Moore would not permit it.
He had borrowed the 2,000 guineas from the Messrs. Longman, and before
he left the room, he repaid to Mr. Murray the sum he had received for
the Memoirs, together with the interest during the time that the
purchase-money had remained in his possession.

The statements made in the press, as to Lord Byron's Memoirs having been
burnt, occasioned much public excitement, and many applications were
made to Mr. Murray for information on the subject. Amongst those who
made particular inquiry was Mr. Jerdan, of the _Literary Gazette,_ who
inclosed to Mr. Murray the paragraph which he proposed to insert in his
journal. Mr. Murray informed him that the account was so very erroneous,
that he desired him either to condense it down to the smallest compass,
or to omit it altogether. Mr. Jerdan, however, replied that the subject
was of so much public interest, that he could not refuse to state the
particulars, and the following was sent to him, prepared by Mr. Murray:

"A general interest having been excited, touching the fate of Lord
Byron's Memoirs, written by himself, and reports, confused and
incorrect, having got into circulation upon the subject, it has been
deemed requisite to signify the real particulars. The manuscript of
these Memoirs was purchased by Mr. Murray in the year 1821 for the sum
of two thousand guineas, under certain stipulations which gave him the
right of publishing them three months after his Lordship's demise. When
that event was authenticated, the Manuscript consequently remained at
Mr. Murray's absolute disposal; and a day or two after the melancholy
intelligence reached London, Mr. Murray submitted to the near
connections of the family that the MSS. should be destroyed. In
consequence of this, five persons variously concerned in the matter were
convened for discussion upon it. As these Memoirs were not calculated to
augment the fame of the writer, and as some passages were penned in a
spirit which his better feelings since had virtually retracted, Mr.
Murray proposed that they should be destroyed, considering it a duty to
sacrifice every view of profit to the noble author, by whose confidence
and friendship he had been so long honoured. The result has been, that
notwithstanding some opposition, he obtained the desired decision, and
the Manuscript was forthwith committed to the flames. Mr. Murray was
immediately reimbursed in the purchase-money by Mr. Moore, although Mr.
Murray had previously renounced every claim to repayment."

The particulars of the transaction are more fully expressed in the
following letter written by Mr. Murray to Mr. (afterwards Sir) Robert
Wilmot Horton, two days after the destruction of the manuscript. It
seems that Mr. Moore had already made a representation to Mr. Horton
which was not quite correct. [Footnote: Lord J. Russell's " Memoirs,
etc., of Thomas Moore," iv. p. 188.]

_John Murray to Mr. R. Wilmot Horton_. ALBEMARLE STREET, _May_ 19, 1824.

Dear Sir,

On my return home last night I found your letter, dated the 17th,
calling on me for a specific answer whether I acknowledged the accuracy
of the statement of Mr. Moore, communicated in it. However unpleasant it
is to me, your requisition of a specific answer obliges me to say that I
cannot, by any means, admit the accuracy of that statement; and in order
to explain to you how Mr. Moore's misapprehension may have arisen, and
the ground upon which my assertion rests, I feel it necessary to trouble
you with a statement of all the circumstances of the case, which will
enable you to judge for yourself.

Lord Byron having made Mr. Moore a present of his Memoirs, Mr. Moore
offered them for sale to Messrs. Longman & Co., who however declined to
purchase them; Mr. Moore then made me a similar offer, which I accepted;
and in November 1821, a joint assignment of the Memoirs was made to me
by Lord Byron and Mr. Moore, with all legal technicalities, in
consideration of a sum of 2,000 guineas, which, on the execution of the
agreement by Mr. Moore, I paid to him. Mr. Moore also covenanted, in
consideration of the said sum, to act as Editor of the Memoirs, and to
supply an account of the subsequent events of Lord Byron's life, etc.

Some months after the execution of this assignment, Mr. Moore requested
me, as a great personal favour to himself and to Lord Byron, to enter
into a second agreement, by which I should resign the absolute property
which I had in the Memoirs, and give Mr. Moore and Lord Byron, or any of
their friends, a power of redemption _during the life of Lord Byron_. As
the reason pressed upon me for this change was that their friends
thought there were some things in the Memoirs that might be injurious to
both, I did not hesitate to make this alteration at Mr. Moore's request;
and, accordingly, on the 6th day of May, 1822, a second deed was
executed, stating that, "Whereas Lord Byron and Mr. Moore are now
inclined to wish the said work not to be published, it is agreed that,
if either of them shall, _during the life of the said Lord Byron_, repay
the 2,000 guineas to Mr. Murray, the latter shall redeliver the Memoirs;
but that, if the sum be not repaid _during the lifetime of Lord Byron_,
Mr. Murray shall be at full liberty to print and publish the said
Memoirs within Three Months [Footnote: The words "within Three Months "
were substituted for "immediately," at Mr. Moore's request--and they
appear in pencil, in his own handwriting, upon the original draft of the
deed, which is still in existence.] after the death of the said Lord
Byron." I need hardly call your particular attention to the words,
carefully inserted twice over in this agreement, which limited its
existence to the _lifetime of Lord Byron_; the reason of such limitation
was obvious and natural--namely that, although I consented to restore
the work, _while Lord Byron should be alive_ to direct the ulterior
disposal of it, I would by no means consent to place it _after his
death_ at the disposal of any other person.

I must now observe that I had never been able to obtain possession of
the original assignment, which was my sole lien on this property,
although I had made repeated applications to Mr. Moore to put me into
possession of the deed, which was stated to be in the hands of Lord
Byron's banker. Feeling, I confess, in some degree alarmed at the
withholding the deed, and dissatisfied at Mr. Moore's inattention to my
interests in this particular, I wrote urgently to him in March 1823, to
procure me the deed, and at the same time expressed my wish that the
second agreement should either be cancelled or _at once executed_.

Finding this application unavailing, and becoming, by the greater lapse
of time, still more doubtful as to what the intentions of the parties
might be, I, in March 1824, repeated my demand to Mr. Moore in a more
peremptory manner, and was in consequence at length put into possession
of the original deed. But, not being at all satisfied with the course
that had been pursued towards me, I repeated to Mr. Moore my uneasiness
at the terms on which I stood under the second agreement, and renewed my
request to him that he would either cancel it, or execute its provisions
by the immediate redemption of the work, in order that I might exactly
know what my rights in the property were. He requested time to consider
this proposition. In a day or two he called, and told me that he would
adopt the latter alternative--namely, the redemption of the Memoirs--as
he had found persons who were ready to advance the money on _his
injuring his life_; and he promised to conclude the business on the
first day of his return to town, by paying the money and giving up the
agreement. Mr. Moore did return to town, but did not, that I have heard
of, take any proceedings for insuring his life; he positively neither
wrote nor called upon me as he had promised to do (though he was
generally accustomed to make mine one of his first houses of call);--nor
did he take any other step, that I am aware of, to show that he had any
recollection of the conversation which had passed between us previous to
his leaving town, until _the death of Lord Byron_ had, _ipso facto_,
cancelled the agreement in question, and completely restored my absolute
rights over the property of the Memoirs.

You will therefore perceive that there was no verbal agreement in
existence between Mr. Moore and me, at the time I made a verbal
agreement with you to deliver the Memoirs to be destroyed. Mr. Moore
might undoubtedly, _during Lord Byron's life_, have obtained possession
of the Memoirs, if he had pleased to do so; he however neglected or
delayed to give effect to our verbal agreement, which, as well as the
written instrument to which it related, being cancelled by the death of
Lord Byron, there was no reason whatsoever why I was not at that instant
perfectly at liberty to dispose of the MS. as I thought proper. Had I
considered only my own interest as a tradesman, I would have announced
the work for immediate publication, and I cannot doubt that, under all
the circumstances, the public curiosity about these Memoirs would have
given me a very considerable profit beyond the large sum I originally
paid for them; but you yourself are, I think, able to do me the justice
of bearing witness that I looked at the case with no such feelings, and
that my regard for Lord Byron's memory, and my respect for his surviving
family, made me more anxious that the Memoirs should be immediately
destroyed, since it was surmised that the publication might be injurious
to the former and painful to the latter.

As I myself scrupulously refrained from looking into the Memoirs, I
cannot, from my own knowledge, say whether such an opinion of the
contents was correct or not; it was enough for me that the friends of
Lord and Lady Byron united in wishing for their destruction. Why Mr.
Moore should have wished to preserve them I did not nor will I inquire;
but, having satisfied myself that he had no right whatever in them, I
was happy in having an opportunity of making, by a pecuniary sacrifice
on my part, some return for the honour, and I must add, the profit,
which I had derived from Lord Byron's patronage and friendship. You will
also be able to bear witness that--although I could not presume to
impose an obligation on the friends of Lord Byron or Mr. Moore, by
refusing to receive the repayment of the 2,000 guineas advanced by
me--yet I had determined on the destruction of the Memoirs without any
previous agreement for such repayment:--and you know the Memoirs were
actually destroyed without any stipulation on my part, but even with a
declaration that I had destroyed my own private property--and I
therefore had no claim upon any party for remuneration.

I remain, dear Sir,

Your faithful servant,


After the burning of the manuscript Sir Walter Scott wrote in his diary:
"It was a pity that nothing save the total destruction of Byron's
Memoirs would satisfy his executors; but there was a reason--_premat nox

Shortly after the burning of the Memoirs, Mr. Moore began to meditate
writing a Life of Lord Byron; "the Longmans looking earnestly and
anxiously to it as the great source of my means of repaying them their
money." [Footnote: Moore's Memoirs, iv. 253.] Mr. Moore could not as
yet, however, proceed with the Life, as the most important letters of
Lord Byron were those written to Mr. Murray, which were in his exclusive
possession. Lord John Russell also was against his writing the Life of

"If you write," he wrote to Moore, "write poetry, or, if you can find a
good subject, write prose; but do not undertake to write the life of
another reprobate [referring to Moore's "Life of Sheridan"]. In short,
do anything but write the life of Lord Byron." [Footnote: Moore's
Memoirs, v. 51.]

Yet Moore grievously wanted money, and this opportunity presented itself
to him with irresistible force as a means of adding to his resources. At
length he became reconciled to Mr. Murray through the intercession of
Mr. Hobhouse. Moore informed the Longmans of the reconciliation, and, in
a liberal and considerate manner, they said to him, "Do not let us stand
in the way of any arrangements you may make; it is our wish to see you
free from debt; and it would be only in this one work that we should be
separated." It was in this way that Mr. Moore undertook to write for Mr.
Murray the Life of Lord Byron. Mr. Murray agreed to repay Moore the
2,000 guineas he had given for the burned Memoirs and £2,000 extra for
editing the letters and writing the Life, and Moore in his diary says
that he considered this offer perfectly liberal. Nothing, he adds, could
be more frank, gentleman-like, and satisfactory than the manner in which
this affair had been settled on all sides.



The account of Mr. Murray's dealings with Lord Byron has carried us
considerably beyond the date at which we left the history of his general
business transactions, and compels us to go back to the year 1814, when,
as is related in a previous chapter, he had associated himself with
William Blackwood as his Edinburgh agent.

Blackwood, like Murray, was anxious to have a share in the business of
publishing the works of Walter Scott--especially the novels teeming from
the press by "The Author of 'Waverley.'" Although Constable and the
Ballantynes were necessarily admitted to the knowledge of their
authorship, to the world at large they were anonymous, and the author
still remained unknown. Mr. Murray had, indeed, pointed out to Mr.
Canning that "Waverley" was by Walter Scott; but Scott himself trailed
so many red herrings across the path, that publishers as well as the
public were thrown off the scent, and both Blackwood and Murray
continued to be at fault with respect to the authorship of the "Waverley

In February 1816 Ballantyne assured Blackwood that in a very few weeks
he would have something very important to propose. On April 12
following, Blackwood addressed the following letter to Murray, "most
strictly confidential"; and it contained important proposals:

_Mr. W. Blackwood to John Murray_.


Some time ago I wrote to you that James Ballantyne had dined with me,
and from what then passed I expected that I would soon have something
very important to communicate. He has now fully explained himself to me,
with liberty to inform you of anything he has communicated. This,
however, he entreats of us to keep most strictly to ourselves, trusting
to our honour that we will not breathe a syllable of it to the dearest
friends we have.

He began by telling me that he thought he had it now in his power to
show me how sensible he was of the services I had done him, and how
anxious he was to accomplish that union of interests which I had so long
been endeavouring to bring about. Till now he had only made professions;
now he would act. He said that he was empowered to offer me, along with
you, a work of fiction in four volumes, such as Waverley, etc.; that he
had read a considerable part of it; and, knowing the plan of the whole,
he could answer for its being a production of the very first class; but
that he was not at liberty to mention its title, nor was he at liberty
to 'give the author's name. I naturally asked him, was it by the author
of "Waverley"? He said it was to have no reference to any other work
whatever, and everyone would be at liberty to form their own conjectures
as to the author. He only requested that, whatever we might suppose from
anything that might occur afterwards, we should keep strictly to
ourselves that we were to be the publishers. The terms he was empowered
by the author to offer for it were:

1. The author to receive one-half of the profits of each edition; these
profits to be ascertained by deducting the paper and printing from the
proceeds of the book sold at sale price; the publishers to be at the
whole of the expense of advertising. 2. The property of the book to be
the publishers', who were to print such editions as they chose. 3. The
only condition upon which the author would agree to these terms is, that
the publisher should take £600 of John Ballantyne's stock, selected from
the list annexed, deducting 25 per cent, from the affixed sale prices.
4. If these terms are agreed to, the stock to the above amount to be
immediately delivered, and a bill granted at twelve months. 5. That in
the course of six or eight weeks, J.B. expected to be able to put into
my hands the first two volumes printed, and that if on perusal we did
not like the bargain, we should be at liberty to give it up. This he
considered to be most unlikely; but if it should be the case, he would
bind himself to repay or redeliver the bill on the books being returned.
6. That the edition, consisting of 2,000 copies, should be printed and
ready for delivery by the 1st of October next.

I have thus stated to you as nearly as I can the substance of what
passed. I tried in various ways to learn something with regard to the
author; but he was quite impenetrable. My own impression now is, that it
must be Walter Scott, for no one else would think of burdening us with
such trash as John B.'s wretched stock. This is such a burden, that I am
puzzled not a little. I endeavoured every way I could to get him to
propose other terms, but he told me they could not be departed from in a
single part; and the other works had been taken on the same conditions,
and he knew they would be greedily accepted again in the same quarter.
Consider the matter seriously, and write to me as soon as you can. After
giving it my consideration, and making some calculations. I confess I
feel inclined to hazard the speculation; but still I feel doubtful until
I hear what you think of it. Do not let my opinion, which may be
erroneous, influence you, but judge for yourself. From the very strong
terms in which Jas. B. spoke of the work, I am sanguine enough to expect
it will equal if not surpass any of the others. I would not lay so much
stress upon what he says if I were not assured that his great interest,
as well as Mr. Scott's, is to stand in the very best way both with you
and me. They are anxious to get out of the clutches of Constable, and
Ballantyne is sensible of the favour I have done and may still do him by
giving so much employment, besides what he may expect from you. From
Constable he can expect nothing. I had almost forgotten to mention that
he assured me in the most solemn manner that we had got the first offer,
and he ardently hoped we would accept of it. If, however, we did not, he
trusted to our honour that we would say nothing of it; that the author
of this work would likely write more; and should we not take this, we
might have it in our power afterwards to do something with him, provided
we acted with delicacy in the transaction, as he had no doubt we would
do. I hope you will be able to write to me soon, and as fully as you
can. If I have time tomorrow, or I should rather say this day, as it is
now near one o'clock, I will write you about other matters; and if I
have no letter from you, will perhaps give you another scolding.

Yours most truly,


A long correspondence took place between Blackwood and Murray on
Ballantyne's proposal. Blackwood was inclined to accept, notwithstanding
the odd nature of the proposal, in the firm belief that "the heart's
desire" of Ballantyne was to get rid of Constable. He sent Murray a list
of Ballantyne's stock, from which the necessary value of books was to be
selected. It appeared, however, that there was one point on which
Blackwood had been mistaken, and that was, that the copyright of the new
novel was not to be absolutely conveyed, and that all that Ballantyne
meant, or had authority to offer, was an edition, limited to six
thousand copies, of the proposed work. Although Murray considered it "a
blind bargain," he was disposed to accept it, as it might lead to
something better. Blackwood accordingly communicated to Ballantyne that
he and Murray accepted his offer.

_Mr. Wm. Blackwood to John Murray_.

_April_ 27, 1816.

"Everything is settled, and on Tuesday Ballantyne is to give a letter
specifying the whole terms of the transaction. He could not do it
sooner, he said, as he had to consult the author. This, I think, makes
it clear that it is Walter Scott, who is at Abbotsford just now. What
surprised me a good deal was, James Ballantyne told me that his brother
John had gone out there with Constable, and Godwin (author of 'Caleb
Williams'), whom Scott was anxious to see. They are really a strange set
of people.... I am not over fond of all these mysteries, but they are a
mysterious set of personages, and we must manage with them in the best
way that we can."

A letter followed from James Ballantyne to Murray (May I, 1816),
congratulating him upon concluding the bargain through Blackwood, and

"I have taken the liberty of drawing upon you at twelve months for £300
for your share.... It will be a singularly great accommodation if you
can return the bill in course of post."

Although Ballantyne had promised that the first edition of the proposed
work should be ready by October 1, 1816, Blackwood found that in June
the printing of the work had not yet commenced. Ballantyne said he had
not yet got any part of the manuscript from the author, but that he
would press him again on the subject. The controversy still continued as
to the authorship of the Waverley Novels. "For these six months past,"
wrote Blackwood (June 6, 1816), "there have been various rumours with
regard to Greenfield being the author of these Novels, but I never paid
much attention to it; the thing appeared to me so very improbable....
But from what I have heard lately, and from what you state, I now begin
to think that Greenfield may probably be the author." On the other hand,
Mr. Mackenzie called upon Blackwood, and informed him that "he was now
quite convinced that Thomas Scott, Walter's brother in Canada, writes
all the novels." The secret, however, was kept for many years longer.

Blackwood became quite provoked at the delay in proceeding with the
proposed work.

_Mr. Wm. Blackwood to John Murray_.

_June_ 21, 1816.

"I begin to fear that S.B. and Cy. are a nest of----. There is neither
faith nor truth in them. In my last letter I mentioned to you that there
was not the smallest appearance of the work being yet begun, and there
is as little still. James Ballantyne shifts this off his own shoulders
by saying that he cannot help it. Now, my own belief is that at the time
he made such solemn promises to me that the first volume would be in my
hands in a month, he had not the smallest expectation of this being the
case; but he knew that he would not have got our bills, which he
absolutely wanted, without holding this out. It is now seven weeks since
the bills were granted, and it is five weeks since I gave him the list
of books which were to be delivered. I have applied to him again and
again for them, and on Tuesday last his man at length called on me to
say that John Ballantyne & Co. could not deliver fifty sets of 'Kerr's
Voyages'--that they had only such quantities of particular odd volumes
of which he showed me a list."

Blackwood called upon Ballantyne, but he could not see him, and instead
of returning Blackwood's visit, he sent a note of excuse. Next time they
met was at Hollingworth's Hotel, after which Ballantyne sent Blackwood a
letter "begging for a loan of £50 till next week, but not a word of
business in it." Next time they met was at the same hotel, when the two
dined with Robert Miller.

_Mr. Wm. Blackwood to John Murray_.

"After dinner I walked home with J.B. Perhaps from the wine he had
drunk, he was very communicative, and gave me a great deal of very
curious and interesting private history. Would you believe it, that
about six weeks ago--at the very time our transaction was going
on--these worthies, Scott, Ballantyne & Co., concluded a transaction
with Constable for 10,000 copies of this said 'History of Scotland'
[which had been promised to Blackwood and Murray] in 4 vols., and
actually received bills for the profits expected to be realized from
this large number! Yet, when I put James Ballantyne in mind on Tuesday
of what he had formally proposed by desire of Mr. Scott, and assured us
we were positively to get the work, and asked him if there was any truth
in the rumour I had heard, and even that you had heard, about Mr. Scott
being about to publish a 'History of Scotland' with his name, and
further asked him if Mr. Scott was now ready to make any arrangements
with us about it (for it never occurred to me that he could make
arrangements with any one else), he solemnly assured me that he knew
nothing about it! Now, after this, what confidence can we have in
anything that this man will say or profess! I confess I am sadly
mortified at my own credulousness. John I always considered as no better
than a swindler, but James I put some trust and confidence in. You
judged more accurately, for you always said that 'he was a damned
cunning fellow!' Well, there is every appearance of your being right;
but his cunning (as it never does) will not profit him. Within these
three years I have given him nearly £1,400 for printing, and in return
have only received empty professions, made, to be sure, in the most
dramatic manner. Trite as the saying is, honesty is always the best
policy; and if we live a little longer, we shall see what will be the
end of all their cunning, never-ending labyrinths of plots and schemes.
Constable is the proper person for them; set a thief to catch a thief:
Jonathan Wild will be fully a match for any of the heroes of the
'Beggar's Opera.' My blood boils when I think of them, and still more
when I think of my allowing myself so long to keep my eyes shut to what
I ought to have seen long ago. But the only apology I make to myself is,
that one does not wish to think so ill of human nature. There is an old
Scotch proverb, 'He has need o' a lang spoon that sups wi' the De'il,'
and since we are engaged, let us try if we can partake of the broth
without scalding ourselves. I still hope that we may; and however much
my feelings revolt at having any connection in future with them, yet I
shall endeavour to the best of my power to repress my bile, and to turn
their own tricks against themselves. One in business must submit to many
things, and swallow many a bitter pill, when such a man as Walter Scott
is the object in view. You will see, by this day's Edinburgh papers,
that the copartnery of John Ballantyne & Co. is formally dissolved.
Miller told me that, before James Ballantyne could get his wife's
friends to assent to the marriage, Walter Scott was obliged to grant
bonds and securities, taking upon himself all the engagements of John
Ballantyne & Co., as well as of James Ballantyne & Co.; [Footnote:
Lockhart says, in his "Life of Scott," that "in Feb., 1816, when James
Ballantyne married, it is clearly proved, by letters in his handwriting,
that he owed to Scott more than £3,000 of personal debt."] so that, if
there was any difficulty on their part, he bound himself to fulfil the
whole. When we consider the large sums of money Walter Scott has got for
his works, the greater part of which has been thrown into the hands of
the Ballantynes, and likewise the excellent printing business J.B. has
had for so many years, it is quite incomprehensible what has become of
all the money. Miller says, 'It is just a jaw hole which swallows up
all,' and from what he has heard he does not believe Walter Scott is
worth anything."

Murray was nevertheless willing to go on until the terms of his bargain
with Ballantyne were fulfilled, and wrote to Blackwood that he was
"resolved to swallow the pill, bitter though it was," but he expressed
his surprise that "Mr. Scott should have allowed his property to be
squandered as it has been by these people."

Blackwood, however, was in great anxiety about the transaction, fearing
the result of the engagement which he and Murray had entered into.

_Mr. Wm. Blackwood to John Murray_.

_July 2_, 1816.

"This morning I got up between five and six, but instead of sitting down
to write to you, as I had intended, I mounted my pony and took a long
ride to collect my thoughts. Sitting, walking, or riding is all the
same. I feel as much puzzled as ever, and undetermined whether or not to
cut the Gordian knot. Except my wife, there is not a friend whom I dare
advise with. I have not once ventured to mention the business at all to
my brother, on account of the cursed mysteries and injunctions of
secrecy connected with it. I know he would blame me for ever engaging in
it, for he has a very small opinion of the Ballantynes. I cannot
therefore be benefited by his advice. Mrs. Blackwood, though she always
disliked my having any connection with the Ballantynes, rather thinks we
should wait a few weeks longer, till we see what is produced. I believe,
after all, this is the safest course to pursue. I would beg of you,
however, to think maturely upon the affair, taking into account Mr.
Scott's usefulness to the _Review_. Take a day or two to consider the
matter fully, and then give me your best advice.... As to Constable or
his triumphs, as he will consider them, I perfectly agree with you that
they are not to be coveted by us, and that they should not give us a
moment's thought. Thank God, we shall never desire to compass any of our
ends by underhand practices."

Meanwhile correspondence with Ballantyne about the work of fiction--the
name of which was still unknown-was still proceeding. Ballantyne said
that the author "promised to put the first volume in his hands by the
end of August, and that the whole would be ready for publication by
Christmas." Blackwood thought this reply was "humbug, as formerly."
Nevertheless, he was obliged to wait. At last he got the first sight of
the manuscript.

_Mr. Wm. Blackwood to John Murray_.

_August_ 23, 1816. _Midnight_.

"MY DEAR MURRAY,--I have this moment finished the reading of 192 pages
of our book--for ours it must be,--and I cannot go to bed without
telling you what is the strong and most favourable impression it has
made upon me. If the remainder be at all equal--which it cannot fail to
be, from the genius displayed in what is now before me--we have been
most fortunate indeed. The title as, TALKS OF MY LANDLORD; _collected
and reported by Jedediah Cleishbotham, Pariah Clerk and Schoolmaster of

Mr. Blackwood then proceeds to give an account of the Introduction, the
commencement of "The Black Dwarf," the first of the tales, and the
general nature of the story, to the end of the fourth chapter. His
letter is of great length, and extends to nine quarto pages. He

"There cannot be a doubt as to the splendid merit of the work. It would
never have done to have hesitated and higgled about seeing more volumes.
In the note which accompanied the sheets, Ballantyne says, 'each volume
contains a Tale,' so there will be four in all. [Footnote: This, the
original intention, was departed from.] The next relates to the period
of the Covenanters. I have now neither doubts nor fears with regard to
the whole being good, and I anxiously hope that you will have as little.
I am so happy at the fortunate termination of all my pains and
anxieties, that I cannot be in bad humour with you for not writing me
two lines in answer to my last letters. I hope I shall hear from you
to-morrow; but I entreat of you to write me in course of post, as I wish
to hear from you before I leave this [for London], which I intend to do
on this day se'nnight by the smack."

At length the principal part of the manuscript of the novel was in the
press, and, as both the author and the printer were in sore straits for
money, they became importunate on Blackwood and Murray for payment on
account. They had taken Ballantyne's "wretched stock" of books, as
Blackwood styled them, and Lockhart, in his "Life of Scott," infers that
Murray had consented to anticipate the period of his payments. At all
events, he finds in a letter of Scott's, written in August, these words
to John Ballantyne: "Dear John,--I have the pleasure to enclose Murray's
acceptances. I earnestly recommend you to push, realising as much as you

"Consider weel, gude mon,
  We hae but borrowed gear,
The horse that I ride on,
  It is John Murray's mear."

Scott was at this time sorely pressed for ready money. He was buying one
piece of land after another, usually at exorbitant prices, and having
already increased the estate of Abbotsford from 150 to nearly 1,000
acres, he was in communication with Mr. Edward Blore as to the erection
of a dwelling adjacent to the cottage, at a point facing the Tweed. This
house grew and expanded, until it became the spacious mansion of
Abbotsford. The Ballantynes also were ravenous for more money; but they
could get nothing from Blackwood and Murray before the promised work was

At last the book was completed, printed, and published on December 1,
1816; but without the magical words, "by the Author of 'Waverley,'" on
the title-page. All doubts as to the work being by the author of
"Waverley," says Lockhart, had worn themselves out before the lapse of a

_John Murray to Mr. Wm. Blackwood_.

_December_ 13, 1816.

"Having now heard every one's opinion about our 'Tales of my Landlord,'
I feel competent to assure you that it is universally in their favour.
There is only 'Meg Merrilies' in their way. It is even, I think,
superior to the other three novels. You may go on printing as many and
as fast as you can; for we certainly need not stop until we come to the
end of our, unfortunately, limited 6,000.... My copies are more than
gone, and if you have any to spare pray send them up instantly."

On the following day Mr. Murray wrote to Mr. Scott:

_John Murray to Mr. Scott_.

_December_ 14, 1816.


Although I dare not address you as the author of certain Tales--which,
however, must be written either by Walter Scott or the devil--yet
nothing can restrain me from thinking that it is to your influence with
the author of them that I am indebted for the essential honour of being
one of their publishers; and I must intrude upon you to offer my most
hearty thanks, not divided but doubled, alike for my worldly gain
therein, and for the great acquisition of professional reputation which
their publication has already procured me. As to delight, I believe I
could, under any oath that could be proposed, swear that I never
experienced such great and unmixed pleasure in all my life as the
reading of this exquisite work has afforded me; and if you witnessed the
wet eyes and grinning cheeks with which, as the author's chamberlain, I
receive the unanimous and vehement praise of them from every one who has
read them, or heard the curses of those whose needs my scanty supply
would not satisfy, you might judge of the sincerity with which I now
entreat you to assure the author of the most complete success. After
this, I could throw all the other books which I have in the press into
the Thames, for no one will either read them or buy. Lord Holland said,
when I asked his opinion: "Opinion? we did not one of us go to bed all
night, and nothing slept but my gout." Frere, Hallam, and Boswell; Lord
Glenbervie came to me with tears in his eyes. "It is a cordial," he
said, "which has saved Lady Glenbervie's life." Heber, who found it on
his table on his arrival from a journey, had no rest till he had read
it. He has only this moment left me, and he, with many others, agrees
that it surpasses all the other novels. Wm. Lamb also; Gifford never
read anything like it, he says; and his estimate of it absolutely
increases at each recollection of it. Barrow with great difficulty was
forced to read it; and he said yesterday, "Very good, to be sure, but
what powerful writing is _thrown away_." Heber says there are only two
men in the world, Walter Scott and Lord Byron. Between you, you have
given existence to a third.

Ever your faithful servant,


This letter did not effectually "draw the badger." Scott replied in the
following humorous but Jesuitical epistle:

_Mr. Scott to John Murray_.

_December 18, 1816_.


I give you hearty joy of the success of the Tales, although I do not
claim that paternal interest in them which my friends do me the credit
to assign to me. I assure you I have never read a volume of them till
they were printed, and can only join with the rest of the world in
applauding the true and striking portraits which they present of old
Scottish manners.

I do not expect implicit reliance to be placed on my disavowal, because
I know very well that he who is disposed not to own a work must
necessarily deny it, and that otherwise his secret would be at the mercy
of all who chose to ask the question, since silence in such a case must
always pass for consent, or rather assent. But I have a mode of
convincing you that I am perfectly serious in my denial--pretty similar
to that by which Solomon distinguished the fictitious from the real
mother--and that is by reviewing the work, which I take to be an
operation equal to that of quartering the child.... Kind compliments to
Heber, whom I expected at Abbotsford this summer; also to Mr. Croker and
all your four o'clock visitors. I am just going to Abbotsford, to make a
small addition to my premises there. I have now about seven hundred
acres, thanks to the booksellers and the discerning public.

Yours truly,


The happy chance of securing a review of the Tales by the author of
"Waverley" himself exceeded Murray's most sanguine expectations, and
filled him with joy. He suggested that the reviewer, instead of sending
an article on the Gypsies, as he proposed, should introduce whatever he
had to say about that picturesque race in his review of the Tales, by
way of comment on the character of Meg Merrilies. The review was
written, and appeared in No. 32 of the _Quarterly_, in January 1817, by
which time the novel had already gone to a third edition. It is curious
now to look back upon the author reviewing his own work. He adopted
Murray's view, and besides going over the history of "Waverley," and the
characters introduced in that novel, he introduced a disquisition about
Meg Merrilies and the Gypsies, as set forth in his novel of "Guy
Mannering." He then proceeded to review the "Black Dwarf" and "Old
Mortality," but with the utmost skill avoided praising them, and rather
endeavoured to put his friends off the scent by undervaluing them, and
finding fault. The "Black Dwarf," for example, was full of "violent
events which are so common in romance, and of such rare occurrence in
real life." Indeed, he wrote, "the narrative is unusually artificial;
neither hero nor heroine excites interest of any sort, being just that
sort of _pattern_ people whom nobody cares a farthing about."

"The other story," he adds, "is of much deeper interest." He describes
the person who gave the title to the novel--Robert Paterson, of the
parish of Closeburn, in Dumfriesshire--and introduces a good deal of
historical knowledge, but takes exception to many of the circumstances
mentioned in the story, at the same time quoting some of the best
passages about Cuddie Headrigg and his mother. In respect to the
influence of Claverhouse and General Dalzell, the reviewer states that
"the author has cruelly falsified history," and relates the actual
circumstances in reference to these generals. "We know little," he says,
"that the author can say for himself to excuse these sophistications,
and, therefore, may charitably suggest that he was writing a romance,
and not a history." In conclusion, the reviewer observed, "We intended
here to conclude this long article, when a strong report reached us of
certain trans-Atlantic confessions, which, if genuine (though of this we
know nothing), assign a different author to these volumes than the party
suspected by our Scottish correspondents. Yet a critic may be excused
seizing upon the nearest suspicious person, on the principle happily
expressed by Claverhouse in a letter to the Earl of Linlithgow. He had
been, it seems, in search of a gifted weaver who used to hold forth at
conventicles. "I sent to seek the webster (weaver); they brought in his
_brother_ for him; though he maybe cannot preach like his brother, I
doubt not but he is as well-principled as he, wherefore I thought it
would be no great fault to give him the trouble to go to the jail with
the rest."

Mr. Murray seems to have accepted the suggestion and wrote in January
1817 to Mr. Blackwood:

"I can assure you, but _in the greatest confidence_, that I have
discovered the author of all these Novels to be Thomas Scott, Walter
Scott's brother. He is now in Canada. I have no doubt but that Mr.
Walter Scott did a great deal to the first 'Waverley Novel,' because of
his anxiety to serve his brother, and his doubt about the success of the
work. This accounts for the many stories about it. Many persons had
previously heard from Mr. Scott, but you may rely on the certainty of
what I have told you. The whole country is starving for want of a
complete supply of the 'Tales of my Landlord,' respecting the interest
and merit of which there continues to be but one sentiment."

A few weeks later Blackwood wrote to Murray:

_January_ 22, 1817.

"It is an odd story here, that Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Scott are the authors
of all these Novels. I, however, still think, as Mr. Croker said to me
in one of his letters, that if they were not by Mr. Walter Scott, the
only alternative is to give them to the devil, as by one or the other
they must be written."

On the other hand, Bernard Barton wrote to Mr. Murray, and said that he
had "heard that James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, was the author of
'Tales of my Landlord,' and that he had had intimation from himself to
that effect," by no means an improbable story considering Hogg's vanity.
Lady Mackintosh also wrote to Mr. Murray: "Did you hear who this _new_
author of 'Waverley' and 'Guy Mannering' is? Mrs. Thomas Scott, as Mr.
Thomas Scott assured Lord Selkirk (who had been in Canada), and his
lordship, like Lord Monboddo, believes it." Murray again wrote to
Blackwood (February 15, 1817): "What is your theory as to the author of
'Harold the Dauntless'? I will believe, till within an inch of my life,
that the author of 'Tales of my Landlord' is Thomas Scott."

Thus matters remained until a few years later, when George IV. was on
his memorable visit to Edinburgh. Walter Scott was one of the heroes of
the occasion, and was the selected cicerone to the King. One day George
IV., in the sudden and abrupt manner which is peculiar to our Royal
Family, asked Scott point-blank: "By the way, Scott, are you the author
of 'Waverley'?" Scott as abruptly answered: "No, Sire!" Having made this
answer (said Mr. Thomas Mitchell, who communicated the information to
Mr. Murray some years later), "it is supposed that he considered it a
matter of honour to keep the secret during the present King's reign. If
the least personal allusion is made to the subject in Sir Walter's
presence, Matthews says that his head gently drops upon his breast, and
that is a signal for the person to desist."

With respect to the first series of the "Tales of my Landlord," so soon
as the 6,000 copies had been disposed of which the author, through
Ballantyne, had covenanted as the maximum number to be published by
Murray and Blackwood, the work reverted to Constable, and was published
uniformly with the other works by the author of "Waverley."



We have already seen that Mr. Murray had some correspondence with Thomas
Campbell in 1806 respecting the establishment of a monthly magazine;
such an undertaking had long been a favourite scheme of his, and he had
mentioned the subject to many friends at home as well as abroad. When,
therefore, Mr. Blackwood started his magazine, Murray was ready to enter
into his plans, and before long announced to the public that he had
become joint proprietor and publisher of Blackwood's _Edinburgh

There was nothing very striking in the early numbers of the _Magazine_,
and it does not appear to have obtained a considerable circulation. The
first editors were Thomas Pringle, who--in conjunction with a
friend--was the author of a poem entitled "The Institute," and James
Cleghorn, best known as a contributor to the _Farmers' Magazine_.
Constable, who was himself the proprietor of the _Scots Magazine_ as
well as of the _Farmers' Magazine_, desired to keep the monopoly of the
Scottish monthly periodicals in his own hands, and was greatly opposed
to the new competitor. At all events, he contrived to draw away from
Blackwood Pringle and Cleghorn, and to start a new series of the _Scots
Magazine_ under the title of the _Edinburgh Magazine_. Blackwood
thereupon changed the name of his periodical to that by which it has
since been so well known. He undertook the editing himself, but soon
obtained many able and indefatigable helpers.

There were then two young advocates walking the Parliament House in
search of briefs. These were John Wilson (Christopher North) and John
Gibson Lockhart (afterwards editor of the _Quarterly_). Both were
West-countrymen--Wilson, the son of a wealthy Paisley manufacturer, and
Lockhart, the son of the minister of Cambusnethan, in Lanarkshire--and
both had received the best of educations, Wilson, the robust Christian,
having carried off the Newdigate prize at Oxford, and Lockhart, having
gained the Snell foundation at Glasgow, was sent to Balliol, and took a
first class in classics in 1813. These, with Dr. Maginn--under the
_sobriquet_ of "Morgan O'Dogherty,"--Hogg--the Ettrick Shepherd,--De
Quincey--the Opium-eater,--Thomas Mitchell, and others, were the
principal writers in _Blackwood_.

No. 7, the first of the new series, created an unprecedented stir in
Edinburgh. It came out on October 1, 1817, and sold very rapidly, but
after 10,000 had been struck off it was suppressed, and could be had
neither for love nor money. The cause of this sudden attraction was an
article headed "Translation from an Ancient Chaldee Manuscript,"
purporting to be an extract from some newly discovered historical
document, every paragraph of which contained a special hit at some
particular person well known in Edinburgh society. There was very little
ill-nature in it; at least, nothing like the amount which it excited in
those who were, or imagined themselves to be, caricatured in it.
Constable, the "Crafty," and Pringle and Cleghorn, editors of the
_Edinburgh Magazine_, as well as Jeffrey, editor of the _Edinburgh
Review_, came in for their share of burlesque description.

Among the persons delineated in the article were the publisher of
Blackwood's _Edinburgh Magazine_, whose name "was as it had been, the
colour of Ebony": indeed the name of Old Ebony long clung to the
journal. The principal writers of the article were themselves included
in the caricature. Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, was described as "the
great wild boar from the forest of Lebanon, and he roused up his spirit,
and I saw him whetting his dreadful tusks for the battle." Wilson was
"the beautiful leopard," and Lockhart "the scorpion,"--names which were
afterwards hurled back at them with interest. Walter Scott was described
as "the great magician who dwelleth in the old fastness, hard by the
river Jordan, which is by the Border." Mackenzie, Jameson, Leslie,
Brewster, Tytler, Alison, M'Crie, Playfair, Lord Murray, the Duncans--in
fact, all the leading men of Edinburgh were hit off in the same fashion.

Mrs. Garden, in her "Memorials of James Hogg," says that "there is no
doubt that Hogg wrote the first draft; indeed, part of the original is
still in the possession of the family.... Some of the more irreverent
passages were not his, or were at all events largely added to by others
before publication." [Footnote: Mrs. Garden's "Memorials of James Hogg,"
p. 107.] In a recent number of _Blackwood_ it is said that:

"Hogg's name is nearly associated with the Chaldee Manuscript. Of course
he claimed credit for having written the skit, and undoubtedly he
originated the idea. The rough draft came from his pen, and we cannot
speak with certainty as to how it was subsequently manipulated. But
there is every reason to believe that Wilson and Lockhart, probably
assisted by Sir William Hamilton, went to work upon it, and so altered
it that Hogg's original offspring was changed out of all knowledge."
[Footnote: _Blackwood's Magazine_, September 1882, pp. 368-9.]

The whole article was probably intended as a harmless joke; and the
persons indicated, had they been wise, might have joined in the laugh or
treated the matter with indifference. On the contrary, however, they
felt profoundly indignant, and some of them commenced actions in the
Court of Session for the injuries done to their reputation.

The same number of _Blackwood_ which contained the "Translation from an
Ancient Chaldee Manuscript," contained two articles, one probably by
Wilson, on Coleridge's "Biographia Literaria," the other, signed "Z," by
Lockhart, being the first of a series on "The Cockney School of Poetry."
They were both clever, but abusive, and exceedingly personal in their

Murray expostulated with Blackwood on the personality of the articles.
He feared lest they should be damaging to the permanent success of the
journal. Blackwood replied in a long letter, saying that the journal was
prospering, and that it was only Constable and his myrmidons who were
opposed to it, chiefly because of its success.

In August 1818, Murray paid £1,000 for a half share in the magazine,
and from this time he took a deep and active interest in its progress,
advising Blackwood as to its management, and urging him to introduce
more foreign literary news, as well as more scientific information. He
did not like the idea of two editors, who seem to have taken the
management into their own hands.

Subsequent numbers of _Blackwood_ contained other reviews of "The
Cockney School of Poetry": Leigh Hunt, "the King of the Cockneys," was
attacked in May, and in August it was the poet Keats who came under the
critic's lash, four months after Croker's famous review of "Endymion" in
the _Quarterly_. [Footnote: It was said that Keats was killed by this
brief notice, of four pages, in the _Quarterly_; and Byron, in his "Don
Juan," gave credit to this statement:

     "Poor Keats, who was killed off by one critique,
        Just as he really promised something great,...
      'Tis strange, the mind, that very fiery particle,
      Should let itself be snuffed out by an article."

Leigh Hunt, one of Keats' warmest friends, when in Italy, told Lord
Byron (as he relates in his Autobiography) the real state of the case,
proving to him that the supposition of Keats' death being the result of
the review was a mistake, and therefore, if printed, would be a
misrepresentation. But the stroke of wit was not to be given up. Either
Mr. Gifford, or "the poet-priest Milman," has generally, but
erroneously, been blamed for being the author of the review in the
_Quarterly_, which, as is now well known, was written by Mr. Croker.]

The same number of _Blackwood_ contained a short article about
Hazlitt--elsewhere styled "pimpled Hazlitt." It was very short, and
entitled "Hazlitt cross-questioned." Hazlitt considered the article full
of abuse, and commenced an action for libel against the proprietors of
the magazine. Upon this Blackwood sent Hazlitt's threatening letter to
Murray, with his remarks:

_Mr. Blackwood to John Murray_.

_September_ 22, 1818.

"I suppose this fellow merely means to make a little bluster, and try if
he can pick up a little money. There is nothing whatever actionable in
the paper.... The article on Hazlitt, which will commence next number,
will be a most powerful one, and this business will not deprive it of
any of its edge."

_September_ 25, 1818.

"What are people saying about that fellow Hazlitt attempting to
prosecute? There was a rascally paragraph in the _Times_ of Friday last
mentioning the prosecution, and saying the magazine was a work filled
with private slander. My friends laugh at the idea of his prosecution."

Mr. Murray, however, became increasingly dissatisfied with this state of
things; he never sympathised with the slashing criticisms of
_Blackwood_, and strongly disapproved of the personalities, an opinion
which was shared by most of his literary friends. At the same time his
name was on the title-page of the magazine, and he was jointly
responsible with Blackwood for the articles which appeared there.

In a long letter dated September 28, 1818, Mr. Murray deprecated the
personality of the articles in the magazine, and entreated that they be
kept out. If not, he begged that Blackwood would omit his name from the
title-page of the work.

A long correspondence took place during the month of October between
Murray and Blackwood: the former continuing to declaim against the
personality of the articles; the latter averring that there was nothing
of the sort in the magazine. If Blackwood would only keep out these
personal attacks, Murray would take care to send him articles by Mr.
Frere, Mr. Barrow, and others, which would enhance the popularity and
respectability of the publication.

In October of this year was published an anonymous pamphlet, entitled
"Hypocrisy Unveiled," which raked up the whole of the joke contained in
the "Translation from an Ancient Chaldee Manuscript," published a year
before. The number containing it had, as we have already seen, been
suppressed, because of the offence it had given to many persons of
celebrity, while the general tone of bitterness and personality had been
subsequently modified, if not abandoned. Murray assured Blackwood that
his number for October 1818 was one of the best he had ever read, and he
desired him to "offer to his friends his very best thanks and
congratulations upon the production of so admirable a number." "With
this number," he said, "you have given me a fulcrum upon which I will
move heaven and earth to get subscribers and contributors." Indeed,
several of the contributions in this surpassingly excellent number had
been sent to the Edinburgh publisher through the instrumentality of
Murray himself.

"Hypocrisy Unveiled" was a lampoon of a scurrilous and commonplace
character, in which the leading contributors to and the publishers of
the magazine were violently attacked. Both Murray and Blackwood, who
were abused openly, by name, resolved to take no notice of it; but
Lockhart and Wilson, who were mentioned under the thin disguise of "the
Scorpion" and "the Leopard," were so nettled by the remarks on
themselves, that they, in October 1818, both sent challenges to the
anonymous author, through the publisher of the pamphlet. This most
injudicious step only increased their discomfiture, as the unknown
writer not only refused to proclaim his identity, but published and
circulated the challenges, together with a further attack on Lockhart
and Wilson.

This foolish disclosure caused bitter vexation to Murray, who wrote:

_John Murray to Mr. Blackwood_.

_October_ 27, 1818.


I really can recollect no parallel to the palpable absurdity of your two
friends. If they had planned the most complete triumph to their
adversaries, nothing could have been so successfully effective. They
have actually given up their names, as the authors of the offences
charged upon them, by implication only, in the pamphlet. How they could
possibly conceive that the writer of the pamphlet would be such an idiot
as to quit his stronghold of concealment, and allow his head to be
chopped off by exposure, I am at a loss to conceive....

I declare to God that had I known what I had so incautiously engaged in,
I would not have undertaken what I have done, or have suffered what I
have in my feelings and character--which no man had hitherto the
slightest cause for assailing--I would not have done so for any sum....

In answer to these remonstrances Blackwood begged him to dismiss the
matter from his mind, to preserve silence, and to do all that was
possible to increase the popularity of the magazine. The next number,
he said, would be excellent and unexceptionable; and it proved to be so.

The difficulty, however, was not yet over. While the principal editors
of the Chaldee Manuscript had thus revealed themselves to the author of
"Hypocrisy Unveiled," the London publisher of _Blackwood_ was, in
November 1818, assailed by a biting pamphlet, entitled "A Letter to Mr.
John Murray, of Albemarle Street, occasioned by his having undertaken
the publication, in London, of _Blackwood's Magazine_." "The curse of
his respectability," he was told, had brought the letter upon him. "Your
name stands among the very highest in the department of Literature which
has fallen to your lot: the eminent persons who have confided in you,
and the works you have given to the world, have conduced to your
establishment in the public favour; while your liberality, your
impartiality, and your private motives, bear testimony to the justice of
your claims to that honourable distinction."

Other criticisms of the same kind reached Mr. Murray's ear. Moore, in
his Diary (November 4, 1818), writes: "Received two most civil and
anxious letters from the great 'Bibliopola Tryphon' Murray, expressing
his regret at the article in _Blackwood_, and his resolution to give up
all concern in it if it contained any more such personalities."
[Footnote: "Memoirs, Journal, and Correspondence of Thomas Moore," ii.
210. By Lord John Russell.]

Finally the Hazlitt action was settled. Blackwood gave to Murray the
following account of the matter:

_December_ 16, 1818.

"I have had two letters from Mr. Patmore, informing me that Mr. Hazlitt
was to drop the prosecution. His agent has since applied to mine
offering to do this, if the expenses and a small sum for some charity
were paid. My agent told him he would certainly advise any client of his
to get out of court, but that he would never advise me to pay anything
to be made a talk of, as a sum for a charity would be. He would advise
me, he said, to pay the expenses, and a trifle to Hazlitt himself
privately. Hazlitt's agent agreed to this." [Footnote: I have not been
able to discover what sum, if any, was paid to Hazlitt privately.]

Notwithstanding promises of amendment, Murray still complained of the
personalities, and of the way in which the magazine was edited. He also
objected to the "echo of the _Edinburgh Review's_ abuse of Sharon
Turner. It was sufficient to give pain to me, and to my most valued
friend. There was another ungentlemanly and uncalled-for thrust at
Thomas Moore. That just makes so many more enemies, unnecessarily; and
you not only deprive me of the communications of my friends, but you
positively provoke them to go over to your adversary."

It seemed impossible to exercise any control over the editors, and
Murray had no alternative left but to expostulate, and if his
expostulations were unheeded, to retire from the magazine. The last
course was that which he eventually decided to adopt, and the end of the
partnership in _Blackwood's Magazine_, which had long been anticipated,
at length arrived. Murray's name appeared for the last time on No. 22,
for January 1819; the following number bore no London publisher's name;
but on the number for March the names of T. Cadell and W. Davies were
advertised as the London agents for the magazine.

On December 17, 1819, £1,000 were remitted to Mr. Murray in payment of
the sum which he had originally advanced to purchase his share, and his
connection with _Blackwood's Magazine_ finally ceased. He thereupon
transferred his agency for Scotland to Messrs. Oliver & Boyd, with whose
firm it has ever since remained. The friendly correspondence between
Murray and Blackwood nevertheless continued, as they were jointly
interested in several works of importance.

In the course of the following year, "Christopher North" made the
following statement in _Blackwood's Magazine_ in "An Hour's Tête-à-tête
with the Public":

"The Chaldee Manuscript, which appeared in our seventh number, gave us
both a lift and a shove. Nothing else was talked of for a long while;
and after 10,000 copies had been sold, it became a very great rarity,
quite a desideratum.... The sale of the _Quarterly_ is about 14,000, of
the _Edinburgh_ upwards of 7,000.... It is not our intention, at
present, to suffer our sale to go beyond 17,000.... Mr. Murray, under
whose auspices our _magnum opus_ issued for a few months from Albemarle
Street, began to suspect that we might be eclipsing the _Quarterly
Review_. No such eclipse had been foretold; and Mr. Murray, being no
great astronomer, was at a loss to know whether, in the darkness that
was but too visible, we were eclipsing the _Quarterly_, or the
_Quarterly_ eclipsing us. We accordingly took our pen, and erased his
name from our title-page, and he was once more happy. Under our present
publishers we carry everything before us in London."

Mr. Murray took no notice of this statement, preferring, without any
more words, to be quit of his bargain.

It need scarcely be added that when Mr. Blackwood had got his critics
and contributors well in hand--when his journal had passed its frisky
and juvenile life of fun and frolic--when the personalities had ceased
to appear in its columns, and it had reached the years of judgment and
discretion--and especially when its principal editor, Mr. John Wilson
(Christopher North), had been appointed to the distinguished position of
Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh--the
journal took that high rank in periodical literature which it has ever
since maintained.



Scott was now beginning to suffer from the terrible mental and bodily
strain to which he had subjected himself, and was shortly after seized
with the illness to which reference has been made in a previous chapter,
and which disabled him for some time. Blackwood informed Murray (March
7, 1817) that Mr. Scott "has been most dangerously ill, with violent
pain arising from spasmodic action in the stomach; but he is gradually
getting better."

For some time he remained in a state of exhaustion, unable either to
stir for weakness and giddiness; or to read, for dazzling in his eyes;
or to listen, for a whizzing sound in his ears--all indications of too
much brain-work and mental worry. Yet, as soon as he was able to resume
his labours, we find him characteristically employed in helping his
poorer friends.

_Mr. Blackwood to John Murray_.

_May_ 28, 1817.

"Mr. Scott and some of his friends, in order to raise a sum of money to
make the poor Shepherd comfortable, have projected a fourth edition of
"The Queen's Wake," with a few plates, to be published by subscription.
We have inserted your name, as we have no doubt of your doing everything
you can for the poor poet. The advertisement, which is excellent, is
written by Mr. Scott."

Hogg was tempted by the Duke of Buccleuch's gift of a farm on Eltrive
Lake to build himself a house, as Scott was doing, and applied to Murray
for a loan of £50, which was granted. In acknowledging the receipt of
the money he wrote:

_Mr. James Hogg to John Murray_.

_August_ 11, 1818.

.... I am told Gifford has a hard prejudice against me, but I cannot
believe it. I do not see how any man can have a prejudice against me. He
may, indeed, consider me an intruder in the walks of literature, but I
am only a saunterer, and malign nobody who chooses to let me pass.... I
was going to say before, but forgot, and said quite another thing, that
if Mr. Gifford would point out any light work for me to review for him,
I'll bet a MS. poem with him that I'll write it better than he expects.

Yours ever most sincerely,


As Scott still remained the Great Unknown, Murray's correspondence with
him related principally to his articles in the _Quarterly_, to which he
continued an occasional contributor. Murray suggested to him the
subjects of articles, and also requested him to beat up for a few more
contributors. He wanted an article on the Gypsies, and if Scott could
not muster time to do it, he hoped that Mr. Erskine might be persuaded
to favour him with an essay.

Scott, however, in the midst of pain and distress, was now busy with his
"Rob Roy," which was issued towards the end of the year.

A short interruption of his correspondence with Murray occurred--Scott
being busy in getting the long buried and almost forgotten "Regalia of
Scotland" exposed to light; he was also busy with one of his best
novels, the "Heart of Midlothian." Murray, knowing nothing of these
things, again endeavoured to induce him to renew his correspondence,
especially his articles for the _Review_. In response Scott contributed
articles on Kirkton's "History of the Church of Scotland," on Military
Bridges, and on Lord Orford's Memoirs.

Towards the end of the year, Mr. Murray paid a visit to Edinburgh on
business, and after seeing Mr. Blackwood, made his way southward, to pay
his promised visit to Walter Scott at Abbotsford, an account of which
has already been given in the correspondence with Lord Byron.

James Hogg, who was present at the meeting of Scott and Murray at
Abbotsford, wrote to Murray as follows:

_James Hogg to John Murray_.

EDINBURGH, _February_ 20, 1819.


I arrived here the day before yesterday for my spring campaign in
literature, drinking whiskey, etc., and as I have not heard a word of
you or from you since we parted on the top of the hill above Abbotsford,
I dedicate my first letter from the metropolis to you. And first of all,
I was rather disappointed in getting so little cracking with you at that
time. Scott and you had so much and so many people to converse about,
whom nobody knew anything of but yourselves, that you two got all to
say, and some of us great men, who deem we know everything at home,
found that we knew nothing. You did not even tell me what conditions you
were going to give me for my "Jacobite Relics of Scotland," the first
part of which will make its appearance this spring, and I think bids
fair to be popular....

Believe me, yours very faithfully,


After the discontinuance of Murray's business connection with Blackwood,
described in the preceding chapter, James Hogg wrote in great

_Mr. James Hogg to John Murray_,

ELTRIVE, by SELKIRK, _December_ 9, 1829.


By a letter from Blackwood to-day, I have the disagreeable intelligence
that circumstances have occurred which I fear will deprive me of you as
a publisher--I hope never as a friend; for I here attest, though I have
heard some bitter things against you, that I never met with any man
whatever who, on so slight an acquaintance, has behaved to me so much
like a gentleman. Blackwood asks to transfer your shares of my trifling
works to his new agents. I answered, "Never! without your permission."
As the "Jacobite Relics" are not yet published, and as they would only
involve you further with one with whom you are going to close accounts,
I gave him liberty to transfer the shares you were to have in them to
Messrs. Cadell & Davies. But when I consider your handsome subscription
for "The Queen's Wake," if you have the slightest inclination to retain
your shares of that work and "The Brownie," as your name is on them,
_along with Blackwood_, I would much rather, not only from affection,
but interest, that you should continue to dispose of them.

I know these books are of no avail to you; and that if you retain them,
it will be on the same principle that you published them, namely, one of
friendship for your humble poetical countryman. I'll never forget your
kindness; for I cannot think that I am tainted with the general vice of
authors' _ingratitude_; and the first house that I call at in London
will be the one in Albemarle Street.

I remain, ever yours most truly,


Murray did not cease to sell the Shepherd's works, and made arrangements
with Blackwood to continue his agency for them, and to account for the
sales in the usual way.

The name of Robert Owen is but little remembered now, but at the early
part of the century he attained some notoriety from his endeavours to
reform society. He was manager of the Lanark Cotton Mills, but in 1825
he emigrated to America, and bought land on the Wabash whereon to start
a model colony, called New Harmony. This enterprise failed, and he
returned to England in 1827. The following letter is in answer to his
expressed intention of adding Mr. Murray's name to the title-page of the
second edition of his "New View of Society."

_John Murray to Mr. Robert Owen_.

_September_ 9, 1817.


As it is totally inconsistent with my plans to allow my name to be
associated with any subject of so much political notoriety and debate as
your New System of Society, I trust that you will not consider it as any
diminution of personal regard if I request the favour of you to cause my
name to be immediately struck out from every sort of advertisement that
is likely to appear upon this subject. I trust that a moment's
reflection will convince which I understand you talked of sending to my
house. I beg leave again to repeat that I retain the same sentiments of
personal esteem, and that I am, dear Sir,

Your faithful servant,


Among the would-be poets was a young Quaker gentleman of
Stockton-on-Tees who sent Mr. Murray a batch of poems. The publisher
wrote an answer to his letter, which fell into the hands of the poet's
father, who bore the same name as his son. The father answered:

_Mr. Proctor to Mr. Murray_.


I feel very much obliged by thy refusing to _publish_ the papers sent
thee by my son. I was entirely ignorant of anything of the kind, or
should have nipt it in the bud. On receipt of this, please burn the
whole that was sent thee, and at thy convenience inform me that it has
been done. With thanks for thy highly commendable care.

I am respectfully, thy friend,


The number of persons who desired to publish poetry was surprising, even
Sharon Turner, Murray's solicitor, whose valuable historical works had
been published by the Longmans, wrote to him about the publication of
poems, which he had written "to idle away the evenings as well as he
could." Murray answered his letter:

_John Murray to Mr. Sharon Turner_.

_November_ 17, 1817.

I do not think it would be creditable to your name, or advantageous to
your more important works, that the present one should proceed from a
different publisher. Many might fancy that Longman had declined it.
Longman might suspect me of interference; and thus, in the uncertainty
of acting with propriety myself, I should have little hope of giving
satisfaction to you. I therefore refer the matter to your own feelings
and consideration. It has afforded me great pleasure to learn frequently
of late that you are so much better. I hope during the winter, if we
have any, to send you many amusing books to shorten the tediousness of
time, and charm away your indisposition. Mrs. Murray is still up and
well, and desires me to send her best compliments to you and Mrs.

Ever yours faithfully,


Mr. Turner thanked Mr. Murray for his letter, and said that if he
proceeded with his intentions he would adopt his advice. "I have always
found Longman very kind and honourable, but I will not offer him now
what you think it right to decline."

During Gifford's now almost incessant attacks of illness, Mr. Croker
took charge of the _Quarterly Review_. The following letter embodies
some of his ideas as to editing:

_Mr. Croker to John Murray_.

BRIGHTON, _March_ 29, 1823.


As I shall not be in Town in time to see you to-morrow, I send you some
papers. I return the _Poor_ article [Footnote: "On the Poor Laws," by
Mr. Gleig.] with its additions. Let the author's amendments be attended
to, and let his termination be inserted _between_ his former conclusion
and that which I have written. It is a good article, not overdone and
yet not dull. I return, to be set up, the article [by Captain Procter]
on Southey's "Peninsular War." It is very bad--a mere _abstracted
history of the war itself_, and not in the least a _review of the book_.
I have taken pains to remove some part of this error, but you must feel
how impossible it is to change the whole frame of such an article. A
touch thrown in here and there will give some relief, and the character
of a _review_ will be in some small degree preserved. This cursed system
of writing dissertations will be the death of us, and if I were to edit
another number, I should make a great alteration in that particular. But
for this time I must be satisfied with plastering up what I have not
time to rebuild. One thing I would do immediately if I were you. I would
pay for articles of _one_ sheet as much as for articles of two and
three, and, in fact, I would _scarcely_ permit an article to exceed one
sheet. I would reserve such extension for matters of great and immediate
interest and importance. I am delighted that W. [Footnote: Probably
Blanco White.] undertakes one, he will do it well; but remember the
necessity of _absolute secrecy_ on this point, and indeed on all others.
If you were to publish such names as Cohen and Croker and Collinson and
Coleridge, the magical WE would have little effect, and your _Review_
would be absolutely despised--_omne ignotum pro mirifico_. I suppose I
shall see you about twelve on Tuesday. Could you not get me a gay light
article or two? If I am to _edit_ for you, I cannot find time to
_contribute_. Madame Campan's poem will more than expend my leisure. I
came here for a little recreation, and I am all day at the desk as if I
were at the Admiralty. This Peninsular article has cost me two days'
hard work, and is, after all, not worth the trouble; but we must have
something about it, and it is, I suppose, too late to expect anything
better. Mr. Williams's article on Sir W. Scott [Lord Stowell] is
contemptible, and would expose your _Review_ to the ridicule of the
whole bar; but it may be made something of, and I like the subject. I
had a long and amusing talk with the Chancellor the night before last,
on his own and his brother's judgments; I wish I had time to embody our
conversation in an article.

Yours ever,


Southey is _very_ long, but as good as he is long--I have nearly done
with him. I write _very slowly_, and cannot write long. This letter is
written at three sittings.

No sooner had Croker got No. 56 of the _Review_ out of his hands than he
made a short visit to Paris. On this Mr. Barrow writes to Murray;

_Mr. Barrow to John Murray_.

_April_ 2, 1823.

"Croker has run away to Paris, and left poor Gifford helpless. What will
become of the _Quarterly?_ ... Poor Gifford told me yesterday that he
felt he _must_ give up the Editorship, and that the doctors had
_ordered_ him to do so."

Some months later, Barrow wrote to Murray saying that he had seen
Gifford that morning:

_Mr. Barrow to John Murray_.

_August_ 18, 1823.

"I told him to look out for some one to conduct the _Review_, but he
comes to no decision. I told him that you very naturally looked to him
for naming a proper person. He replied he had--Nassau Senior--but that
you had taken some dislike to him. [Footnote: This, so far as can be
ascertained, was a groundless assumption on Mr. Gifford's part.] I then
said, 'You are now well; go on, and let neither Murray nor you trouble
yourselves about a future editor yet; for should you even break down in
the midst of a number, I can only repeat that Croker and myself will
bring it round, and a second number if necessary, to give him time to
look out for and fix upon a proper person, but that the work should not
stop.' I saw he did not like to continue the subject, and we talked of
something else."

Croker also was quite willing to enter into this scheme, and jointly
with Barrow to undertake the temporary conduct of the _Review_. They
received much assistance also from Mr. J.T. Coleridge, then a young
barrister. Mr. Coleridge, as will be noticed presently, became for a
time editor of the _Quarterly_. "Mr. C. is too long," Gifford wrote to
Murray, "and I am sorry for it. But he is a nice young man, and should
be encouraged."



In 1817 Mr. Murray published for Mr. Hallam his "View of the State of
Europe during the Middle Ages." The acquaintance thus formed led to a
close friendship, which lasted unbroken till Mr. Murray's death.

Mr. Murray published at this time a variety of books of travel. Some of
these were sent to the Marquess of Abercorn--amongst them Mr.
(afterwards Sir) Henry Ellis's "Proceedings of Lord Amherst's Embassy to
China," [Footnote: "Journal of the Proceedings of the late Embassy to
China, comprising a Correct Narrative of the Public Transactions of the
Embassy, of the Voyage to and from China, and of the Journey from the
Mouth of the Peiho to the Return to Canton." By Henry Ellis, Esq.,
Secretary of the Embassy, and Third Commissioner.] about which the
Marchioness, at her husband's request, wrote to the publisher as

_Marchioness of Abercorn to John Murray_,

_December_ 4, 1817.

"He returns Walpole, as he says since the age of fifteen he has read so
much Grecian history and antiquity that he has these last ten years been
sick of the subject. He does not like Ellis's account of 'The Embassy to
China,' [Footnote: Ellis seems to have been made very uncomfortable by
the publication of his book. It was severely reviewed in the _Times_,
where it was said that the account (then in the press) by Clark Abel,
M.D., Principal Medical Officer and Naturalist to the Embassy, would be
greatly superior. On this Ellis wrote to Murray (October 19, 1817): "An
individual has seldom committed an act so detrimental to his interests
as I have done in this unfortunate publication; and I shall be too happy
when the lapse of time will allow of my utterly forgetting the
occurrence. I am already indifferent to literary criticism, and had
almost forgotten Abel's approaching competition." The work went through
two editions.] but is pleased with Macleod's [Footnote: "Narrative of a
Voyage in His Majesty's late ship _Alceste_ to the Yellow Sea, along the
Coast of Corea, and through its numerous hitherto undiscovered Islands
to the Island of Lewchew, with an Account of her Shipwreck in the
Straits of Gaspar." By John MacLeod, surgeon of the _Alceste_.]
narrative. He bids me tell you to say the best and what is least
obnoxious of the [former] book. The composition and the narrative are so
thoroughly wretched that he should be ashamed to let it stand in his
library. He will be obliged to you to send him Leyden's 'Africa.' Leyden
was a friend of his, and desired leave to dedicate to him while he

Mr. Murray, in his reply, deprecated the severity of the Marquess of
Abercorn's criticism on the work of Sir H. Ellis, who had done the best
that he could on a subject of exceeding interest.

_John Murray to Lady Abercorn_.

"I am now printing Captain Hall's account (he commanded the _Lyra_), and
I will venture to assure your Ladyship that it is one of the most
delightful books I ever read, and it is calculated to heal the wound
inflicted by poor Ellis. I believe I desired my people to send you
Godwin's novel, which is execrably bad. But in most cases book readers
must balance novelty against disappointment.

And in reply to a request for more books to replace those condemned or
dull, he asks dryly:

"Shall I withhold 'Rob Roy' and 'Childe Harold' from your ladyship until
their merits have been ascertained? Even if an indifferent book, it is
something to be amongst the first to _say_ that it is bad. You will be
alarmed, I fear, at having provoked so many reasons for sending you dull
publications.... I am printing two short but very clever novels by poor
Miss Austen, the author of 'Pride and Prejudice.' I send Leyden's
'Africa' for Lord Abercorn, who will be glad to hear that the 'Life and
Posthumous Writings' will be ready soon."

The Marchioness, in her answer to the above letter, thanked Mr. Murray
for his entertaining answer to her letter, and said:

_Marchioness of Abercorn to John Murray_.

"Lord Abercorn says he thinks your conduct with respect to sending books
back that he does not like is particularly liberal. He bids me tell you
how very much he likes Mr. Macleod's book; we had seen some of it in
manuscript before it was published. We are very anxious for Hall's
account, and I trust you will send it to us the moment you can get a
copy finished.

"No, indeed! you must not (though desirous you may be to punish us for
the severity of the criticism on poor Ellis) keep back for a moment 'Rob
Roy' or the fourth canto of 'Childe Harold.' I have heard a good deal
from Scotland that makes me continue _surmising_ who is the author of
these novels. Our friend Walter paid a visit last summer to a gentleman
on the banks of Loch Lomond--the scene of Rob Roy's exploits--and was at
great pains to learn all the traditions of the country regarding him
from the clergyman and old people of the neighbourhood, of which he got
a considerable stock. I am very glad to hear of a 'Life of Leyden.' He
was a very surprising young man, and his death is a great loss to the
world. Pray send us Miss Austen's novels the moment you can. Lord
Abercorn thinks them next to W. Scott's (if they are by W. Scott); it is
a great pity that we shall have no more of hers. Who are the _Quarterly
Reviewers_? I hear that Lady Morgan suspects Mr. Croker of having
reviewed her 'France,' and intends to be revenged, etc.

"Believe me to be yours, with great regard,


From many communications addressed to Mr. Murray about the beginning of
1818, it appears that he had proposed to start a _Monthly Register_,
[Footnote: The announcement ran thus: "On the third Saturday in January,
1818, will be published the first number of a NEW PERIODICAL JOURNAL,
the object of which will be to convey to the public a great variety of
new, original, and interesting matter; and by a methodical arrangement
of all Inventions in the Arts, Discoveries in the Sciences, and
Novelties in Literature, to enable the reader to keep pace with human
knowledge. To be printed uniformly with the QUARTERLY REVIEW. The price
by the year will be £2 2s."] and he set up in print a specimen copy.
Many of his correspondents offered to assist him, amongst others Mr. J.
Macculloch, Lord Sheffield, Dr. Polidori, then settled at St. Peter's,
Norwich, Mr. Bulmer of the British Museum, and many other contributors.
He sent copies of the specimen number to Mr. Croker and received the
following candid reply:

_Mr. Croker to John Murray_.

_January_ 11, 1818.


Our friend Sepping [Footnote: A naval surveyor.] says, "Nothing is
stronger than its weakest part," and this is as true in book-making as
in shipbuilding. I am sorry to say your _Register_ has, in my opinion, a
great many weak parts. It is for nobody's use; it is too popular and
trivial for the learned, and too abstruse and plodding for the
multitude. The preface is not English, nor yet Scotch or Irish. It must
have been written by Lady Morgan. In the body of the volume, there is
not _one_ new nor curious article, unless it be Lady Hood's "Tiger
Hunt." In your Mechanics there is a miserable want of information, and
in your Statistics there is a sad superabundance of American hyperbole
and dulness mixed together, like the mud and gunpowder which, when a
boy, I used to mix together to make a fizz. Your Poetry is so bad that I
look upon it as your personal kindness to me that you did not put my
lines under that head. Your criticism on Painting begins by calling
West's very pale horse "an extraordinary effort of human _genius_." Your
criticism on Sculpture begins by applauding _beforehand_ Mr. Wyatt's
_impudent_ cenotaph. Your criticism on the Theatre begins by
_denouncing_ the best production of its kind, 'The Beggar's Opera.' Your
article on Engraving puts under the head of Italy a stone drawing made
in Paris. Your own engraving of the Polar Regions is confused and dirty;
and your article on the Polar Seas sets out with the assertion of a fact
of which I was profoundly ignorant, namely, that the Physical
Constitution of the Globe is subject to _constant changes_ and
revolution. Of _constant changes_ I never heard, except in one of
Congreve's plays, in which the fair sex is accused of _constant
inconstancy_; but suppose that for _constant_ you read _frequent_. I
should wish you, for my own particular information, to add in a note a
few instances of the Physical Changes in the Constitution of the Globe,
which have occurred since the year 1781, in which I happened to be born.
I know of none, and I should be sorry to go out of the world ignorant of
what has passed in my own time. You send me your proof "for my boldest
criticism." I have hurried over rather than read through the pages, and
I give you honestly, and as plainly as an infamous pen (the same, I
presume, which drew your polar chart) will permit, my hasty impression.
If you will call here to-morrow between twelve and one, I will talk with
you on the subject.



The project was eventually abandoned. Murray entered into the
arrangement, already described, with Blackwood, of the _Edinburgh
Magazine_. The article on the "Polar Ice" was inserted in the

Towards the end of 1818, Mr. Crabbe called upon Mr. Murray and offered
to publish through him his "Tales of the Hall," consisting of about
twelve thousand lines. He also proposed to transfer to him from Mr.
Colburn his other poems, so that the whole might be printed uniformly.
Mr. Crabbe, who up to this period had received very little for his
writings, was surprised when Mr. Murray offered him no less than £3,000
for the copyright of his poems. It seemed to him a mine of wealth
compared to all that he had yet received. The following morning
(December 6) he breakfasted with Mr. Rogers, and Tom Moore was present.
Crabbe told them of his good fortune, and of the magnificent offer he
had received. Rogers thought it was not enough, and that Crabbe should
have received £3,000 for the "Tales of the Hall" alone, and that he
would try if the Longmans would not give more. He went to Paternoster
Row accordingly, and tried the Longmans; but they would not give more
than £1,000 for the new work and the copyright of the old poems--that
is, only one-third of what Murray had offered. [Footnote: "Memoirs,
Journals, Correspondence, of Thomas Moore," by Lord John Russell, ii.

When Crabbe was informed of this, he was in a state of great
consternation. As Rogers had been bargaining with another publisher for
better terms, the matter seemed still to be considered open; and in the
meantime, if Murray were informed of the event, he might feel umbrage
and withdraw his offer. Crabbe wrote to Murray on the subject, but
received no answer. He had within his reach a prize far beyond his most
sanguine hopes, and now, by the over-officiousness of his friends, he
was in danger of losing it. In this crisis Rogers and Moore called upon
Murray, and made enquiries on the subject of Crabbe's poems. "Oh, yes,"
he said, "I have heard from Mr. Crabbe, and look upon the matter as
settled." Crabbe was thus released from all his fears. When he received
the bills for £3,000, he insisted on taking them with him to Trowbridge
to show them to his son John.

It proved after all that the Longmans were right in their offer to
Rogers; Murray was far too liberal. Moore, in his Diary (iii. 332),
says, "Even if the whole of the edition (3,000) were sold, Murray would
still be £1,900 minus." Crabbe had some difficulty in getting his old
poems out of the hands of his former publisher, who wrote to him in a
strain of the wildest indignation, and even threatened him with legal
proceedings, but eventually the unsold stock, consisting of 2,426
copies, was handed over by Hatchard & Colburn to Mr. Murray, and nothing
more was heard of this controversy between them and the poet.

"Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Modern Greek, written at the Close of the
18th Century," was published anonymously, and was confidently asserted
to be the work of Lord Byron, as the only person capable of having
produced it. When the author was announced to be Mr. Thomas Hope, of
Deepdene, some incredulity was expressed by the _literati_.

The Countess of Blessington, in her "Conversations with Lord Byron,"
says: "Byron spoke to-day in terms of high commendation of Hope's
'Anastasius'; said he had wept bitterly over many pages of it, and for
two reasons--first, that he had not written it; and, secondly, that Hope
had; for that it was necessary to like a man excessively to pardon his
writing such a book--a book, he said, excelling all recent productions
as much in wit and talent as in true pathos. He added that he would have
given his two most approved poems to have been the author of
'Anastasius.'" The work was greatly read at the time, and went through
many large editions.

The refusal of the "Rejected Addresses," by Horace and James Smith, was
one of Mr. Murray's few mistakes. Horace was a stockbroker, and James a
solicitor. They were not generally known as authors, though they
contributed anonymously to the _New Monthly Magazine_, which was
conducted by Campbell the poet. In 1812 they produced a collection
purporting to be "Rejected Addresses, presented for competition at the
opening of Drury Lane Theatre." They offered the collection to Mr.
Murray for £20, but he declined to purchase the copyright. The Smiths
were connected with Cadell the publisher, and Murray, thinking that the
MS. had been offered to and rejected by him, declined to look into it.
The "Rejected Addresses" were eventually published by John Miller, and
excited a great deal of curiosity. They were considered to be the best
imitations of living poets ever made. Byron was delighted with them. He
wrote to Mr. Murray that he thought them "by far the best thing of the
kind since the 'Rolliad.'" Crabbe said of the verses in imitation of
himself, "In their versification they have done me admirably." When he
afterwards met Horace Smith, he seized both hands of the satirist, and
said, with a good-humoured laugh, "Ah! my old enemy, how do you do?"
Jeffrey said of the collection, "I take them, indeed, to be the very
best imitations (and often of difficult originals) that ever were made,
and, considering their extent and variety, to indicate a talent to which
I do not know where to look for a parallel." Murray had no sooner read
the volume than he spared no pains to become the publisher, but it was
not until after the appearance of the sixteenth edition that he was able
to purchase the copyright for £131.

Towards the end of 1819, Mr. Murray was threatened with an action on
account of certain articles which had appeared in Nos. 37 and 38 of the
_Quarterly_ relative to the campaign in Italy against Murat, King of
Naples. The first was written by Dr. Reginald (afterwards Bishop) Heber,
under the title of "Military and Political Power of Russia, by Sir
Robert Wilson"; the second was entitled "Sir Robert Wilson's Reply."
Colonel Macirone occupied a very unimportant place in both articles. He
had been in the service of Murat while King of Naples, and acted as his
aide-de-camp, which post he retained after Murat became engaged in
hostilities with Austria, then in alliance with England. Macirone was
furnished with a passport for _himself_ as envoy of the Allied Powers,
and provided with another passport for Murat, under the name of Count
Lipona, to be used by him in case he abandoned his claim to the throne
of Naples. Murat indignantly declined the proposal, and took refuge in
Corsica. Yet Macirone delivered to Murat the passport. Not only so, but
he deliberately misled Captain Bastard, the commander of a small English
squadron which had been stationed at Bastia to intercept Murat in the
event of his embarking for the purpose of regaining his throne at
Naples. Murat embarked, landed in Italy without interruption, and was
soon after defeated and taken prisoner. He thereupon endeavoured to use
the passport which Macirone had given him, to secure his release, but it
was too late; he was tried and shot at Pizzo. The reviewer spoke of
Colonel Macirone in no very measured terms. "For Murat," he said, "we
cannot feel respect, but we feel very considerable pity. Of Mr. Macirone
we are tempted to predict that he has little reason to apprehend the
honourable mode of death which was inflicted on his master. _His_
vocation seems to be another kind of exit."

Macirone gave notice of an action for damages, and claimed no less than
£10,000. Serjeant Copley (afterwards Lord Lyndhurst), then
Solicitor-General, and Mr. Gurney, were retained for Mr. Murray by his
legal adviser Mr. Sharon Turner.

The case came on, and on the Bench were seated the Duke of Wellington,
Lord Liverpool, and other leading statesmen, who had been subpoenaed as
witnesses for the defence. One of the Ridgways, publishers, had also
been subpoenaed with an accredited copy of Macirone's book; but it was
not necessary to produce him as a witness, as Mr. Ball, the counsel for
Macirone, _quoted_ passages from it, and thus made the entire book
available as evidence for the defendant, a proceeding of which Serjeant
Copley availed himself with telling effect. He substantiated the facts
stated in the _Quarterly_ article by passages quoted from Colonel
Macirone's own "Memoirs." Before he had concluded his speech, it became
obvious that the Jury had arrived at the conclusion to which he wished
to lead them; but he went on to drive the conclusion home by a splendid
peroration. [Footnote: Given in Sir Theodore Martin's "Life of Lord
Lyudhurst," p. 170.] The Jury intimated that they were all agreed; but
the Judge, as a matter of precaution, proceeded to charge them on the
evidence placed before them; and as soon as he had concluded, the Jury,
without retiring from the box, at once returned their verdict for the

Although Mr. Murray had now a house in the country, he was almost
invariably to be found at Albemarle Street. We find, in one of his
letters to Blackwood, dated Wimbledon, May 22, 1819, the following: "I
have been unwell with bile and rheumatism, and have come to a little
place here, which I have bought lately, for a few days to recruit."

The following description of a reception at Mr. Murray's is taken from
the "Autobiography" of Mrs. Bray, the novelist. She relates that in the
autumn of 1819 she made a visit to Mr. Murray, with her first husband,
Charles Stothard, son of the well-known artist, for the purpose of
showing him the illustrations of his "Letters from Normandy and

"We did not know," she says, "that Mr. Murray held daily from about
three to five o'clock a literary levée at his house. In this way he
gathered round him many of the most eminent men of the time. On calling,
we sent up our cards, and finding he was engaged, proposed to retreat,
when Mr. Murray himself appeared and insisted on our coming up. I was
introduced to him by my husband, and welcomed by him with all the
cordiality of an old acquaintance. He said Sir Walter Scott was there,
and he thought that we should like to see him, and to be introduced to
him. 'You will know him at once,' added Mr. Murray, 'he is sitting on
the sofa near the fire-place.' We found Sir Walter talking to Mr.
Gifford, then the Editor of the _Quarterly Review_. The room was filled
with men and women, and among them several of the principal authors and
authoresses of the day; but my attention was so fixed on Sir Walter and
Mr. Gifford that I took little notice of the rest. Many of those present
were engaged in looking at and making remarks upon a drawing, which
represented a Venetian Countess (Guiccioli), the favourite, but not very
respectable friend of Lord Byron. Mr. Murray made his way through the
throng in order to lead us up to Sir Walter. We were introduced. Mr.
Murray, anxious to remove the awkwardness of a first introduction,
wished to say something which would engage a conversation between
ourselves and Sir Walter Scott, and asked Charles if he happened to have
about him his drawing of the Bayeux tapestry to show to Sir Walter.
Charles smiled and said 'No'; but the saying answered the desired end;
something had been said that led to conversation, and Sir Walter,
Gifford, Mr. Murray, and Charles chatted on, and I listened.

"Gifford looked very aged, his face much wrinkled, and he seemed to be
in declining health; his dress was careless, and his cravat and
waistcoat covered with snuff. There was an antique, philosophic cast
about his head and countenance, better adapted to exact a feeling of
curiosity in a stranger than the head of Sir Walter Scott; the latter
seemed more a man of this world's mould. Such, too, was his character;
for, with all his fine genius, Sir Walter would never have been so
successful an author, had he not possessed so large a share of common
sense, united to a business-like method of conducting his affairs, even
those which perhaps I might venture to call the affairs of imagination.
We took our leave; and before we got further than the first landing, we
met Mr. Murray conducting Sir Walter downstairs; they were going to have
a private chat before the departure of the latter." [Footnote: "Mrs.
Bray's Autobiography," pp. 145-7.]



About the beginning of 1819 the question of publishing the letters and
reminiscences of Lady Hervey, grandmother of the Earl of Mulgrave, was
brought under the notice of Mr. Murray. Lady Hervey was the daughter of
Brigadier-General Lepel, and the wife of Lord Hervey of Ickworth, author
of the "Memoirs of the Court of George II. and Queen Caroline." Her
letters formed a sort of anecdotal history of the politics and
literature of her times. A mysterious attachment is said to have existed
between her and Lord Chesterfield, who, in his letters to his son,
desired him never to mention her name when he could avoid it, while she,
on the other hand, adopted all Lord Chesterfield's opinions, as
afterwards appeared in the aforesaid letters. Mr. Walter Hamilton,
author of the "Gazetteer of India," an old and intimate friend of Mr.
Murray, who first brought the subject under Mr. Murray's notice, said,
"Lady Hervey writes more like a man than a woman, something like Lady
M.W. Montagu, and in giving her opinion she never minces matters." Mr.
Hamilton recommended that Archdeacon Coxe, author of the "Lives of Sir
Robert and Horace Walpole," should be the editor. Mr. Murray, however,
consulted his _fidus Achates_, Mr. Croker; and, putting the letters in
his hands, asked him to peruse them, and, if he approved, to edit them.
The following was Mr. Croker's answer:

_Mr. Croker to John Murray_.

_November_ 22, 1820.


I shall do more than you ask. I shall give you a biographical
sketch--sketch, do you hear?--of Lady Hervey, and notes on her letters,
in which I shall endeavour to enliven a little the _sameness_ of my
author. Don't think that I say _sameness_ in derogation of dear Mary
Lepel's _powers_ of entertainment. I have been _in love_ with her a long
time; which, as she was dead twenty years before I was born, I may
without indiscretion avow; but all these letters being written in a
journal style and to one person, there is a want of that variety which
Lady Hervey's mind was capable of giving. I have applied to her family
for a little assistance; hitherto without success; and I think, as a
_lover_ of Lady Hervey's, I might reasonably resent the little
enthusiasm I find that her descendants felt about her. In order to
enable me to do this little job for you, I wish you would procure for me
a file, if such a thing exists, of any newspaper from about 1740 to
1758, at which latter date the _Annual Register_ begins, as I remember.
So many little circumstances are mentioned in letters, and forgotten in
history, that without some such guide, I shall make but blind work of
it. If it be necessary, I will go to the Museum and _grab_ them, as my
betters have done before me. My dear little Nony [Footnote: Mr. Croker's
adopted daughter, afterwards married to Sir George Barrow.] was worse
last night, and not better all to-day; but this evening they make me
happy by saying that she is decidedly improved.

Yours ever,


Send me "Walpoliana," I have lost or mislaid mine. Are there any memoirs
about the date of 1743, or later, beside Bubb's?

That Mr. Croker made all haste and exercised his usual painstaking
industry in doing "this little job" for Mr. Murray will be evident from
the following letters:

_Mr. Croker to John Murray_.

_December_ 27, 1820.


I have done "Lady Hervey." I hear that there is a Mr. Vincent in the
Treasury, the son of a Mr. and Mrs. Vincent, to whom the late General
Hervey, the favourite son of Lady Hervey, left his fortune and his
papers. Could you find out who they are? Nothing is more surprising than
the ignorance in which I find all Lady Hervey's descendants about her.
Most of them never heard her maiden name. It reminds one of Walpole
writing to George Montagu, to tell him who his grandmother was! I am
anxious to knock off this task whilst what little I know of it is fresh
in my recollection; for I foresee that much of the entertainment of the
work must depend on the elucidations in the Notes.



The publication of Lady Hervey's letters in 1821 was so successful that
Mr. Croker was afterwards induced to edit, with great advantage, letters
and memorials of a similar character. [Footnote: As late as 1848, Mr.
Croker edited Lord Hervey's "Memoirs of the Court of George II. and
Queen Caroline," from the family archives at Ickworth. The editor in his
preface said that Lord Hervey was almost the Boswell of George II. and
Queen Caroline.]

The next important _mémoires pour servir_ were brought under Mr.
Murray's notice by Lord Holland, in the following letter:

_Lord Holland to John Murray_.

HOLLAND HOUSE, _November_ 1820.


I wrote a letter to you last week which by some accident Lord
Lauderdale, who had taken charge of it, has mislaid. The object of it
was to request you to call here some morning, and to let me know the
hour by a line by two-penny post. I am authorized to dispose of two
historical works, the one a short but admirably written and interesting
memoir of the late Lord Waldegrave, who was a favourite of George II.,
and governor of George III. when Prince of Wales. The second consists of
three close-written volumes of "Memoirs by Horace Walpole" (afterwards
Lord Orford), which comprise the last nine years of George II.'s reign.
I am anxious to give you the refusal of them, as I hear you have already
expressed a wish to publish anything of this kind written by Horace
Walpole, and had indirectly conveyed that wish to Lord Waldegrave, to
whom these and many other MSS. of that lively and laborious writer
belong. Lord Lauderdale has offered to assist me in adjusting the terms
of the agreement, and perhaps you will arrange with him; he lives at
Warren's Hotel, Waterloo Place, where you can make it convenient to meet
him. I would meet you there, or call at your house; but before you can
make any specific offer, you will no doubt like to look at the MSS.,
which are here, and which (not being mine) I do not like to expose
unnecessarily to the risk even of a removal to London and back again.

I am, Sir, your obedient humble Servant, etc.,


It would appear that Mr. Murray called upon Lord Holland and looked over
the MSS., but made no proposal to purchase the papers. The matter lay
over until Lord Holland again addressed Mr. Murray.

_Lord Holland to John Murray_.

"It appears that you are either not aware of the interesting nature of
the MSS. which I showed you, or that the indifference produced by the
present frenzy about the Queen's business [Footnote: The trial of Queen
Caroline was then occupying public attention.] to all literary
publications, has discouraged you from an undertaking in which you would
otherwise engage most willingly. However, to come to the point. I have
consulted Lord Waldegrave on the subject, and we agree that the two
works, viz. his grandfather, Lord Waldegrave's "Memoirs," and Horace
Walpole's "Memoirs of the Last Nine Years of George II.," should not be
sold for less than 3,000 guineas. If that sum would meet your ideas, or
if you have any other offer to make, I will thank you to let me know
before the second of next month."

Three thousand guineas was certainly a very large price to ask for the
Memoirs, and Mr. Murray hesitated very much before acceding to Lord
Holland's proposal. He requested to have the MSS. for the purpose of
consulting his literary adviser--probably Mr. Croker, though the
following remarks, now before us, are not in his handwriting.

"This book of yours," says the critic, "is a singular production. It is
ill-written, deficient in grammar, and often in English; and yet it
interests and even amuses. Now, the subjects of it are all, I suppose,
gone _ad plures_; otherwise it would be intolerable. The writer richly
deserves a licking or a cudgelling to every page, and yet I am ashamed
to say I have travelled unwearied with him through the whole, divided
between a grin and a scowl. I never saw nor heard of such an animal as a
splenetic, bustling kind of a poco-curante. By the way, if you happen to
hear of any plan for making me a king, be so good as to say that I am
deceased; or tell any other good-natured lie to put the king-makers off
their purpose. I really cannot submit to be the only slave in the
nation, especially when I have a crossing to sweep within five yards of
my door, and may gain my bread with less ill-usage than a king is
obliged to put up with. If half that is here told be true, Lord Holland
seems to me to tread on

                Suppositos cineri doloso'

in retouching any part of the manuscript. He is so perfectly kind and
good-natured, that he will feel more than any man the complaints of
partiality and injustice; and where he is to stop, I see not. There is
so much abuse that little is to be gained by an occasional erasure,
while suspicion is excited. He would have consulted his quiet more by
leaving the author to bear the blame of his own scandal."

Notwithstanding this adverse judgment, Mr. Murray was disposed to buy
the Memoirs. Lord Holland drove a very hard bargain, and endeavoured to
obtain better terms from other publishers, but he could not, and
eventually Mr. Murray paid to Lord Waldegrave, through Lord Holland, the
sum of £2,500 on November 1, 1821, for the Waldegrave and Walpole
Memoirs. They were edited by Lord Holland, who wrote a preface to each,
and were published in the following year, but never repaid their
expenses. After suffering considerable loss by this venture, Mr.
Murray's rights were sold, after his death, to Mr. Colburn.

The last of the _mémoires pour servir_ to which we shall here refer was
the Letters of the Countess of Suffolk, bedchamber woman to the Princess
of Wales (Caroline of Anspach), and a favourite of the Prince of Wales,
afterwards George II. The Suffolk papers were admirably edited by Mr.
Croker. Thackeray, in his "Lecture on George the Second," says of his
work: "Even Croker, who edited her letters, loves her, and has that
regard for her with which her sweet graciousness seems to have inspired
almost all men, and some women, who came near her." The following letter
of Croker shows the spirit in which he began to edit the Countess's

_Mr. Croker to John Murray_.

_May_ 29, 1822.


As you told me that you are desirous of publishing the Suffolk volume by
November, and as I have, all my life, had an aversion to making any one
wait for me, I am anxious to begin my work upon them, and, if we are to
be out by November, I presume it is high time. I must beg of you to
answer me the following questions.

1st. What shape will you adopt? I think the correspondence of a nature
rather too light for a quarto, and yet it would look well on the same
shelf with Horace Walpole's works. If you should prefer an octavo, like
Lady Hervey's letters, the papers would furnish two volumes. I, for my
part, should prefer the quarto size, which is a great favourite with me,
and the letters of such persons as Pope, Swift, and Gay, the Duchesses
of Buckingham, Queensberry, and Marlbro', Lords Peterborough,
Chesterfield, Bathurst, and Lansdowne, Messrs. Pitt, Pulteney, Pelham,
Grenville, and Horace Walpole, seem to me almost to justify the
magnificence of the quarto; though, in truth, all their epistles are, in
its narrowest sense, _familiar_, and treat chiefly of tittle-tattle.

Decide, however, on your own view of your interests, only recollect that
these papers are not to cost you more than "Belshazzar," [Footnote: Mr.
Milman's poem, for which Mr. Murray paid 500 guineas.] which I take to
be of about the intrinsic value of the _writings on the walls_, and not
a third of what you have given Mr. Crayon for his portrait of Squire

2nd. Do you intend to have any portraits? One of Lady Suffolk is almost
indispensable, and would be enough. There are two of her at Strawberry
Hill; one, I think, a print, and neither, if I forget not, very good.
There is also a print, an unassuming one, in Walpole's works, but a good
artist would make something out of any of these, if even we can get
nothing better to make our copy from. If you were to increase your
number of portraits, I would add the Duchess of Queensberry, from a
picture at Dalkeith which is alluded to in the letters; Lady Hervey and
her beautiful friend, Mary Bellenden. They are in Walpole's works; Lady
Hervey rather mawkish, but the Bellenden charming. I dare say these
plates could now be bought cheap, and retouched from the originals,
which would make them better than ever they were. Lady Vere (sister of
Lady Temple, which latter is engraved in Park's edition of the "Noble
Authors") was a lively writer, and is much distinguished in this
correspondence. Of the men, I should propose Lord Peterborough, whose
portraits are little known; Lord Liverpool has one of him, not, however,
very characteristic. Mr. Pulteney is also little known, but he has been
lately re-published in the Kit-cat Club. Of _our Horace_ there is not a
decent engraving anywhere. I presume that there must be a good original
of him somewhere. Whatever you mean to do on this point, you should come
to an early determination and put the works in hand.

3rd. I mean, if you approve, to prefix a biographical sketch of Mrs.
Howard and two or three of those beautiful characters with which, in
prose and verse, the greatest wits of the last century honoured her and
themselves. To the first letter of each remarkable correspondent I would
also affix a slight notice, and I would add, at the foot of the page,
notes in the style of those on Lady Hervey. Let me know whether this
plan suits your fancy.

4th. All the letters of Swift, except one or two, in this collection are
printed (though not always accurately) in Scott's edition of his works.
Yet I think it would be proper to reprint them from the originals,
because they elucidate much of Lady Suffolk's history, and her
correspondence could not be said to be complete without them. Let me
know your wishes on this point.

5th. My materials are numerous, though perhaps the pieces of great merit
are not many. I must therefore beg of you to set up, in the form and
type you wish to adopt, the sheet which I send you, and you must say
about how many pages you wish your volume, or volumes, to be. I will
then select as much of the most interesting as will fill the space which
you may desire to occupy.

Yours truly,


Mr. Croker also consented to edit the letters of Mrs. Delany to Mr.
Hamilton, 1779-88, containing many anecdotes relating to the Royal

_Mr. Croker to John Murray_.

"I have shown Mrs. Delany's MS. letters to the Prince Regent; he was
much entertained with this revival of old times in his recollection, and
_he says that every word of it is true_. You know that H.R.H. has a
wonderful memory, and particularly for things of that kind. His
certificate of Mrs. Delany's veracity will therefore be probably of some
weight with you. As to the letter-writing powers of Mrs. Delany, the
specimen inclines me to doubt. Her style seems stiff and formal, and
though these two letters, which describe a peculiar kind of scene, have
a good deal of interest in them, I do not hope for the same amusement
from the rest of the collection. Poverty, obscurity, general ill-health,
and blindness are but unpromising qualifications for making an agreeable
volume of letters. If a shopkeeper at Portsmouth were to write his life,
the extracts of what relates to the two days of the Imperial and Royal
visit of 1814 would be amusing, though all the rest of the half century
of his life would be intolerably tedious. I therefore counsel you not to
buy the pig in Miss Hamilton's bag (though she is a most respectable
lady), but ask to see the whole collection before you bid."

The whole collection was obtained, and, with some corrections and
elucidations, the volume of letters was given to the world by Mr. Murray
in 1821.

In May 1820 Mr. Murray requested Mr. Croker to edit Horace Walpole's
"Reminiscences." Mr. Croker replied, saying: "I should certainly like
the task very well if I felt a little better satisfied of my ability to
perform it. Something towards such a work I would certainly contribute,
for I have always loved that kind of tea-table history." Not being able
to undertake the work himself, Mr. Croker recommended Mr. Murray to
apply to Miss Berry, the editor of Lady Russell's letters. "The Life,"
he said, "by which those letters were preceded, is a beautiful piece of
biography, and shows, besides higher qualities, much of that taste which
a commentator on the 'Reminiscences' ought to have." The work was
accordingly placed in the hands of Miss Berry, who edited it
satisfactorily, and it was published by Mr. Murray in the course of the
following year.

Dr. Tomline, while Bishop of Winchester, entered into a correspondence
with Mr. Murray respecting the "Life of William Pitt." In December
1820, Dr. Tomline said he had brought the Memoirs down to the
Declaration of War by France against Great Britain on February I, 1793,
and that the whole would make two volumes quarto. Until he became Bishop
of Lincoln, Dr. Tomline had been Pitt's secretary, and from the
opportunities he had possessed, there was promise here of a great work;
but it was not well executed, and though a continuation was promised, it
never appeared. When the work was sent to Mr. Gifford, he wrote to Mr.
Murray that it was not at all what he expected, for it contained nothing
of Pitt's private history. "He seems to be uneasy until he gets back to
his Parliamentary papers. Yet it can hardly fail to be pretty widely
interesting; but I would not have you make yourself too uneasy about
these things. Pitt's name, and the Bishop's, will make the work sell."
Gifford was right. The "Life" went to a fourth edition in the following

Among Mr. Murray's devoted friends and adherents was Giovanni Belzoni,
who, born at Padua in 1778, had, when a young man at Rome, intended to
devote himself to the monastic life, but the French invasion of the city
altered his purpose, and, instead of being a monk, he became an athlete.
He was a man of gigantic physical power, and went from place to place,
gaining his living in England, as elsewhere, as a posture-master, and by
exhibiting at shows his great feats of strength. He made enough by this
work to enable him to visit Egypt, where he erected hydraulic machines
for the Pasha, and, through the influence of Mr. Salt, the British
Consul, was employed to remove from Thebes, and ship for England, the
colossal bust commonly called the Young Memnon. His knowledge of
mechanics enabled him to accomplish this with great dexterity, and the
head, now in the British Museum, is one of the finest specimens of
Egyptian sculpture.

Belzoni, after performing this task, made further investigations among
the Egyptian tombs and temples. He was the first to open the great
temple of Ipsambul, cut in the side of a mountain, and at that time shut
in by an accumulation of sand. Encouraged by these successes, he, in
1817, made a second journey to Upper Egypt and Nubia, and brought to
light at Carnac several colossal heads of granite, now in the British
Museum. After some further explorations among the tombs and temples, for
which he was liberally paid by Mr. Salt, Belzoni returned to England
with numerous drawings, casts, and many important works of Egyptian art.
He called upon Mr. Murray, with the view of publishing the results of
his investigations, which in due course were issued under the title of
"Narrative of the Operations and recent Discoveries within the Pyramids,
Temples, Tombs, and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia."

It was a very expensive book to arrange and publish, but nothing daunted
Mr. Murray when a new and original work was brought under his notice.
Although only 1,000 copies were printed, the payments to Belzoni and his
translators, as well as for plates and engravings, amounted to over
£2,163. The preparation of the work gave rise to no little difficulty,
for Belzoni declined all help beyond that of the individual who was
employed to copy out or translate his manuscript and correct the press.
"As I make my discoveries alone," he said, "I have been anxious to write
my book by myself, though in so doing the reader will consider me, with
great propriety, guilty of temerity; but the public will, perhaps, gain
in the fidelity of my narration what it loses in elegance." Lord Byron,
to whom Mr. Murray sent a copy of his work, said: "Belzoni _is_ a grand
traveller, and his English is very prettily broken."

Belzoni was a very interesting character, and a man of great natural
refinement. After the publication of his work, he became one of the
fashionable lions of London, but was very sensitive about his early
career, and very sedulous to sink the posture-master in the traveller.
He was often present at Mr. Murray's receptions; and on one particular
occasion he was invited to join the family circle in Albemarle Street on
the last evening of 1822, to see the Old Year out and the New Year in.
All Mr. Murray's young people were present, as well as the entire
D'Israeli family and Crofton Croker. After a merry game of Pope Joan,
Mr. Murray presented each of the company with a pocket-book as a New
Year's gift. A special bowl of punch was brewed for the occasion, and,
while it was being prepared, Mr. Isaac D'Israeli took up Crofton
Croker's pocket-book, and with his pencil wrote the following impromptu

"Gigantic Belzoni at Pope Joan and tea.
What a group of mere puppets we seem beside thee;
Which, our kind host perceiving, with infinite zest,
Gives us Punch at our supper, to keep up the jest."

The lines were pronounced to be excellent, and Belzoni, wishing to share
in the enjoyment, desired to see the words. He read the last line twice
over, and then, his eyes flashing fire, he exclaimed, "I am betrayed!"
and suddenly left the room. Crofton Croker called upon Belzoni to
ascertain the reason for his abrupt departure from Mr. Murray's, and was
informed that he considered the lines to be an insulting allusion to his
early career as a showman. Croker assured him that neither Murray nor
D'Israeli knew anything of his former life; finally he prevailed upon
Belzoni to accompany him to Mr. Murray's, who for the first time learnt
that the celebrated Egyptian explorer had many years before been an
itinerant exhibitor in England.

In 1823 Belzoni set out for Morocco, intending to penetrate thence to
Eastern Africa; he wrote to Mr. Murray from Gibraltar, thanking him for
many acts of kindness, and again from Tangier.

_M.G. Belzoni to John Murray_.

_April_ 10, 1823.

"I have just received permission from H.M. the Emperor of Morocco to go
to Fez, and am in hopes to obtain his approbation to enter the desert
along with the caravan to Soudan. The letter of introduction from Mr.
Wilmot to Mr. Douglas has been of much importance to me; this gentleman
fortunately finds pleasure in affording me all the assistance in his
power to promote my wishes, a circumstance which I have not been
accustomed to meet in some other parts of Africa. I shall do myself the
pleasure to acquaint you of my further progress at Fez, if not from some
other part of Morocco."

Belzoni would appear to have changed his intention, and endeavoured to
penetrate to Timbuctoo from Benin, where, however, he was attacked by
dysentery, and died a short time after the above letter was written.

Like many other men of Herculean power, he was not eager to exhibit his
strength; but on one occasion he gave proof of it in the following
circumstances. Mr. Murray had asked him to accompany him to the
Coronation of George IV. They had tickets of admittance to Westminster
Hall, but on arriving there they found that the sudden advent of Queen
Caroline, attended by a mob claiming admission to the Abbey, had alarmed
the authorities, who caused all the doors to be shut. That by which they
should have entered was held close and guarded by several stalwart
janitors. Belzoni thereupon advanced to the door, and, in spite of the
efforts of these guardians, including Tom Crib and others of the
pugilistic corps who had been engaged as constables, opened it with
ease, and admitted himself and Mr. Murray.

In 1820 Mr. Murray was invited to publish "The Fall of Jerusalem, a
Sacred Tragedy," by the Rev. H.H. Milman, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's.
As usual, he consulted Mr. Gifford, whose opinion was most favourable.
"I have been more and more struck," he said, "with the innumerable
beauties in Milman's 'Fall of Jerusalem.'"

Mr. Murray requested the author to state his own price for the
copyright, and Mr. Milman wrote:

"I am totally at a loss to fix one. I think I might decide whether an
offer were exceedingly high or exceedingly low, whether a Byron or Scott
price, or such as is given to the first essay of a new author. Though
the 'Fall of Jerusalem' might demand an Israelitish bargain, yet I shall
not be a Jew further than my poetry. Make a liberal offer, such as the
prospect will warrant, and I will at once reply, but I am neither able
nor inclined to name a price.... As I am at present not very far
advanced in life, I may hereafter have further dealings with the Press,
and, of course, where I meet with liberality shall hope to make a return
in the same way. It has been rather a favourite scheme of mine, though
this drama cannot appear on the boards, to show it before it is
published to my friend Mrs. Siddons, who perhaps might like to read it,
either at home or abroad. I have not even hinted at such a thing to her,
so that this is mere uncertainty, and, before it is printed, it would be
in vain to think of it, as the old lady's eyes and MS. could never agree

"P.S.--I ought to have said that I am very glad of Aristarchus'
[Grifford's] approval. And, by the way, I think, if I help you in
redeeming your character from 'Don Juan,' the 'Hetaerse' in the
_Quarterly_, [Footnote: Mitchell's article on "Female Society in
Greece," _Q.R._ No. 43.] etc., you ought to estimate that very highly."

Mr. Murray offered Mr. Milman five hundred guineas for the copyright,
to which the author replied: "Your offer appears to me very fair, and I
shall have no scruple in acceding to it."

Milman, in addition to numerous plays and poems, became a contributor to
the _Quarterly_, and one of Murray's historians. He wrote the "History
of the Jews" and the "History of Christianity"; he edited Gibbon and
Horace, and continued during his lifetime to be one of Mr. Murray's most
intimate and attached friends.

In 1820 we find the first mention of a name afterwards to become as
celebrated as any of those with which Mr. Murray was associated. Owing
to the warm friendship which existed between the Murrays and the
D'Israelis, the younger members of both families were constantly brought
together on the most intimate terms. Mr. Murray was among the first to
mark the abilities of the boy, Benjamin Disraeli, and, as would appear
from the subjoined letter, his confidence in his abilities was so firm
that he consulted him as to the merits of a MS. when he had scarcely
reached his eighteenth year.

_Mr. Benjamin Disraeli to John Murray_. _August_ 1822.

Dear Sir,

I ran my eye over three acts of "Wallace," [Footnote: "Wallace: a
Historical Tragedy," in five acts, was published in 1820. Joanna Baillie
spoke of the author, C.E. Walker, as "a very young and promising
dramatist."] and, as far as I could form an opinion, I cannot conceive
these acts to be as effective on the stage as you seemed to expect.
However, it is impossible to say what a very clever actor like Macready
may make of some of the passages. Notwithstanding the many erasures the
diction is still diffuse, and sometimes languishing, though not
inelegant. I cannot imagine it a powerful work as far as I have read.
But, indeed, running over a part of a thing with people talking around
is too unfair. I shall be anxious to hear how it succeeds. Many thanks,
dear sir, for lending it to me. Your note arrives. If on so slight a
knowledge of the play I could venture to erase either of the words you
set before me, I fear it would be _Yes_, but I feel cruel and wicked in
saying so. I hope you got your dinner in comfort when you got rid of me
and that gentle pyramid [Belzoni].

Yours truly,


Mr. Southey was an indefatigable and elaborate correspondent, and, as
his letters have already been published, it is not necessary to quote
them. He rarely wrote to Mr. Gifford, who cut down his articles, and, as
Southey insisted, generally emasculated them by omitting the best
portions. Two extracts may be given from those written to Mr. Murray in
1820, which do not seem yet to have been given to the world, the first
in reference to a proposed Life of Warren Hastings:

"It appears to me that the proper plan will be to publish a selection
from Warren Hastings's papers and correspondence, accompanying it with
his Life. That Life requires a compendious view of our Indian history
down to the time of his administration, and in its progress it embraces
the preservation of our Indian empire and the establishment of the
existing system. Something must be interwoven concerning the history of
the native powers, Mahomedan, Moor, Mahratta, etc., and their
institutions. I see how all this is to be introduced, and see also that
no subject can afford materials more important or more various. And what
a pleasure it will be to read the triumph of such a man as Hastings over
the tremendous combination of his persecutors at home! I had a noble
catastrophe in writing the Life of Nelson, but the latter days of
Hastings afford a scene more touching, and perhaps more sublime, because
it is more uncommon. Let me have the works of Orme and Bruce and Mill,
and I will set apart a portion of every day to the course of reading,
and begin my notes accordingly."

The second touches on his perennial grievance against Gifford:

"You will really serve as well as oblige me, if you will let me have a
duplicate set of proofs of my articles, that I may not _lose_ the
passages which Mr. Gifford, in spite of repeated promises, always will
strike out. In the last paper, among many other mutilations, the most
useful _fact_ in the essay, for its immediate practical application, has
been omitted, and for no imaginable reason (the historical fact that it
was the reading a calumnious libel which induced Felton to murder the
Duke of Buckingham). When next I touch upon public affairs for you, I
will break the Whigs upon the wheel."

Mrs. Graham, afterwards Lady Callcott, then the wife of Captain Graham,
R.N., an authoress and friend of the Murray family, wrote to introduce
Mr. (afterwards Sir) Charles Eastlake, who had translated Baron
Bartholdy's "Memoirs of the Carbonari."

_Mrs. Graham to John Murray_.

_February_ 24, 1821.

All great men have to pay the penalty of their greatness, and you,
_arch-bookseller_ as you are, must now and then be entreated to do many
things you only half like to do. I shall half break my heart if you and
Bartholdy do not agree.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, whether you publish "The Carbonari" or not, I bespeak your
acquaintance for the translator, Mr. Eastlake. I want him to see the
sort of thing that one only sees in your house, at your morning
_levées_--the traffic of mind and literature, if I may call it so. To a
man who has lived most of his grown-up life out of England, it is both
curious and instructive, and I wish for this advantage for my friend.
And in return for what I want you to benefit him, by giving him the
_entrée_ to your rooms, I promise you great pleasure in having a
gentleman of as much modesty as real accomplishment, and whose taste and
talents as an artist must one day place him very high among our native
geniuses. You and Mrs. Murray would, I am sure, love him as much as
Captain Graham and I do. We met him at Malta on his return from Athens,
where he had been with Lord Ruthven's party. Thence he went to Sicily
with Lord Leven. In Rome, we lived in the same house. He was with us at
Poli, and last summer at Ascoli with Lady Westmoreland. I have told him
that, when he goes to London, he must show you two beautiful pictures he
has done for Lord Guilford, views taken in Greece. You will see that his
pictures and Lord Byron's poetry tell the same story of the "Land of the
Unforgotten Brave." I envy you your morning visitors. I am really hungry
for a new book. If you are so good as to send me any _provision fresh
from Murray's shambles_, as Mr. Rose says, address it to me, care of Wm.
Eastlake, Esq., Plymouth. Love to Mrs. Murray and children.

Yours very gratefully and truly,


P.S.--If Graham has a ship given him at the time, and at the station
promised, I shall be obliged to visit London towards the end of March or
the beginning of April.

Mr. Murray accepted and published the book.

Lord Byron's works continued to be in great demand at home, and were
soon pounced upon by the pirates in America and France. The Americans
were beyond Murray's reach, but the French were, to a certain extent, in
his power. Galignani, the Paris publisher, wrote to Lord Byron,
requesting the assignment to him of the right of publishing his poetry
in France. Byron replied that his poems belonged to Mr. Murray, and were
his "property by purchase, right, and justice," and referred Galignani
to him, "washing his hands of the business altogether." M. Galignani
then applied to Mr. Murray, who sent him the following answer:

_John Murray to M. Galignani_.

_January_ 16, 1821.


I have received your letter requesting me to assign to you exclusively
the right of printing Lord Byron's works in France. In answer I shall
state what you do not seem to be aware of, that for the copyright of
these works you are printing for nothing, I have given the author
upwards of £10,000. Lord Byron has sent me the assignment, regularly
made, and dated April 20, 1818; and if you will send me £250 I will make
it over to you. I have just received a Tragedy by Lord Byron, for the
copyright of which I have paid £1,050, and also three new cantos of "Don
Juan," for which I have paid £2,100. What can you afford to give me for
the exclusive right of printing them in France upon condition that you
receive them before any other bookseller? Your early reply will oblige.

Your obedient Servant,


M. Galignani then informed Mr. Murray that a pirated edition of Lord
Byron's works had been issued by another publisher, and was being sold
for 10 francs; and that, if he would assign him the new Tragedy and the
new cantos of "Don Juan," he would pay him £100, and be at the expense
of the prosecution of the surreptitious publisher. But nothing was said
about the payment of £250 for the issue of Lord Byron's previous work.

Towards the end of 1821 Mr. Murray received a letter from Messrs.
Longman & Co., intimating, in a friendly way, "you will see in a day or
two, in the newspapers, an advertisement of Mrs. Rundell's improved
edition of her 'Cookery Book,' which she has placed in our hands for
publication." Now, the "Domestic Cookery," as enlarged and improved by
Mr. Murray, was practically a new work, and one of his best properties.
When he heard of Mrs. Rundell's intention to bring out her Cookery Book
through the Longmans, he consulted his legal adviser, Mr. Sharon Turner,
who recommended that an injunction should at once be taken out to
restrain the publication, and retained Mr. Littledale and Mr. Serjeant
Copley for Mr. Murray. The injunction was duly granted.

After some controversy and litigation the matter was arranged. Mr.
Murray voluntarily agreed to pay to Mrs. Rundell £2,000, in full of all
claims, and her costs and expenses. The Messrs. Longman delivered to Mr.
Murray the stereotype plates of the Cookery Book, and stopped all
further advertisements of Mrs. Rundell's work. Mr. Sharon Turner, when
writing to tell Mr. Murray the result of his negotiations, concludes
with the recommendation: "As Home and Shadwell [Murray's counsel] took
much pains, I think if you were to send them each a copy of the Cookery
Book, and (as a novelty) of 'Cain,' it would please them."

Moore, in his Diary, notes: [Footnote: "Moore: Memoirs, Journal, and
Correspondence," v. p. 119.] "I called at Pickering's, in Chancery Lane,
who showed me the original agreement between Milton and Symonds for the
payment of five pounds for 'Paradise Lost.' The contrast of this sum
with the £2,000 given by Mr. Murray for Mrs. Rundell's 'Cookery'
comprises a history in itself. Pickering, too, gave forty-five guineas
for this agreement, nine times as much as the sum given for the poem."



The book trade between England and America was in its infancy at the,
time of which we are now writing, and though Mr. Murray was frequently
invited to publish American books, he had considerable hesitation in
accepting such invitations.

Mr. Washington Irving, who was already since 1807 favourably known as an
author in America, called upon Mr. Murray, and was asked to dine, as
distinguished Americans usually were. He thus records his recollections
of the event in a letter to his brother Peter at Liverpool:

_Mr. Washington Irving to Mr. Peter Irving_.

_August_ 19, 1817.

"I had a very pleasant dinner at Murray's. I met there D'Israeli and an
artist [Brockedon] just returned from Italy with an immense number of
beautiful sketches of Italian scenery and architecture. D'Israeli's wife
and daughter came in in the course of the evening, and we did not
adjourn until twelve o'clock. I had a long _tête-à-tête_ with old
D'Israeli in a corner. He is a very pleasant, cheerful old fellow,
curious about America, and evidently tickled at the circulation his
works have had there, though, like most authors just now, he groans at
not being able to participate in the profits. Murray was very merry and
loquacious. He showed me a long letter from Lord Byron, who is in Italy.
It is written with some flippancy, but is an odd jumble. His Lordship
has written some 104 stanzas of the fourth canto ('Childe Harold'). He
says it will be less metaphysical than the last canto, but thinks it
will be at least equal to either of the preceding. Murray left town
yesterday for some watering-place, so that I have had no further talk
with him, but am to keep my eye on his advertisements and write to him
when anything offers that I may think worth republishing in America. I
shall find him a most valuable acquaintance on my return to London."

A business in Liverpool, in which, with his brother, he was a partner,
proved a failure, and in 1818 he was engaged on his famous "Sketch
Book," which he wrote in England, and sent to his brother Ebenezer in
New York to be published there. The work appeared in three parts in the
course of the year 1819. Several of the articles were copied in English
periodicals and were read with great admiration. A writer in _Blackwood_
expressed surprise that Mr. Irving had thought fit to publish his
"Sketch Book" in America earlier than in Britain, and predicted a large
and eager demand for such a work. On this encouragement, Irving, who was
still in England, took the first three numbers, which had already
appeared in America, to Mr. Murray, and left them with him for
examination and approval. Murray excused himself on the ground that he
did not consider the work in question likely to form the basis of
"satisfactory accounts," and without this he had no "satisfaction" in
undertaking to publish.

Irving thereupon sought (but did not take) the advice of Sir W. Scott,
and entered into an arrangement with Miller of the Burlington Arcade,
and in February 1820 the first four numbers were published in a volume.
Miller shortly after became bankrupt, the sale of the book (of which one
thousand had been printed) was interrupted, and Irving's hopes of profit
were dashed to the ground. At this juncture, Walter Scott, who was then
in London, came to his help.

"I called to him for help as I was sticking in the mire, and, more
propitious than Hercules, he put his own shoulder to the wheel. Through
his favourable representations Murray was quickly induced to undertake
the future publication of the work which he had previously declined. A
further edition of the first volume was put to press, and from that time
Murray became my publisher, conducting himself in all his dealings with
that fair, open, and liberal spirit which had obtained for him the
well-merited appellation of the Prince of Booksellers." [Footnote:
Preface to the revised edition of "The Sketch Book."]

Irving, being greatly in want of money, offered to dispose of the work
entirely to the publisher, and Murray, though he had no legal protection
for his purchase, not only gave him £200 for it, but two months later
he wrote to Irving, stating that his volumes had succeeded so much
beyond his commercial estimate that he begged he would do him the favour
to draw on him at sixty-five days for one hundred guineas in addition to
the sum agreed upon. And again, eight months later, Murray made Irving a
second gratuitous contribution of a hundred pounds, to which the author
replied, "I never knew any one convey so much meaning in so concise and
agreeable a manner." The author's "Bracebridge Hall" and other works
were also published by Mr. Murray.

In 1822 Irving, who liked to help his literary fellow-countrymen, tried
to induce Mr. Murray to republish James Fenimore Cooper's novels in
England. Mr. Murray felt obliged to decline, as he found that these
works were pirated by other publishers; American authors were then
beginning to experience the same treatment in England which English
authors have suffered in America. The wonder was that Washington
Irving's works so long escaped the same doom.

In 1819 Mr. Murray first made the acquaintance of Ugo Foscolo. A native
of Zante, descended from a Venetian family who had settled in the Ionian
Islands, Foscolo studied at Padua, and afterwards took up his residence
at Venice. The ancient aristocracy of that city had been banished by
Napoleon Bonaparte, and the conqueror gave over Venice to Austria.
Foscolo attacked Bonaparte in his "Lettere di Ortis." After serving as a
volunteer in the Lombard Legion through the disastrous campaign of 1799,
Foscolo, on the capitulation of Genoa, retired to Milan, where he
devoted himself to literary pursuits. He once more took service--under
Napoleon--and in 1805 formed part of the army of England assembled at
Boulogne; but soon left the army, went to Pavia (where he had been
appointed Professor of Eloquence), and eventually at the age of forty
took refuge in England. Here he found many friends, who supported him in
his literary efforts. Among others he called upon Mr. Murray, who
desired his co-operation in writing for the _Quarterly_. An article, on
"The Poems of the Italians" was his first contribution. Mr. Thomas
Mitchell, the translator of "Aristophanes," desired Mr. Murray to give
Foscolo his congratulations upon his excellent essay, as well as on his
acquaintance with our language.

_Mr. Thomas Mitchell to John Murray_.

"The first time I had the pleasure of seeing M. Foscolo was at a _table
d'hôte_ at Berne. There was something in his physiognomy which very much
attracted nay notice; and, for some reason or another, I thought that I
seemed to be an object of his attention. At table, Foscolo was seated
next to a young Hanoverian, between whom and me a very learned
conversation had passed on the preceding evening, and a certain degree
of acquaintance was cemented in consequence. The table was that day
graced with the appearance of some of the Court ladies of Stuttgard, and
all passed off with the decorum usually observed abroad, when suddenly,
towards the conclusion of the feast a violent hubbub was heard between
M. Foscolo and his Hanoverian neighbour, who, in angry terms and with
violent gestures, respectively asserted the superior harmonies of Greek
and Latin. This ended with the former's suddenly producing a card,
accompanied with the following annunciation: 'Sir, my name is Ugo
Foscolo; I am a native of Greece, and I have resided thirty years in
Italy; I therefore think I ought to know something of the matter. This
card contains my address, and if you have anything further to say, you
know where I am to be found.' Whether Foscolo's name or manner daunted
the young Hanoverian, or whether he was only a bird of passage, I don't
know, but we saw nothing more of him after that day. Foscolo, after the
ladies had retired, made an apology, directed a good deal to me, who, by
the forms of the place, happened to be at the head of the table; a
considerable degree of intimacy took place between us, and an excellent
man I believe him to be, in spite of these little ebullitions."

Ugo Foscolo, who was eccentric to an excess, and very extravagant, had
many attached friends, though he tried them sorely. To Mr. Murray he
became one of the troubles of private as well as publishing life. He had
a mania for building, and a mania for ornamentation, but he was very
short of money for carrying out his freaks. He thought himself at the
same time to be perfectly moderate, simple, and sweet-tempered. He took
a house in South Bank, Regent's Park, which he named Digamma
Cottage--from his having contributed to the _Quarterly Review_ an
article on the Digamma--and fitted it up in extravagant style.

Foscolo could scarcely live at peace with anybody, and, as the result of
one of his numerous altercations, he had to fight a duel. "We are," Lady
Dacre wrote to Murray (December 1823), "to have the whole of Foscolo's
duel to-morrow. He tells me that it is not about a 'Fair lady': thank

Foscolo was one of Mr. Murray's inveterate correspondents--about
lectures, about translations, about buildings, about debts, about loans,
and about borrowings. On one occasion Mr. Murray received from him a
letter of thirteen pages quarto. A few sentences of this may be worth

_Mr. Foscolo to John Murray_.

SOUTH BANK, _August_ 20, 1822.

"During six years (for I landed in England the 10th September, 1816) I
have constantly laboured under difficulties the most distressing; no one
knows them so well as yourself, because no one came to my assistance
with so warm a friendship or with cares so constant and delicate. My
difficulties have become more perplexing since the Government both of
the Ionian Islands and Italy have precluded even the possibility of my
returning to the countries where a slender income would be sufficient,
and where I would not be under the necessity of making a degrading use
of my faculties. I was born a racehorse; and after near forty years of
successful racing, I am now drawing the waggon--nay, to be the teacher
of French to my copyists, and the critic of English to my
translators!-to write sophistry about criticism, which I always
considered a sort of literary quackery, and to put together paltry
articles for works which I never read. Indeed, if I have not undergone
the doom of almost all individuals whose situation becomes suddenly
opposed to their feelings and habits, and if I am not yet a lunatic, I
must thank the mechanical strength of my nerves. My nerves, however,
will not withstand the threatenings of shame which I have always
contemplated with terror. Time and fortune have taught me to meet all
other evils with fortitude; but I grow every day more and more a coward
at the idea of the approach of a stigma on my character; and as now I
must live and die in England, and get the greater part of my subsistence
from my labour, I ought to reconcile, if not labour with literary
reputation, at least labour and life with a spotless name."

He then goes on to state that his debts amount to £600 or thereabouts,
including a sum of £20 which he owed to Mr. Murray himself. Then he must
have the money necessary for his subsistence, and he "finds he cannot
live on less than £400 per annum."

"My apartments," he continues, "decently furnished, encompass me with an
atmosphere of ease and respectability; and I enjoy the illusion of not
having fallen into the lowest circumstances.

I always declare that I will die like a gentleman, on a decent bed,
surrounded by casts (as I cannot buy the marbles) of the Venuses, of the
Apollos, and of the Graces, and the busts of great men; nay, even among
flowers, and, if possible, with some graceful innocent girl playing an
old pianoforte in an adjoining room. And thus dies the hero of my novel.
Far from courting the sympathy of mankind, I would rather be forgotten
by posterity than give it the gratification of ejaculating preposterous
sighs because I died like Camoens and Tasso on the bed of an hospital.
And since I must be buried in your country, I am happy in having insured
for me the possession during the remains of my life of a cottage built
after my plan, surrounded by flowering shrubs, almost within the
tumpikes of the town, and yet as quiet as a country-house, and open to
the free air. Whenever I can freely dispose of a hundred pounds, I will
also build a small dwelling for my corpse, under a beautiful Oriental
plane-tree, which I mean to plant next November, and cultivate _con
amore_. So far I am indeed an epicure; in all other things I am the most
moderate of men."

The upshot of the letter is, that he wishes Mr. Murray to let him have
£1,000, to be repaid in five years, he meanwhile writing articles for
the _Quarterly_--one-half of the payment to be left with the publisher,
and the remaining half to be added to his personal income. He concludes:

"In seeking out a way of salvation, I think it incumbent on me to
prevent the tyranny of necessity, that I might not be compelled by it to
endanger my character and the interest of a friend whose kindness I have
always experienced, and whose assistance I am once more obliged to

Mr. Murray paid off some of his more pressing embarrassments--£30 to
Messrs. Bentley for bills not taken up; £33 7_s_. to Mr. Kelly the
printer; £14 to Mr. Antonini; and £50 to Foscolo's builder--besides
becoming security for £300 to his bankers (with whom Foscolo did
business), in order to ensure him a respite for six months. On the other
hand, Foscolo agreed to insure his life for £600 as a sort of guarantee.
"Was ever" impecunious author "so trusted before"? At this crisis in his
affairs many friends came about him and took an interest in the patriot;
Mr. Hallam and Mr. Wilbraham offered him money, but he would not accept
"gratuities" from them, though he had no objection to accepting their
"loans." Arrangements were then made for Foscolo to deliver a series of
lectures on Italian Literature. Everything was settled, the day
arrived, the room was crowded with a distinguished assembly, when at the
last moment Foscolo appeared without his MS., which he had forgotten.

The course of lectures, however, which had been designed to relieve him
from the pressure of his debts, proved successful, and brought him in,
it is said, as much as £1,000; whereupon he immediately set to work to
squander his earnings by giving a public breakfast to his patrons, for
which purpose he thought it incumbent on him, amongst other expenses, to
make a new approach and a gravelled carriage road to Digamma Cottage.

Ugo Foscolo lived on credit to the end of his life, surrounded by all
that was luxurious and beautiful. How he contrived it, no one knew, for
his resources remained at the lowest ebb. Perhaps his friends helped
him, for English Liberals of good means regarded him as a martyr in the
cause of freedom, one who would never bow the knee to Baal, and who had
dared the first Napoleon when his very word was law. But Foscolo's
friends without doubt became tired of his extravagance and his
licentious habits, and fell away from him. Disease at last found him
out; he died of dropsy at Turnham Green, near Hammersmith, in 1827, when
only in the fiftieth year of his age, and was buried in Chiswick
churchyard; but in June 1871 his body was exhumed and conveyed to
Florence, where he was buried in Santa Croce, between the tomb of
Alfieri and the monument of Dante.

Lady Caroline Lamb had continued to keep up her intimacy with Mr.
Murray; and now that she was preparing a new work for the press, her
correspondence increased. While he was at Wimbledon during summer, she
occasionally met literary friends at his house. She had already
published "Glenarvon," the hero of which was supposed to represent Lord
Byron, and was now ready with "Penruddock." "I am in great anxiety," she
wrote to Mr. Murray, "about your not informing me what Gifford says. I
think it might be a civil way of giving me my death-warrant--if
'Penruddock' does not."

Whether the criticism of Mr. Gifford was too severe, or whether Mr.
Murray was so much engaged in business and correspondence as to take no
notice of Lady Caroline Lamb's communication, does not appear; but she
felt the neglect, and immediately followed it up with another letter as

_Lady Caroline Lamb to John Murray_.

_December 8, 1822_.


From one until nine upon Tuesday I shall be at Melbourne House waiting
for you; but if you wish to see the prettiest woman in England,--besides
myself and William--be at Melbourne House at quarter to six, at which
hour we dine; and if you will come at half-past one, or two, or three,
to say you will dine and to ask me to forgive your inexorable and
inhuman conduct, pray do, for I arrive at twelve in that said home and
leave it at nine the ensuing morning. What can have happened to you that
you will not write?

The following letter from William Lamb (afterwards Lord Melbourne), the
long-suffering and generous husband of this wayward lady, refers to a
novel entitled "Ada Reis."

_The Honble. William Lamb to John Murray_.

_December 20, 1822_.

"The incongruity of, and objections to, the story of 'Ada Reis' can only
be got over by power of writing, beauty of sentiment, striking and
effective situation, etc. If Mr. Gifford thinks there is in the first
two volumes anything of excellence sufficient to overbalance their
manifest faults, I still hope that he will press upon Lady Caroline the
absolute necessity of carefully reconsidering and revising the third
volume, and particularly the conclusion of the novel.

"Mr. Gifford, I dare say, will agree with me that since the time of
Lucian all the representations of the infernal regions, which have been
attempted by satirical writers, such as 'Fielding's Journey from this
World to the Next,' have been feeble and flat. The sketch in "Ada Reis"
is commonplace in its observations and altogether insufficient, and it
would not do now to come with a decisive failure in an attempt of
considerable boldness. I think, if it were thought that anything could
be done with the novel, and that the faults of its design and structure
can be got over, that I could put her in the way of writing up this part
a little, and giving it something of strength, spirit, and novelty, and
of making it at once more moral and more interesting. I wish you would
communicate these my hasty suggestions to Mr. Gifford, and he will see
the propriety of pressing Lady Caroline to take a little more time to
this part of the novel. She will be guided by his authority, and her
fault at present is to be too hasty and too impatient of the trouble of
correcting and recasting what is faulty."

"Ada Reis" was published in March 1823.

Another of England's Prime Ministers, Lord John Russell, had in
contemplation a History of Europe, and consulted Mr. Murray on the
subject. A first volume, entitled "The Affairs of Europe," was published
without the author's name on the title-page, and a few years later
another volume was published, but it remained an unfinished work. Lord
John was an ambitious and restless author; without steady perseverance
in any branch of literature; he went from poems to tragedies, from
tragedies to memoirs, then to history, tales, translations of part of
the "Odyssey," essays (by the Gentleman who left his Lodgings), and then
to memoirs and histories again. Mr. Croker said of his "Don Carlos": "It
is not easy to find any poetry, or even oratory, of the present day
delivered with such cold and heavy diction, such distorted tropes and
disjointed limbs of similes worn to the bones long ago."

Another work that excited greater interest than Lord John Russell's
anonymous history was Mr. James Morier's "Hajji Baba." Mr. Morier had in
his youth travelled through the East, especially in Persia, where he
held a post under Sir Gore Ouseley, then English Ambassador. On his
return to England, he published accounts of his travels; but his "Hajji
Baba" was more read than any other of his works. Sir Walter Scott was
especially pleased with it, and remarked that "Hajji Baba" might be
termed the Oriental "Gil Bias." Mr. Morier afterwards published "The
Adventures of Hajji Baba in England," as well as other works of an
Eastern character. The following letter, written by the Persian Envoy in
England, Miiza Abul Hassan, shows the impression created by English
society on a foreigner in April 1824:

_Letter from the Persian Envoy, Mirza Abul Hassan, to the London
Gentleman without, who lately wrote letter to him and ask very much to
give answer_.

_April 3, 1824._


When you write to me some time ago to give my thought of what I see good
and bad this country, that time I not speak English very well. Now I
read, I write much little better. Now I give to you my think. In this
country bad not too much, everything very good. But suppose I not tell
something little bad, then you say I tell all flattery--therefore I tell
most bad thing. I not like such crowd in evening party every night. In
cold weather not very good, now hot weather, much too bad. I very much
astonish every day now much hot than before, evening parties much crowd
than before. Pretty beautiful ladies come sweat, that not very good. I
always afraid some old lady in crowd come dead, that not very good, and
spoil my happiness. I think old ladies after 85 years not come to
evening party, that much better. Why for take so much trouble? Some
other thing rather bad. Very beautiful young lady she got ugly fellow
for husband, that not very good, very shocking. I ask Sr Gore [Sir Gore
Ouseley] why for this. He says me--"perhaps he very good man, not
handsome; no matter, perhaps he got too much money, perhaps got title."
I say I not like that, all very shocking. This all bad I know. Now I say
good. English people all very good people. All very happy. Do what they
like, say what like, write in newspaper what like. I love English people
very much, they very civil to me. I tell my King English love Persian
very much. English King best man in world, he love his people very good
much; he speak very kind to me, I love him very much. Queen very best
woman I ever saw. Prince of Wales such a fine elegant beautiful man. I
not understand English enough proper to praise him, he too great for my
language. I respect him same as my own King. I love him much better, his
manner all same as talisman and charm. All the Princes very fine men,
very handsome men, very sweet words, very affable. I like all too much.
I think the ladies and gentlemen this country most high rank, high
honour, very rich, except two or three most good, very kind to inferior
peoples. This very good. I go to see Chelsea. All old men sit on grass
in shade of fine tree, fine river run by, beautiful place, plenty to
eat, drink, good coat, everything very good. Sir Gore he tell me King
Charles and King Jame. I say Sir Gore, They not Musselman, but I think
God love them very much. I think God he love the King very well for
keeping up that charity. Then I see one small regiment of children go to
dinner, one small boy he say thanks to God for eat, for drink, for
clothes, other little boys they all answer Amen. Then I cry a little, my
heart too much pleased. This all very good for two things--one thing,
God very much please; two things, soldiers fight much better, because
see their good King take care of old wounded fathers and little
children. Then I go to Greenwich, that too good place, such a fine sight
make me a little sick for joy. All old men so happy, eat dinner, so
well, fine house, fine beds--all very good. This very good country.
English ladies very handsome, very beautiful. I travel great deal. I go
Arabia, I go Calcutta, Hyderabad, Poonah, Bombay, Georgia, Armenia,
Constantinople, Malta, Gibraltar. I see best Georgia, Circassian,
Turkish, Greek ladies, but nothing not so beautiful as English ladies,
all very clever, speak French, speak English, speak Italian, play music
very well, sing very good. Very glad for me if Persian ladies like them.
But English ladies speak such sweet words. I think tell a little
story--that not very good.

One thing more I see but I not understand that thing good or bad. Last
Thursday I see some fine horses, fine carriages, thousand people go to
look that carriages. I ask why for? They say me, that gentleman on boxes
they drive their own carriages. I say why for take so much trouble? They
say me he drive very well; that very good thing. It rain very hard, some
lord some gentleman he get very wet. I say why he not go inside? They
tell me good coachman not mind get wet every day, will be much ashamed
if go inside; that I not understand.

Sir, my Lord, good-night,


Mr. Murray invariably consulted Mr. Barrow as to any works on voyages or
travels he was required to publish, and found him a faithful adviser.
The following expression of opinion, from one with so large an
experience, is interesting:

_Mr. J. Barrow to John Murray_.

_March 28, 1823._

"I need not tell you that caprice rather than merit governs the sale of
a work. If instances are wanting, I might quote those of Belzoni and
Hamilton. [Footnote: This reference probably refers to Walter Hamilton's
"Description of Hindostan and adjacent Countries," published a few years
before.] The first absolute trumpery when put in competition with the
second; yet the former, I believe, sold about ten times the number of
the latter."

Another little book published about this time has a curious history, and
illustrates the lottery of book publishing. Mrs. Markham's [Footnote:
This lady's real name was Mrs. Penrose.] "History of England" was first
published by Constable, but it fell still-born from the press. Mr.
Murray, discerning the merit of the work in 1824, bought the remainder
of 333 copies from Constable, and had it revised, corrected, and
enlarged, and brought out in an entirely new form. He placed it in his
list of school books, and pushed it among the teachers throughout the
country, until at length it obtained a very large and regular
circulation. The book has subsequently undergone frequent revision, and
down to the present date it continues to be a great favourite,
especially in ladies' schools.



It had for some time been evident, as has been shown in a previous
chapter, that Gifford was becoming physically incapable of carrying on
the Editorship of the _Quarterly Review_, but an occasional respite from
the pressure of sickness, as well as his own unwillingness to abandon
his connection with a work which he regarded with paternal affection,
and Murray's difficulty in finding a worthy successor, combined to
induce him to remain at his post.

He accordingly undertook to carry on his editorial duties till the
publication of the 60th number, aided and supported by the active energy
of Barrow and Croker, who, in conjunction with the publisher, did most
of the necessary drudgery.

In December 1823 Canning had written to say that he was in bed with the
gout; to this Gifford replied:


I wish you had a pleasanter bedfellow; but here am I on the sofa with a
cough, and a very disagreeable associate I find it. Old Moore, I think,
died all but his voice, and my voice is nearly dead before me; in other
respects, I am much as I was when you saw me, and this weather is in my
favour.... I have promised Murray to try to carry on the _Review_ to the
60th number; the 58th is now nearly finished. This seems a desperate
promise, and beyond it I will not, cannot go; for, at best, as the old
philosopher said, I am dying at my ease, as my complaint has taken a
consumptive turn. The vultures already scent the carcase, and three or
four _Quarterly Reviews_ are about to start. One is to be set up by
Haygarth, whom I think I once mentioned to you as talked of to succeed
me, but he is now in open hostility to Murray; another is to be called
the _Westminster Quarterly Review_, and will, if I may judge from the
professions of impartiality, be a decided Opposition Journal. They will
all have their little day, perhaps, and then drop into the grave of
their predecessors. The worst is that we cannot yet light upon a fit and
promising successor.

Ever, my dear Canning,

Faithfully and affectionately yours,


This state of matters could not be allowed to go on much longer;
sometimes a quarter passed without a number appearing; in 1824 only two
_Quarterlies_ appeared--No. 60, due in January, but only published in
August; and No. 61, due in April, but published in December. An
expostulation came from Croker to Murray (January 23, 1824):

"Have you made up _your mind_ about an editor? Southey has written to me
on the subject, as if you had, and as if he knew your choice; I do not
like to answer him before I know what I am to say. Will you dine at
Kensington on Sunday at 6?"

Southey had long been meditating about the editorship. It never appears
to have been actually offered to him, but his name, as we have already
seen, was often mentioned in connection with it. He preferred, however,
going on with his own works and remaining a contributor only. Politics,
too, may have influenced him, for we find him writing to Mr. Murray on
December 15, 1824: "The time cannot be far distant when the _Q.R._ must
take its part upon a most momentous subject, and choose between Mr.
Canning and the Church. I have always considered it as one of the
greatest errors in the management of the _Review_ that it should have
been silent upon that subject so long." So far as regarded his position
as a contributor, Southey expressed his opinion to Murray explicitly:

_Mr. Southey to John Murray_.

_October 25, 1824_.

"No future Editor, be he who he may, must expect to exercise the same
discretion over my papers which Mr. Gifford has done. I will at any time
curtail what may be deemed too long, and consider any objections that
may be made, with a disposition to defer to them when it can be done
without sacrificing my own judgment upon points which may seem to me
important. But my age and (I may add without arrogance) the rank which I
hold in literature entitle me to say that I will never again write under
the correction of any one."

Gifford's resignation is announced in the following letter to Canning
(September 8, 1824):

_Mr. W. Gifford to the Rt. Hon. G. Canning_.

_September 8, 1824_.


I have laid aside my Regalia, and King Gifford, first of the name, is
now no more, as Sir Andrew Aguecheek says, "than an ordinary mortal or a
Christian." It is necessary to tell you this, for, with the exception of
a dark cloud which has come over Murray's brow, no prodigies in earth or
air, as far as I have heard, have announced it.

It is now exactly sixteen years ago since your letter invited or
encouraged me to take the throne. I did not mount it without a trembling
fit; but I was promised support, and I have been nobly supported. As far
as regards myself, I have borne my faculties soberly, if not meekly. I
have resisted, with undeviating firmness, every attempt to encroach upon
me, every solicitation of publisher, author, friend, or friend's friend,
and turned not a jot aside for power or delight. In consequence of this
integrity of purpose, the Review has long possessed a degree of
influence, not only in this, but in other countries hitherto unknown;
and I have the satisfaction, at this late hour, of seeing it in its most
palmy state. No number has sold better than the sixtieth.

But there is a sad tale to tell. For the last three years I have
perceived the mastery which disease and age were acquiring over a
constitution battered and torn at the best, and have been perpetually
urging Murray to look about for a successor, while I begged Coplestone,
Blomfield, and others to assist the search. All has been ineffectual.
Murray, indeed, has been foolishly flattering himself that I might be
cajoled on from number to number, and has not, therefore, exerted
himself as he ought to have done; but the rest have been in earnest. Do
you know any one? I once thought of Robert Grant; but he proved timid,
and indeed his saintly propensities would render him suspected. Reginald
Heber, whom I should have preferred to any one, was snatched from me for
a far higher object.

I have been offered a Doctor's Degree, and when I declined it, on
account of my inability to appear in public, my own college (Exeter)
most kindly offered to confer it on me in private; that is, at the
Rector's lodgings. This, too, I declined, and begged the Dean of
Westminster, who has a living in the neighbourhood, to excuse me as
handsomely as he could. It might, for aught I know, be a hard race
between a shroud and a gown which shall get me first; at any rate, it
was too late for honours.

Faithfully and affectionately yours,


Mr. J.T. Coleridge had long been regarded as the most eligible
successor to Mr. Gifford, and on him the choice now fell. Mr. Murray
forwarded the reply of Mr. Coleridge which contained his acceptance of
the editorship to Mr. Gifford, accompanied by the following note:

_John Murray to Mr. Gifford_.


_December 11, 1824_.


I shall not attempt to express the feelings with which I communicate the
enclosed answer to the proposal which I suspect it would have been
thought contemptible in me any longer to have delayed, and all that I
can find to console myself with is the hope that I may be able to evince
my gratitude to you during life, and to your memory, if it so please the
Almighty that I am to be the survivor.

I am your obliged and faithful Servant,


Mr. Murray lost no time in informing his friends of the new arrangement.

Gifford lived for about two years more, and continued to entertain many
kind thoughts of his friends and fellow-contributors: his intercourse
with his publisher was as close and intimate as ever to the end.

The last month of Gifford's life was but a slow dying. He was sleepless,
feverish, oppressed by an extreme difficulty of breathing, which often
entirely deprived him of speech; and his sight had failed. Towards the
end of his life he would sometimes take up a pen, and after a vain
attempt to write, would throw it down, saying, "No, my work is done!"
Even thinking caused him pain. As his last hour drew near, his mind
began to wander. "These books have driven me mad," he once said, "I must
read my prayers." He passed gradually away, his pulse ceasing to beat
five hours before his death. And then he slept out of life, on December
31, 1826, in his 68th year--a few months before the death of Canning.

Mr. Gifford desired that he should be buried in the ground attached to
Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, where he had interred Annie
Davies, his faithful old housekeeper, but his friends made application
for his interment in Westminster Abbey, which was acceded to, and he was
buried there accordingly on January 8, 1827, immediately under the
monuments of Camden and Garrick. He was much richer at the time of his
death than he was at all aware of, for he was perfectly indifferent
about money. Indeed, he several times returned money to Mr. Murray,
saying that "he had been too liberal." He left £25,000 of personal
property, a considerable part of which he left to the relatives of Mr.
Cookesley, the surgeon of Ashburton, who had been to him so faithful and
self-denying a friend in his early life. To Mr. Murray he left £100 as a
memorial, and also 500 guineas, to enable him to reimburse a military
gentleman, to whom, jointly with Mr. Cookesley, he appears to have been
bound for that sum at a former period.

Gifford has earned, but it is now generally recognised that he has
unjustly earned, the character of a severe, if not a bitter critic.
Possessing an unusually keen discernment of genuine excellence, and a
scathing power of denunciation of what was false or bad in literature,
he formed his judgments in accordance with a very high standard of
merit. Sir Walter Scott said of his "Baviad and Mæviad, that "he
squashed at one blow a set of coxcombs who might have humbugged the
world long enough." His critical temper, however, was in truth
exceptionally equable; regarding it as his duty to encourage all that
was good and elevating, and relentlessly to denounce all that was bad or
tended to lower the tone of literature, he conscientiously acted up to
the standard by which he judged others, and never allowed personal
feeling to intrude upon his official judgments.

It need scarcely be said that he proved himself an excellent editor, and
that he entertained a high idea of the duties of that office. William
Jerdan, who was introduced to Gifford by Canning, said: "I speak of him
as he always was to me--full of gentleness, a sagacious adviser and
instructor, upon so comprehensive a scale, that I never met his superior
among the men of the age most renowned for vast information, and his
captivating power in communicating it." His sagacity and quickness of
apprehension were remarkable, as was also the extraordinary rapidity
with which he was able to eviscerate a work, and summarize its contents
in a few pages.

The number of articles which he himself wrote was comparatively small,
for he confined himself for the most part to revising and improving the
criticisms of others, and though in thus dealing with articles submitted
to him he frequently erased what the writers considered some of their
best criticisms, he never lost their friendship and support. He disliked
incurring any obligation which might in any degree shackle the
expression of his free opinions. In conjunction with Mr. Murray, he laid
down a rule, which as we have already seen was advocated by Scott, and
to which no exception has ever been made, that every writer in the
_Quarterly_ should receive payment for his contribution. On one
occasion, when a gentleman in office would not receive the money, the
article was returned. "I am not more certain of many conjectures," says
Jerdan, "than I am of this, that he never propagated a dishonest opinion
nor did a dishonest act."

Gifford took no notice of the ferocious attacks made upon him by Hunt
and Hazlitt. Holding, as he did, that inviolable secrecy was one of the
prime functions of an editor--though the practice has since become very
different--he never attempted to vindicate himself, or to reveal the
secret as to the writers of the reviews. In accordance with his plan of
secrecy, he desired Dr. Ireland, his executor, to destroy all
confidential letters, especially those relating to the _Review_, so that
the names of the authors, as well as the prices paid for each article,
might never be known.

In society, of which he saw but little, except at Mr. Murray's, he was
very entertaining. He told a story remarkably well; and had an
inexhaustible supply; the archness of his eyes and countenance making
them all equally good.

He had never been married; but although he had no children, he had an
exceeding love for them. When well, he delighted in giving juvenile
parties, and rejoiced at seeing the children frisking about in the
happiness of youth--a contrast which threw the misery of his own early
life into strange relief. His domestic favourites were his dog and his
cat, both of which he dearly loved. He was also most kind and generous
to his domestic servants; and all who knew him well, sorrowfully
lamented his death.

Many years after Gifford's death, a venomous article upon him appeared
in a London periodical. The chief point of this anonymous attack was
contained in certain extracts from the writings of Sir W. Scott,
Southey, and other eminent contemporaries of Mr. Gifford. Mr. R.W. Hay,
one of the oldest contributors to the _Quarterly_, was at that time
still living, and, in allusion to the article in question, he wrote to
Mr. Murray's son:

_Mr. R.W. Hay to Mr. Murray_.

_July 7, 1856_.

It is wholly worthless, excepting as it contains strictures of Sir W.
Scott, Southey, and John Wilson on the critical character of the late
Wm. Gifford. I by no means subscribe to all that is said by these
distinguished individuals on the subject, and I cannot help suspecting
that the high station in literature which they occupied rendered them
more than commonly sensitive to the corrections and erasures which were
proposed by the editor. Sir Walter (great man as he was) was perfectly
capable of writing so carelessly as to require correction, and both
Southey and John Wilson might occasionally have brought forth opinions,
on political and other matters, which were not in keeping with the
general tone of the _Quarterly Review_. That poor Gifford was deformed
in figure, feeble in health, unhappily for him there can be no denying,
but that he had any pleasure in tormenting, as asserted by some, that he
indulged in needless criticism without any regard to the feelings of
those who were under his lash, I am quite satisfied cannot justly be
maintained. In my small dealings with the _Review_, I only found the
editor most kind and considerate. His amendments and alterations I
generally at once concurred in, and I especially remember in one of the
early articles, that he diminished the number of Latin quotations very
much to its advantage; that his heart was quite in the right place I
have had perfect means of knowing from more than one circumstance,
_e.g._, his anxiety for the welfare of his friend Hoppner the painter's
children was displayed in the variety of modes which he adopted to
assist them, and when John Gait was sorely maltreated in the _Review_ in
consequence of his having attributed to me, incorrectly, an article
which occasioned his wrath and indignation, and afterwards was exposed
to many embarrassments in life, Gifford most kindly took up his cause,
and did all he could to further the promotion of his family. That our
poor friend should have been exposed throughout the most part of his
life to the strong dislike of the greatest part of the community is not
unnatural. As the _redacteur_ of the _Anti-Jacobin_, etc., he, in the
latter part of the last century, drew upon himself the hostile attacks
of all the modern philosophers of the age, and of all those who hailed
with applause the dawn of liberty in the French Revolution; as editor of
the _Quarterly Review_, he acquired in addition to the former hosts of
enemies, the undisguised hatred of all the Whigs and Liberals, who were
for making peace with Bonaparte, and for destroying the settled order of
things in this country. In the present generation, when the feeling of
national hatred against France has entirely subsided, and party feelings
have so much gone by that no man can say to which party any public man
belongs, it is impossible for anyone to comprehend the state of public
feeling which prevailed during the great war of the Revolution, and for
some years after its termination. Gifford was deeply imbued with all the
sentiments on public matters which prevailed in his time, and, as some
people have a hatred of a cat, and others of a toad, so our friend felt
uneasy when a Frenchman was named; and buckled on his armour of
criticism whenever a Liberal or even a Whig was brought under his
notice; and although in the present day there appears to be a greater
indulgence to crime amongst judges and juries, and perhaps a more
lenient system of criticism is adopted by reviewers, I am not sure that
any public advantage is gained by having Ticket of Leave men, who ought
to be in New South Wales, let loose upon the English world by the
unchecked appearance of a vast deal of spurious literature, which ought
to have withered under the severe blasts of Criticism.

Believe yours very truly,




Mr. Murray had for long been desirous of publishing a journal which
should appear more frequently than once a quarter, more especially after
the discontinuance of his interest in Blackwood's magazine. In 1825 he
conceived the more ambitious design of publishing a daily morning paper,
a project now chiefly interesting from the fact that in this venture he
had the assistance of the future Lord Beaconsfield. The intimacy which
existed between the Murrays and D'Israelis had afforded Mr. Murray
exceptional opportunities of forming an opinion of Benjamin's character,
and he saw with delight the rapidly developing capacities of his old
friend's son. Even in his eighteenth year Benjamin was consulted by Mr.
Murray as to the merits of a MS., and two years later he wrote a novel
entitled "Aylmer Papillon," which did not see the light. He also edited
a "History of Paul Jones, Admiral in the Russian Navy," written by
Theophilus Smart, an American, and originally published in the United

Young Disraeli was already gifted with a power of influencing others,
unusual in a man of his age. He was eloquent, persuasive, and ingenious,
and even then, as in future years, when he became a leading figure in
the political world, he had the power of drawing others over to the
views which he entertained, however different they might be from their
own. Looking merely to his literary career as a successful novel writer,
his correspondence with Mr. Murray about his proposed work of "Aylmer
Papillon" is not without interest.

_Mr. Benjamin Disraeli to John Murray_.

_May_, 1824.


Your very kind letter induces me to trouble you with this most trivial
of trifles. My plan has been in these few pages so to mix up any
observations which I had to make on the present state of society with
the bustle and hurry of a story, that my satire should never be
protruded on my reader. If you will look at the last chapter but one,
entitled "Lady Modeley's," you will see what I mean better than I can
express it. The first pages of that chapter I have written in the same
manner as I would a common novel, but I have endeavoured to put in
_action_ at the _end_, the present fashion of getting on in the world. I
write no humbug about "candidly giving your opinion, etc., etc." You
must be aware that you cannot do me a greater favour than refusing to
publish it, if you think _it won't do_; and who should be a better judge
than yourself?

Believe me ever to be, my dear Sir,

Your most faithful and obliged,

B. DISRAELI. [Footnote: It will be observed that while the father
maintained the older spelling of the name, the son invariably writes it

P.S.--The second and the last chapters are unfortunately mislaid, but
they have no particular connection with the story. They are both very
short, the first contains an adventure on the road, and the last Mr.
Papillon's banishment under the Alien Act from a ministerial
misconception of a metaphysical sonnet.

Thursday morn.: Excuse want of seal, as we're doing a bit of summer
to-day, and there is not a fire in the house.

FREDERICK PLACE, _May_ 25, 1824.

1/2 past 1 o'clock A.M.


The travels, to which I alluded this morning, would not bind up with
"Parry," since a moderate duodecimo would contain the adventures of a
certain Mr. Aylmer Papillon in a _terra incognita_. I certainly should
never have mentioned them had I been aware that you were so very much
engaged, and I only allude to them once more that no confusion may arise
from the half-explanations given this morning. You will oblige me by not
mentioning this to anybody.

Believe me to be, my dear Sir,

Your very faithful and obliged Servant,




Until I received your note this morning I had flattered myself that my
indiscretion had been forgotten. It is to me a matter of great regret
that, as appears by your letter, any more trouble should be given
respecting this unfortunate MS., which will, most probably, be
considered too crude a production for the public, and which, if it is
even imagined to possess any interest, is certainly too late for this
season, and will be obsolete in the next. I think, therefore, that the
sooner it be put behind the fire the better, and as you have some small
experience in burning MSS., [Footnote: Byron's Memoirs had been burnt at
Albemarle Street during the preceding month.] you will be perhaps so
kind as to consign it to the flames. Once more apologising for all the
trouble I have given you, I remain ever, my dear Sir,

Yours very faithfully,


Murray had a special regard for the remarkable young man, and by degrees
had thoroughly taken him into his confidence; had related to him his
experiences of men and affairs, and ere long began to consult him about
a variety of schemes and projects. These long confidential
communications led eventually to the suggestion of a much more ambitious
and hazardous scheme, the establishment of a daily paper in the
Conservative interest. Daring as this must appear, Murray was encouraged
in it by the recollection of the success which had attended the
foundation of the _Quarterly_, and believed, rashly, that his personal
energy and resources, aided by the abilities displayed by his young
counsellor, would lead to equal success. He evidently had too
superficially weighed the enormous difficulties of this far greater
undertaking, and the vast difference between the conduct of a _Quarterly
Review_ and a daily newspaper.

Intent upon gaining a position in the world, Benjamin Disraeli saw a
prospect of advancing his own interests-by obtaining the influential
position of director of a Conservative daily paper, which he fully
imagined was destined to equal the _Times_, and he succeeded in imbuing
Murray with the like fallacious hopes.

The emancipation of the Colonies of Spain in South America in 1824-25
gave rise to much speculation in the money market in the expectation of
developing the resources of that country, especially its mines. Shares,
stocks, and loans were issued to an unlimited extent.

Mr. Benjamin Disraeli seems to have thrown himself into the vortex, for
he became connected with at least one financial firm in the City, that
of Messrs. Powles, and employed his abilities in writing several
pamphlets on the subject. This led to his inducing Messrs. Powles to
embark with him in the scheme of a daily paper. At length an arrangement
was entered into, by which John Murray, J.D. Powles, and Benjamin
Disraeli were to become the joint proprietors of the proposed new
journal. The arrangement was as follows:


LONDON, _August_ 3, 1825.

The undersigned parties agree to establish a Morning Paper, the property
in which is to be in the following proportions, viz.:

Mr. Murray.... One-half. Mr. Powles.... One-quarter. Mr. Disraeli....

Each party contributing to the expense, capital, and risk, in those

The paper to be published by, and be under the management of Mr. Murray.




Such was the memorandum of agreement entered into with a view to the
publication of the new morning paper, eventually called the
_Representative_. As the first number was to appear in January 1826,
there was little time to be lost in making the necessary arrangements
for its publication. In the first place, an able editor had to be found;
and, perhaps of almost equal importance, an able subeditor. Trustworthy
reporters had to be engaged; foreign and home correspondents had also to
be selected with care; a printing office had to be taken; all the
necessary plant and apparatus had to be provided, and a staff of men
brought together preliminary to the opening day.

The most important point in connection with the proposed journal was to
find the editor. Mr. Murray had been so ably assisted by Sir Walter
Scott in the projection of the _Quarterly Review_, that he resolved to
consult him on the subject; and this mission was undertaken by Benjamin
Disraeli, part proprietor of the intended daily journal, though he was
then only twenty years old. It was hoped that Mr. Lockhart, Sir Walter
Scott's son-in-law, might be induced to undertake the editorship. The
following are Mr. Disraeli's letters to Mr. Murray, giving an account of
the progress of his negotiations. It will be observed that he surrounds
the subject with a degree of mystery, through the names which he gives
to the gentlemen whom he interviewed. Thus the Chevalier is Sir Walter
Scott; M. is Mr. Lockhart; X. is Mr. Canning; O. is the political Puck
(could this be himself?); and Chronometer is Mr. Barrow.

On reaching Edinburgh, Mr. Disraeli wrote to Mr. Murray the following
account of his first journey across the Border:

_Mr. B. Disraeli to John Murray_.

ROYAL HOTEL, EDINBURGH. _September_ 21, 1825.


I arrived in Edinburgh yesterday night at 11 o'clock. I slept at
Stamford, York, and Newcastle, and by so doing felt quite fresh at the
end of my journey. I never preconceived a place better than Edinburgh.
It is exactly what I fancied it, and certainly is the most beautiful
town in the world. You can scarcely call it a city; at least, it has
little of the roar of millions, and at this time is of course very
empty. I could not enter Scotland by the route you pointed out, and
therefore was unable to ascertain the fact of the Chevalier being at his
Castellum. I should in that case have gone by Carlisle. I called on the
gentleman to whom Wright [Footnote: A solicitor in London, and friend of
both parties, who had been consulted in the negotiations.] gave me a
letter this morning. He is at his country house; he will get a letter
from me this morning. You see, therefore, that I have lost little time.

I called at Oliver & Boyd's this morning, thinking that you might have
written. You had not, however. When you write to me, enclose to them, as
they will forward, wherever I may be, and my stay at an hotel is always
uncertain. Mr. Boyd was most particularly civil. Their establishment is
one of the completest I have ever seen. They are booksellers,
bookbinders, and printers, all under the same roof; everything but
making paper. I intend to examine the whole minutely before I leave, as
it may be useful. I never thought of binding. Suppose you were to sew,
etc., your own publications?

I arrived at York in the midst of the Grand [Musical] Festival. It was
late at night when I arrived, but the streets were crowded, and
continued so for hours. I never witnessed a city in such an extreme
bustle, and so delightfully gay. It was a perfect carnival. I postponed
my journey from five in the morning to eleven, and by so doing got an
hour for the Minster, where I witnessed a scene which must have far
surpassed, by all accounts, the celebrated commemoration in Westminster
Abbey. York Minster baffles all conception. Westminster Abbey is a toy
to it. I think it is impossible to conceive of what Gothic architecture
is susceptible until you see York. I speak with cathedrals of the
Netherlands and the Rhine fresh in my memory. I witnessed in York
another splendid sight--the pouring in of all the nobility and gentry of
the neighbourhood and the neighbouring counties. The four-in-hands of
the Yorkshire squires, the splendid rivalry in liveries and outriders,
and the immense quantity of gorgeous equipages--numbers with four
horses--formed a scene which you can only witness in the mighty and
aristocratic county of York. It beat a Drawing Room hollow, as much as
an oratorio in York Minster does a concert in the Opera House. This
delightful stay at York quite refreshed me, and I am not the least
fatigued by my journey.

As I have only been in Edinburgh a few hours, of course I have little to
say. I shall write immediately that anything occurs. Kindest
remembrances to Mrs. Murray and all.

Ever yours,


I find Froissart a most entertaining companion, just the fellow for a
traveller's evening; and just the work too, for it needs neither books
of reference nor accumulations of MS.


_September_ 22, 1825.


I sent a despatch by Saturday night's post, directed to Mr. Barrow. You
have doubtless received it safe. As I consider you are anxious to hear
minutely of the state of my operations, I again send you a few lines. I
received this morning a very polite letter from L[ockhart]. He had just
received that morning (Saturday) Wright's letter. I enclose you a copy
of L.'s letter, as it will be interesting to you to see or judge what
effect was produced on his mind by its perusal. I have written to-day to
say that I will call at Chiefswood [Footnote: Chiefswood, where Lockhart
then lived, is about two miles distant from Abbotsford. Sir Walter Scott
describes it as "a nice little cottage, in a glen belonging to this
property, with a rivulet in front, and a grove of trees on the east side
to keep away the cold wind."] on Tuesday. I intend to go to Melrose
tomorrow, but as I will not take the chance of meeting him the least
tired, I shall sleep at Melrose and call on the following morning. I
shall, of course, accept his offer of staying there. I shall call again
at B[oyd]'s before my departure to-morrow, to see if there is any
despatch from you.... I shall continue to give you advice of all my
movements. You will agree with me that I have at least not lost any
time, but that all things have gone very well as yet. There is of course
no danger in our communications of anything unfairly transpiring; but
from the very delicate nature of names interested, it will be expedient
to adopt some cloak.

_The Chevalier_ will speak for itself.

M., from Melrose, for Mr. L.

X. for a certain personage on whom we called one day, who lives a slight
distance from town, and who was then unwell.

O. for the political Puck.

MR. CHRONOMETER will speak for itself, at least to all those who give
African dinners.

I think this necessary, and try to remember it. I am quite delighted
with Edinburgh, Its beauties become every moment more apparent. The view
from the Calton Hill finds me a frequent votary. In the present state of
affairs, I suppose it will not be expedient to leave the letter for Mrs.
Bruce. It will seem odd; p.p.c. at the same moment I bring a letter of
introduction. If I return to Edinburgh, I can avail myself of it. If the
letter contains anything which would otherwise make Mrs. Murray wish it
to be left, let me know. I revel in the various beauties of a Scotch
breakfast. Cold grouse and marmalade find me, however, constant.

Ever yours,


The letter of Mr. Lockhart, to which Mr. Disraeli refers, ran as

_Mr. J.G. Lockhart to Mr. B. Disraeli_.

"The business to which the letter [of Mr. Wright] refers entitles it to
much consideration. As yet I have had no leisure nor means to form even
an approximation towards any opinion as to the proposal Mr. W. mentions,
far less to commit my friend. In a word, I am perfectly in the dark as
to everything else, except that I am sure it will give Mrs. Lockhart and
myself very great pleasure to see Mr. Disraeli under this roof.... If
you had no other object in view, I flatter myself that this
neighbourhood has, in Melrose and Abbotsford, some attractions not
unworthy of your notice."

Mr. Disraeli paid his promised visit to Chiefswood. It appeared that Mr.
Lockhart expected to receive Mr. Isaac D'Israeli, the well-known author
of "The Curiosities of Literature"; instead of which, the person who
appeared before him was Mr. D'Israeli's then unknown son Benjamin.

_Mr. B, Disraeli to John Murray_.

CHIEFSWOOD, _September_ 25, 1825.


I arrived at Chiefswood yesterday. M. [Lockhart] had conceived that it
was my father who was coming. He was led to believe this through
Wright's letter. In addition, therefore, to his natural reserve, there
was, of course, an evident disappointment at seeing me. Everything
looked as black as possible. I shall not detain you now by informing you
of fresh particulars. I leave them for when we meet. Suffice it to say
that in a few hours we completely understood each other, and were upon
the most intimate terms. M. enters into our views with a facility and
readiness which were capital. He thinks that nothing can be more
magnificent or excellent; but two points immediately occurred: First,
the difficulty of his leaving Edinburgh without any ostensible purpose;
and, secondly, the losing caste in society by so doing. He is fully
aware that he may end by making his situation as important as any in the
empire, but the primary difficulty is insurmountable.

As regards his interest, I mentioned that he should be guaranteed, for
three years, £1,000 per annum, and should take an eighth of every paper
which was established, without risk, his income ceasing on his so doing.
These are much better terms than we had imagined we could have made. The
agreement is thought extremely handsome, both by him and the Chevalier;
but the income is not imagined to be too large. However, I dropped that
point, as it should be arranged with you when we all meet.

The Chevalier breakfasted here to-day, and afterwards we were all three
closeted together. The Chevalier entered into it excellently. He
thought, however, that we could not depend upon Malcolm, Barrow, etc.,
_keeping to it_; but this I do not fear. He, of course, has no idea of
your influence or connections. With regard to the delicate point I
mentioned, the Chevalier is willing to make any sacrifice in his
personal comforts for Lockhart's advancement; but he feels that his
son-in-law will "lose caste" by going to town without anything
ostensible. He agrees with me that M. cannot accept an official
situation of any kind, as it would compromise his independence, but he
thinks _Parliament for M. indispensable_, and also very much to _our
interest_. I dine at Abbotsford to-day, and we shall most probably again
discuss matters.

Now, these are the points which occur to me. When M. comes to town, it
will be most important that it should be distinctly proved to him that
he _will_ be supported by the great interests I have mentioned to him.
He must see that, through Powles, all America and the Commercial
Interest is at our beck; that Wilmot H., etc., not as mere
under-secretary, but as our private friend, is most staunch; that the
Chevalier is firm; that the West India Interest will pledge themselves
that such men and in such situations as Barrow, etc., etc., are
_distinctly in our power_; and finally, that he is coming to London, not
to be an Editor of a Newspaper, but the Director-General of an immense
organ, and at the head of a band of high-bred gentlemen and important

The Chevalier and M. have unburthened themselves to me in a manner the
_most confidential_ that you can possibly conceive. Of M.'s capability,
_perfect complete capability_, there is no manner of doubt. Of his sound
principles, and of his real views in life, I could in a moment satisfy
you. Rest assured, however, that you are dealing with a _perfect
gentleman_. There has been no disguise to me of what has been done, and
the Chevalier had a private conversation with me on the subject, of a
nature _the most satisfactory_. With regard to other plans of ours, if
we could get him up, we should find him invaluable. I have a most
singular and secret history on this subject when we meet.

Now, on the grand point--Parliament. M. cannot be a representative of a
Government borough. It is impossible. He must be free as air. I am sure
that if this could be arranged, all would be settled; but it is
"_indispensable_," without you can suggest anything else. M. was two
days in company with X. this summer, as well as X.'s and our friend, but
nothing transpired of our views. This is a most favourable time to make
a parliamentary arrangement. What do you think of making a confidant of
Wilmot H[orton]? He is the kind of man who would be right pleased by
such conduct. There is no harm of Lockhart's coming in for a Tory
borough, because he is a Tory; but a Ministerial borough is impossible
to be managed.

If this point could be arranged, I have no doubt that I shall be able to
organise, in the interest with which I am now engaged, a most _immense
party_, and a _most serviceable one_. Be so kind as not to leave the
vicinity of London, in case M. and myself come up _suddenly_; but I pray
you, if you have any real desire to establish a mighty engine, to exert
yourself at this present moment, and assist me to your very utmost.
Write as soon as possible, to give me some idea of your movements, and
direct to me here, as I shall then be sure to obtain your communication.
The Chevalier and all here have the highest idea of Wright's _nous_, and
think it most important that he should be at the head of the legal
department. I write this despatch in the most extreme haste.

Ever yours,


On receiving the above letter and the previous communications, Mr.
Murray sent them to Mr. Isaac D'Israeli for his perusal.

_Mr. Isaac D'Israeli to Mr. Murray_.


_September_ 29, 1825.


How deeply I feel obliged and gratified by your confidential
communication! I read repeatedly the third letter of our young
plenipotentiary. I know nothing against him but his youth--a fault which
a few seasons of experience will infallibly correct; but I have observed
that the habits and experience he has acquired as a lawyer often greatly
serve him in matters o£ business. His views are vast, but they are baaed
on good sense, and he is most determinedly serious when he sets to work.
The Chevalier and M. seem to have received him with all the open
confidence of men struck by a stranger, yet a stranger not wholly
strange, and known enough to them to deserve their confidence if he
could inspire it. I flatter myself he has fully--he must, if he has
really had confidential intercourse with the Chevalier, and so
confidently impresses you with so high and favourable a character of M.
On your side, my dear Murray, no ordinary exertions will avail. You,
too, have faith and confidence to inspire in them. You observe how the
wary Northern Genius attempted to probe whether certain friends of yours
would stand together; no doubt they wish to ascertain that point. Pardon
me if I add, that in satisfying their cautious and anxious inquiries as
to your influence with these persons, it may be wise to throw a little
shade of mystery, and not to tell everything too openly at first;
because, when objects are clearly defined, they do not affect our
imaginations as when they are somewhat concealed.... Vast as the project
seems, held up as it will be by personages of wealth, interests,
politics, etc., whenever it is once set up, I should have no fears for
the results, which are indeed the most important that one can well
conceive.... Had the editor of "Paul Jones" consulted me a little, I
could probably have furnished him with the account of the miserable end
of his hero; and I am astonished it is not found, as you tell me, in
your American biography. [Footnote: The last paragraph in Mr.
D'Israeli's letter refers to "The Life of Paul Jones," which has been
already mentioned. As the novel "Aylmer Papillon," written in 1824, was
never published, the preface to "Paul Jones" was Benjamin's first
appearance as an author.]

Meanwhile, young Disraeli still remained with Mr. Lockhart at

_Mr. B, Disraeli to John Murray_.

_September_, 1825.


I am quite sure, that upon the business I am upon now every line will be
acceptable, and I therefore make no apology for this hurried despatch. I
have just received a parcel from Oliver & Boyd. I transmitted a letter
from M. to Wright, and which [Footnote: This is an ungrammatical
construction which Lord Beaconsfield to the end of his days never
abandoned. _Vide_ letter on p. 318 and Lothair _passim_.--T.M.] was for
your mutual consideration, to you, _viá Chronometer_, last Friday. I
afterwards received a note from you, dated Chichester, and fearing from
that circumstance that some confusion would arise, I wrote a few lines
to you at Mr. Holland's. [Footnote: The Rev. W. Holland, Mr. Murray's
brother-in-law, was a minor canon of Chichester.] I now find that you
will be in town on Monday, on which day I rather imagine the said
letter from M. to Wright will arrive. I therefore trust that the
suspected confusion will not arise.

I am very much obliged to you for your letters; but I am very sorry that
you have incurred any trouble, when it is most probable that I shall not
use them. The Abbotsford and Chiefswood families have placed me on such
a friendly and familiar footing, that it is utterly impossible for me to
leave them while there exists any chance of M.'s going to England. M.
has introduced me to most of the neighbouring gentry, and receives with
a loud laugh any mention of my return to Edinburgh. I dined with Dr.
Brewster the other day. He has a pretty place near Melrose. It is
impossible for me to give to you any written idea of the beauty and
unique character of Abbotsford. _Adio!_


Mr. Murray continued to transmit the correspondence to Mr. Isaac
D'Israeli, whose delight may be conceived from the following:

_Mr. D'Israeli to John Murray_.

_October_ 9, 1825.


Thanks! My warmest ones are poor returns for the ardent note you have so
affectionately conveyed to me by him on whom we now both alike rest our
hopes and our confidence. The more I think of this whole affair, from
its obscure beginnings, the more I am quite overcome by what he has
already achieved; never did the finest season of blossoms promise a
richer gathering. But he has not the sole merit, for you share it with
him, in the grand view you take of the capability of this new
intellectual steam engine.

In the following letter Lockhart definitely declined the editorship of
the _Representative_.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_October_ 7, 1825.

"I am afraid, that in spite of my earnest desire to be clear and
explicit, you have not after all fully understood the inexpressible
feeling I entertain in regard to the _impossibility_ of my ever entering
into the career of London in the capacity of a newspaper editor. I
confess that you, who have adorned and raised your own profession so
highly, may feel inclined, and justly perhaps, to smile at some of my
scruples; but it is enough to say that every hour that has elapsed since
the idea was first started has only served to deepen and confirm the
feeling with which I at the first moment regarded it; and, in short,
that if such a game _ought_ to be played, I am neither young nor poor
enough to be the man that takes the hazard."

Sir Walter Scott also expressed his views on the subject as follows:

_Sir W. Scott to John Murray_.



Lockhart seems to wish that I would express my opinion of the plan which
you have had the kindness to submit to him, and I am myself glad of an
opportunity to express my sincere thanks for the great confidence you
are willing to repose in one so near to me, and whom I value so highly.
There is nothing in life that can be more interesting to me than his
prosperity, and should there eventually appear a serious prospect of his
bettering his fortunes by quitting Scotland, I have too much regard for
him to desire him to remain, notwithstanding all the happiness I must
lose by his absence and that of my daughter. The present state, however,
of the negotiation leaves me little or no reason to think that I will be
subjected to this deprivation, for I cannot conceive it advisable that
he should leave Scotland on the speculation of becoming editor of a
newspaper. It is very true that this department of literature may and
ought to be rendered more respectable than it is at present, but I think
this is a reformation more to be wished than hoped for, and should think
it rash for any young man, of whatever talent, to sacrifice, nominally
at least, a considerable portion of his respectability in society in
hopes of being submitted as an exception to a rule which is at present
pretty general. This might open the door to love of money, but it would
effectually shut it against ambition.

To leave Scotland, Lockhart must make very great sacrifices, for his
views here, though moderate, are certain, his situation in public
estimation and in private society is as high as that of any one at our
Bar, and his road to the public open, if he chooses to assist his income
by literary resources. But of the extent and value of these sacrifices
he must himself be a judge, and a more unprejudiced one, probably, than
I am.

I am very glad he meets your wishes by going up to town, as this, though
it should bear no further consequences, cannot but serve to show a
grateful sense of the confidence and kindness of the parties concerned,
and yours in particular.

I beg kind compliments to Mr. D'Israeli, and am, dear sir, with best
wishes for the success of your great national plan.

Yours very truly,


Although Mr. Lockhart hung back from the proposed editorship, he
nevertheless carried out his intention of visiting Mr. Murray in London
a few weeks after the date of the above letter. Mr. J.T. Coleridge had
expressed his desire to resign the editorship of the _Quarterly_, in
consequence of his rapidly increasing practice on the western circuit,
and Mr. Lockhart was sounded as to his willingness to become his
successor. Mr. Murray entertained the hope that he might be able to give
a portion of his time to rendering some assistance in the management of
the proposed newspaper. As Sir Walter Scott had been taken into their
counsels, through the medium of Mr. Disraeli, Mr. Murray proceeded to
correspond with him on the subject. From the draft of one of Mr.
Murray's letters we extract the following:

_John Murray to Sir Walter Scott_.

_October_ 13, 1825.


I feel greatly obliged by the favour of your kind letter, and for the
good opinion which you are disposed to entertain of certain plans, of
which you will by degrees be enabled to form, I hope, a still more
satisfactory estimate. At present, I will take the liberty of assuring
you, that after your confidence in me, I will neither propose nor think
of anything respecting Mr. Lockhart that has not clearly for its basis
the honour of his family. With regard to our Great Plan--which really
ought not to be designated a newspaper, as that department of literature
has hitherto been conducted--Mr. Lockhart was never intended to have
anything to do as editor: for we have already secured two most efficient
and respectable persons to fill that department. I merely wished to
receive his general advice and assistance. And Mr. Lockhart would only
be known or suspected to be the author of certain papers of grave
national importance. The more we have thought and talked over our plans,
the more certain are we of their inevitable success, and of their
leading us to certain power, reputation, and fortune. For myself, the
heyday of my youth is passed, though I may be allowed certain experience
in my profession. I have acquired a moderate fortune, and have a certain
character, and move now in the first circles of society; and I have a
family: these, I hope, may be some fair pledge to you that I would not
engage in this venture with any hazard, when all that is dearest to man
would be my loss.

In order, however, to completely obviate any difficulties which have
been urged, I have proposed to Mr. Lockhart to come to London as the
editor of the _Quarterly_--an appointment which, I verily believe, is
coveted by many of the highest literary characters in the country, and
which, of itself, would entitle its possessor to enter into and mix with
the first classes of society. For this, and without writing a line, but
merely for performing the duties of an editor, I shall have the pleasure
of allowing him a thousand pounds a year; and this, with contributions
of his own, might easily become £1,500, and take no serious portion of
his time either. Then, for his connection with the paper, he will become
permanently interested in a share we can guarantee to him for three
years, and which, I am confident, will be worth, at the end of that
period, at least £3,000; and the profits from that share will not be
less than £1,500 per annum. I have lately heard, from good authority,
that the annual profit of the _Times_ is £40,000, and that a share in
the _Courier_ sold last week (wretchedly conducted, it seems) at the
rate of £100,000 for the property.

But this is not all. You know well enough that the business of a
publishing bookseller is not in his shop or even his connection, but in
his brains; and we can put forward together a series of valuable
literary works, and without, observe me, in any of these plans, the
slightest risk to Mr. Lockhart. And I do most solemnly assure you that
if I may take any credit to myself for possessing anything like sound
judgment in my profession, the things which we shall immediately begin
upon, as Mr. Lockhart will explain to you, are as perfectly certain of
commanding a great sale as anything I ever had the good fortune to
engage in.

Lockhart finally accepted the editorship of the _Quarterly_, after
negotiations which brought Mr. Disraeli on a second visit to Scotland,
but he undertook no formal responsibility for the new daily paper.

In London Disraeli was indefatigable. He visited City men, for the
purpose of obtaining articles on commercial subjects. He employed an
architect, Mr. G. Basevi, jun., his cousin, with a view to the planning
of offices and printing premises. A large house was eventually taken in
Great George Street, Westminster, and duly fitted up as a printing

He then proceeded, in common with Mr. Murray, to make arrangements for
the foreign correspondence. In the summer of 1824--before the new
enterprise was thought of--he had travelled in the Rhine country, and
made some pleasant acquaintances, of whom he now bethought himself when
making arrangements for the new paper. One of them was Mr. Maas, of the
Trierscher Hof, Coblentz, and Mr. Disraeli addressed him as follows:

_Mr. B. Disraeli to Mr. Maas_.

_October_ 25, 1825.


Your hospitality, which I have twice enjoyed, convinces me that you will
not consider this as an intrusion. My friend, Mr. Murray, of Albemarle
Street, London, the most eminent publisher that we have, is about to
establish a daily journal of the first importance. With his great
influence and connections, there is no doubt that he will succeed in his
endeavour to make it the focus of the information of the whole world.
Among other places at which he wishes to have correspondents is the
Rhine, and he has applied to me for my advice upon this point. It has
struck me that Coblentz is a very good situation for intelligence. Its
proximity to the Rhine and the Moselle, its contiguity to the beautiful
baths of the Taunus, and the innumerable travellers who pass through it,
and spread everywhere the fame of your admirable hotel, all conduce to
make it a place from which much interesting intelligence might be

The most celebrated men in Europe have promised their assistance to Mr.
Murray in his great project. I wish to know whether you can point out
any one to him who will occasionally write him a letter from your city.
Intelligence as to the company at Wiesbaden and Ems, and of the persons
of eminence, particularly English, who pass through Coblentz, of the
travellers down the Rhine, and such topics, are very interesting to us.
You yourself would make a most admirable correspondent. The labour would
be very light and very agreeable; and Mr. Murray would take care to
acknowledge your kindness by various courtesies. If you object to say
anything about politics you can omit mentioning the subject. I wish you
would undertake it, as I am sure you would write most agreeable letters.
Once a month would be sufficient, or rather write whenever you have
anything that you think interesting. Will you be so kind as to write me
in answer what you think of this proposal? The communication may be
carried on in any language you please.

Last year when I was at Coblentz you were kind enough to show me a very
pretty collection of ancient glass. Pray is it yet to be purchased? I
think I know an English gentleman who would be happy to possess it. I
hope this will not be the last letter which passes between us.

I am, dear Sir,

Yours most truly,


Mr. Maas agreed to Mr. Disraeli's proposal, and his letter was handed to
Mr. Murray, who gave him further instructions as to the foreign
correspondence which he required. Mr. Murray himself wrote to
correspondents at Hamburg, Maestricht, Genoa, Trieste, Gibraltar, and
other places, with the same object.

The time for the publication of the newspaper was rapidly approaching,
and Mr. B. Disraeli's correspondence on the subject of the engagement of
a staff became fast and furious.

By the end of December Mr. Lockhart had arrived in London, for the
purpose of commencing his editorship of the _Quarterly Review_. The name
of the new morning paper had not then been yet fixed on; from the
correspondence respecting it, we find that some spoke of it as the
_Daily Review_, others as the _Morning News_, and so on; but that Mr.
Benjamin Disraeli settled the matter appears from the following letter
of Mr. Lockhart to Mr. Murray:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_December_ 21, 1825.


I am delighted, and, what is more, satisfied with Disraeli's title--the
_Representative_. If Mr. Powles does not produce some thundering
objection, let this be fixed, in God's name.

Strange to say, from this time forward nothing more is heard of Mr.
Benjamin Disraeli in connection with the _Representative_. After his two
Journeys to Scotland, his interviews with Sir Walter Scott and Mr.
Lockhart, his activity in making arrangements previous to the starting
of the daily paper, his communications with the architect as to the
purchase and fitting up of the premises in Great George Street, and with
the solicitors as to the proposed deed of partnership, he suddenly drops
out of sight; and nothing more is heard of him in connection with the

It would appear that when the time arrived for the proprietors of the
new paper to provide the necessary capital under the terms of the
memorandum of agreement dated August 3, 1825, both Mr. Disraeli and Mr.
Powles failed to contribute their several proportions. Mr. Murray had
indeed already spent a considerable sum, and entered into agreements for
the purchase of printing-offices, printing-machines, types, and all the
paraphernalia of a newspaper establishment. He had engaged reporters,
correspondents, printers, sub-editors, though he still wanted an
efficient editor. He was greatly disappointed at not being able to
obtain the services of Mr. Lockhart. Mr. Disraeli was too young--being
then only twenty-one, and entirely inexperienced in the work of
conducting a daily paper--to be entrusted with the editorship. Indeed,
it is doubtful whether he ever contemplated occupying that position,
though he had engaged himself most sedulously in the preliminary
arrangements in one department, his endeavours to obtain the assistance
of men of commerce in the City; however, he was by no means successful.
Nevertheless, Mr. Murray was so far committed that he felt bound to go
on with the enterprise, and he advertised the publication of the new
morning paper. Some of his friends congratulated him on the
announcement, trusting that they might see on their breakfast-table a
paper which their wives and daughters might read without a blush.

The first number of the _Representative_ accordingly appeared on January
25, 1826, price 7_d_.; the Stamp Tax was then 4_d_. In politics it was a
supporter of Lord Liverpool's Government; but public distress, the
currency, trade and commerce were subjects of independent comment.

Notwithstanding the pains which had been taken, and the money which had
been spent, the _Representative_ was a failure from the beginning. It
was badly organized, badly edited, and its contents--leading articles,
home and foreign news--were ill-balanced. Failing Lockhart, an editor,
named Tyndale, had been appointed on short notice, though he was an
obscure and uninfluential person. He soon disappeared in favour of
others, who were no better. Dr. Maginn [Footnote: Dr. Maginn's papers in
_Blackwood_ are or should be known to the reader. The Murray
correspondence contains many characteristic letters from this jovial and
impecunious Irishman. He is generally supposed to have been the
prototype of Thackeray's Captain Shandon.--T.M.] had been engaged--the
Morgan O'Doherty of _Blackwood's Magazine_--wit, scholar, and Bohemian.
He was sent to Paris, where he evidently enjoyed himself; but the
results, as regarded the _Representative_, were by no means
satisfactory. He was better at borrowing money than at writing articles.

Mr. S.C. Hall, one of the parliamentary reporters of the paper, says,
in his "Retrospect of a Long Life," that:

"The day preceding the issue of the first number, Mr. Murray might have
obtained a very large sum for a shore of the copyright, of which he was
the sole proprietor; the day after that issue, the copyright was worth
comparatively nothing.... Editor there was literally none, from the
beginning to the end. The first number supplied conclusive evidence of
the utter ignorance of editorial tact on the part of the person
entrusted with the duty.... In short, the work was badly done; if not a
snare, it was a delusion; and the reputation of the new journal fell
below zero in twenty-four hours." [Footnote: "Retrospect of a Long Life,
from 1815 to 1883." By S.C. Hall, F.S.A., i. p. 126.]

An inspection of the file of the _Representative_ justifies Mr. Hall's
remarks. The first number contained an article by Lockhart, four columns
in length, on the affairs of Europe. It was correct and scholar-like,
but tame and colourless. Incorrectness in a leading article may be
tolerated, but dulness amounts to a literary crime. The foreign
correspondence consisted of a letter from Valetta, and a communication
from Paris, more than a column in length, relating to French opera. In
the matter of news, for which the dailies are principally purchased, the
first number was exceedingly defective. It is hard to judge of the
merits of a new journal from the first number, which must necessarily
labour under many disadvantages, but the _Representative_ did not from
the first exhibit any element of success.

Mr. Murray found his new enterprise an increasing source of annoyance
and worry. His health broke down under the strain, and when he was
confined to his bed by illness things went worse from day to day. The
usual publishing business was neglected; letters remained unanswered,
manuscripts remained unread, and some correspondents became excessively
angry at their communications being neglected.

Mr. Murray's worries were increased by the commercial crisis then
prevailing, and by the downfall of many large publishing houses. It was
feared that Mr. Murray might be implicated in the failures. At the end
of January, the great firm of Archibald Constable & Co., of Edinburgh
publishers of Sir Walter Scott's novels, was declared bankrupt; shortly
after, the failure was announced of James Ballantyne & Co., in which Sir
Walter Scott was a partner; and with these houses, that of Hurst,
Kobinson & Co., of London, was hopelessly involved. The market was
flooded with the dishonoured paper of all these concerns, and mercantile
confidence in the great publishing houses was almost at an end. We find
Washington Irving communicating the following intelligence to A.H.
Everett, United States Minister at Madrid (January 31, 1826):

"You will perceive by the papers the failure of Constable & Co., at
Edinburgh, and Hurst, Robinson & Co., at London. These are severe shocks
in the trading world of literature. Pray Heaven, Murray may stand
unmoved, and not go into the _Gazette_, instead of publishing one!"

Mr. Murray held his ground. He was not only able to pay his way, but to
assist some of the best-known London publishers through the pressure of
their difficulties. One of these was Mr. Robert Baldwin, of Paternoster
Row, who expressed his repeated obligations to Mr. Murray for his help
in time of need. The events of this crisis clearly demonstrated the
wisdom and foresight of Murray in breaking loose from the Ballantyne and
Constable connection, in spite of the promising advantages which it had
offered him.

Murray still went on with the _Representative_, though the result was
increasing annoyance and vexation. Mr. Milman wrote to him, "Do get a
new editor for the lighter part of your paper, and look well to the
_Quarterly_." The advice was taken, and Dr. Maginn was brought over from
Paris to take charge of the lighter part of the paper at a salary of
£700 a year, with a house. The result was, that a number of clever _jeux
d'esprit_ were inserted by him, but these were intermingled with some
biting articles, which gave considerable offence.

At length the strain became more than he could bear, and he sought the
first opportunity for stopping the further publication of the paper.
This occurred at the end of the general election, and the
_Representative_ ceased to exist on July 29, 1826, after a career of
only six months, during which brief period it had involved Mr. Murray in
a loss of not less than £26,000. [Footnote: The _Representative_ was
afterwards incorporated with the _New Times_, another unfortunate

Mr. Murray bore his loss with much equanimity, and found it an
inexpressible relief to be rid of the _Representative_ even at such a
sacrifice. To Washington Irving he wrote:

_John Murray to Mr. Irving_.

"One cause of my not writing to you during one whole year was my
'entanglement,' as Lady G---- says, with a newspaper, which absorbed my
money, and distracted and depressed my mind; but I have cut the knot of
evil, which I could not untie, and am now, by the blessing of God, again
returned to reason and the shop."

One of the unfortunate results of the initiation and publication of the
_Representative_ was that it disturbed the friendship which had so long
existed between Mr. Murray and Mr. Isaac D'Israeli. The real cause of
Benjamin's sudden dissociation from an enterprise of which in its
earlier stages he had been the moving spirit, can only be matter of
conjecture. The only mention of his name in the later correspondence
regarding the newspaper occurs in the following letter:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

THURSDAY, _February_ 14, 1826.

I think Mr. B. Disraeli ought to tell you what it is that he wishes to
say to Mr. Croker on a business _of yours_ ere he asks of you a letter
to the Secretary. If there really be something worth saying, I certainly
know nobody that would say it better, but I confess I think, all things
considered, you have no need of anybody to come between you and Mr.
Croker. What can it be?



But after the _Representative_, had ceased to be published, the elder
D'Israeli thought he had a cause of quarrel with Mr. Murray, and
proposed to publish a pamphlet on the subject. The matter was brought
under the notice of Mr. Sharon Turner, the historian and solicitor, and
the friend of both. Mr. Turner strongly advised Mr. Isaac D'Israeli to
abstain from issuing any such publication.

_Mr. Sharon Turner to Mr. D'Israeli._

_October_ 6, 1826.

"Fame is pleasant, if it arise from what will give credit or do good.
But to make oneself notorious only to be the football of all the
dinner-tables, tea-tables, and gossiping visits of the country, will be
so great a weakness, that until I see you actually committing yourself
to it, I shall not believe that you, at an age like my own, can wilfully
and deliberately do anything that will bring the evil on you. Therefore
I earnestly advise that whatever has passed be left as it is.... If you
give it any further publicity, you will, I think, cast a shade over a
name that at present stands quite fair before the public eye. And
nothing can dim it to you that will not injure all who belong to you.
Therefore, as I have said to Murray, I say to you: Let Oblivion absorb
the whole question as soon as possible, and do not stir a step to rescue
it from her salutary power.... If I did not gee your words before me, I
could not have supposed that after your experience of these things and
of the world, you could deliberately intend to write--that is, to
publish in print--anything on the differences between you, Murray, and
the _Representative_, and your son.... If you do, Murray will be driven
to answer. To him the worst that can befall will be the public smile
that he could have embarked in a speculation that has cost him many
thousand pounds, and a criticism on what led to it.... The public know
it, and talk as they please about it, but in a short time will say no
more upon it. It is now dying away. Very few at present know that you
were in any way concerned about it. To you, therefore, all that results
will be new matter for the public discussion and censure. And, after
reading Benjamin's agreement of the 3rd August, 1825, and your letters
to Murray on him and the business, of the 27th September, the 29th
September, and the 9th October, my sincere opinion is that you cannot,
with a due regard to your own reputation, _write_ or _publish_ anything
about it. I send you hastily my immediate thoughts, that he whom I have
always respected may not, by publishing what will be immediately
contradicted, diminish or destroy in others that respect which at
present he possesses, and which I hope he will continue to enjoy."

Mr. D'Israeli did not write his proposed pamphlet. What Mr. Murray
thought of his intention may be inferred from the following extract from
his letter to Mr. Sharon Turner:

_John Murray to Mr. Sharon Turner_.

_October_ 16, 1826.

"Mr. D'Israeli is totally wrong in supposing that my indignation against
his son arises in the smallest degree from the sum which I have lost by
yielding to that son's unrelenting excitement and importunity; this
loss, whilst it was in weekly operation, may be supposed, and naturally
enough, to have been sufficiently painful, [Footnote: See note at the
end of the chapter.] but now that it has ceased, I solemnly declare that
I neither care nor think about it, more than one does of the
long-suffered agonies of an aching tooth the day after we have summoned
resolution enough to have it extracted. On the contrary, I am disposed
to consider this apparent misfortune as one of that chastening class
which, if suffered wisely, may be productive of greater good, and I feel
confidently that, as it has re-kindled my ancient ardour in business, a
very few months will enable me to replace this temporary loss, and make
me infinitely the gainer, if I profit by the prudential lesson which
this whole affair is calculated to teach.... From me his son had
received nothing but the most unbounded confidence and parental
attachment; my fault was in having loved, not wisely, but too well."

To conclude the story, as far as Mr. Disraeli was concerned, we may
print here a letter written some time later. Mr. Powles had availed
himself of Disraeli's literary skill to recommend his mining
speculations to the public. In March 1825, Mr. Murray had published, on
commission, "American Mining Companies," and the same year "Present
State of Mexico," and "Lawyers and Legislators," all of them written by,
or under the superintendence of, Mr. Disraeli. Mr. Powles, however,
again proved faithless, and although the money for the printing had been
due for some time, he paid nothing; and at length Mr. Disraeli addressed
Mr. Murray in the following letter:

_Mr. Benjamin Disraeli to John Murray_.

6 BLOOMSBURY SQUARE, _March_ 19, 1827.


I beg to enclose you the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds, which I
believe to be the amount due to you for certain pamphlets published
respecting the American Mining Companies, as stated in accounts sent in
some time since. I have never been able to obtain a settlement of these
accounts from the parties originally responsible, and it has hitherto
been quite out of my power to exempt myself from the liability, which, I
have ever been conscious, on their incompetency, resulted from the
peculiar circumstances of the case to myself. In now enclosing you what
I consider to be the amount, I beg also to state that I have fixed upon
it from memory, having been unsuccessful in my endeavours to obtain even
a return of the accounts from the original parties, and being unwilling
to trouble you again for a second set of accounts, which had been so
long and so improperly kept unsettled. In the event, therefore, of there
being any mistake, I will be obliged by your clerk instantly informing
me of it, and it will be as instantly rectified; and I will also thank
you to enclose me a receipt, in order to substantiate my claims and
enforce my demands against the parties originally responsible. I have to
express my sense of your courtesy in this business, and

I am, sir, yours truly,


Fortunately, the misunderstanding between the two old friends did not
last long, for towards the end of the year we find Mr. Isaac D'Israeli
communicating with Mr. Murray respecting Wool's "Life of Joseph Warton,"
and certain selected letters by Warton which he thought worthy of
republication; and with respect to his son, Mr. Benjamin Disraeli,
although he published his first work, "Vivian Grey," through Colburn,
he returned to Albemarle Street a few years later, and published his
"Contarini Fleming" through Mr. Murray.

NOTE.--It appears from the correspondence that Mr. Murray had been led
by the "unrelenting excitement and importunity" of his young friend to
make some joint speculation in South American mines. The same financial
crisis which prevented Mr. Powles from fulfilling his obligations
probably swept away all chance of profit from this investment. The
financial loss involved in the failure of the _Representative_ was more
serious, but Mr. Murray's resentment against young Mr. Disraeli was not
due to any such considerations. Justly or unjustly he felt bitterly
aggrieved at certain personalities which, he thought, were to be
detected in "Vivian Grey." Mr. Disraeli was also suspected of being
concerned in an ephemeral publication called _The Star Chamber_, to
which he undoubtedly contributed certain articles, and in which
paragraphs appeared giving offence in Albemarle Street. The story of
Vivian Grey (as it appeared in the first edition) is transposed from the
literary to the political key. It is undoubtedly autobiographical, but
the identification of Mr. Murray with the Marquis of Carabas must seem
very far-fetched. It is, at all times, difficult to say within what
limits the novelist is entitled to resort to portraiture in order to
build up the fabric of his romance. Intention of offence was vehemently
denied by the D'Israeli family, which, as the correspondence shows,
rushed with one accord to the defence of the future Lord Beaconsfield.
It was really a storm in a teacup, and but for the future eminence of
one of the friends concerned would call for no remark. Mr. Disraeli's
bitter disappointment at the failure of his great journalistic
combination sharpened the keen edge of his wit and perhaps magnified the
irksomeness of the restraint which his older fellow-adventurer tried to
put on his "unrelenting excitement," and it is possible that his
feelings found vent in the novel which he then was composing. It is
pleasing to remark that at a later date his confidence and esteem for
his father's old friend returned to him, and that the incident ended in
a way honourable to all concerned.--T.M.



The appointment of a new editor naturally excited much interest among
the contributors and supporters of the _Quarterly Review_. Comments were
made, and drew from Scott the following letter:

_Sir Walter Scott to John Murray_.

ABBOTSFORD, _November_ 17, 1825.

My Dear Sir,

I was much surprised to-day to learn from Lockhart by letter that some
scruples were in circulation among some of the respectable among the
supporters of the _Quarterly Review_ concerning his capacity to
undertake that highly responsible task. In most cases I might not be
considered as a disinterested witness on behalf of so near a connection,
but in the present instance I have some claim to call myself so. The
plan (I need not remind you) of calling Lockhart to this distinguished
situation, far from being favoured by me, or in any respect advanced or
furthered by such interest as I might have urged, was not communicated
to me until it was formed; and as it involved the removal of my daughter
and of her husband, who has always loved and honoured me as a son, from
their native country and from my vicinity, my private wish and that of
all the members of my family was that such a change should not take
place. But the advantages proposed were so considerable, that it removed
all title on my part to state my own strong desire that he should remain
in Scotland. Now I do assure you that if in these circumstances I had
seen anything in Lockhart's habits, cast of mind, or mode of thinking or
composition which made him unfit for the duty he had to undertake, I
should have been the last man in the world to permit, without the
strongest expostulation not with him alone but with you, his exchanging
an easy and increasing income in his own country and amongst his own
friends for a larger income perhaps, but a highly responsible situation
in London. I considered this matter very attentively, and recalled to my
recollection all I had known of Mr. Lockhart both before and since his
connection with my family. I have no hesitation in saying that when he
was paying his addresses in my family I fairly stated to him that
however I might be pleased with his general talents and accomplishments,
with his family, which is highly respectable, and his views in life,
which I thought satisfactory, I did decidedly object to the use he and
others had made of their wit and satirical talent in _Blackwood's
Magazine_, which, though a work of considerable power, I thought too
personal to be in good taste or to be quite respectable. Mr. Lockhart
then pledged his word to me that he would withdraw from this species of
warfare, and I have every reason to believe that he has kept his word
with me. In particular I _know_ that he had not the least concern with
the _Beacon_ newspaper, though strongly urged by his young friends at
the Bar, and I also know that while he has sometimes contributed an
essay to _Blackwood_ on general literature, or politics, which can be
referred to if necessary, he has no connection whatever with the
satirical part of the work or with its general management, nor was he at
any time the Editor of the publication.

It seems extremely hard (though not perhaps to be wondered at) that the
follies of three--or four and twenty should be remembered against a man
of thirty, who has abstained during the interval from giving the least
cause of offence. There are few men of any rank in letters who have not
at some time or other been guilty of some abuse of their satirical
powers, and very few who have not seen reason to wish that they had
restrained their vein of pleasantry. Thinking over Lockhart's offences
with my own, and other men's whom either politics or literary
controversy has led into such effusions, I cannot help thinking that
five years' proscription ought to obtain a full immunity on their
account. There were none of them which could be ascribed to any worse
motive than a wicked wit, and many of the individuals against whom they
were directed were worthy of more severe chastisement. The blame was in
meddling with such men at all. Lockhart is reckoned an excellent
scholar, and Oxford has said so. He is born a gentleman, has always kept
the best society, and his personal character is without a shadow of
blame. In the most unfortunate affair of his life he did all that man
could do, and the unhappy tragedy was the result of the poor sufferer's
after-thought to get out of a scrape. [Footnote: This refers, without
doubt, to the unfortunate death of John Scott, the editor of the _London
Magazine_, in a duel with Lockhart's friend Christie, the result of a
quarrel in which Lockhart himself had been concerned.] Of his general
talents I will not presume to speak, but they are generally allowed to
be of the first order. This, however, I _will_ say, that I have known
the most able men of my time, and I never met any one who had such ready
command of his own mind, or possessed in a greater degree the power of
making his talents available upon the shortest notice, and upon any
subject. He is also remarkably docile and willing to receive advice or
admonition from the old and experienced. He is a fond husband and almost
a doating father, seeks no amusement out of his own family, and is not
only addicted to no bad habits, but averse to spending time in society
or the dissipations connected with it. Speaking upon my honour as a
gentleman and my credit as a man of letters, I do not know a person so
well qualified for the very difficult and responsible task he has
undertaken, and I think the distinct testimony of one who must know the
individual well ought to bear weight against all vague rumours, whether
arising from idle squibs he may have been guilty of when he came from
College--and I know none of these which indicate a bad heart in the
jester--or, as is much more likely, from those which have been rashly
and falsely ascribed to him.

Had any shadow of this want of confidence been expressed in the
beginning of the business I for one would have advised Lockhart to have
nothing to do with a concern for which his capacity was called in
question. But _now_ what can be done? A liberal offer, handsomely made,
has been accepted with the same confidence with which it was offered.
Lockhart has resigned his office in Edinburgh, given up his business,
taken a house in London, and has let, or is on the eve of letting, his
house here. The thing is so public, that about thirty of the most
respectable gentlemen in Edinburgh have proposed to me that a dinner
should be given in his honour. The ground is cut away behind him for a
retreat, nor can such a thing be proposed as matters now stand.

Upon what grounds or by whom Lockhart was first recommended to you I
have no right or wish to inquire, having no access whatsoever to the
negotiation, the result of which must be in every wise painful enough to
me. But as their advice must in addition to your own judgment have had
great weight with you, I conceive they will join with me in the
expectation that the other respectable friends of this important work
will not form any decision to Lockhart's prejudice till they shall see
how the business is conducted. By a different conduct they may do harm
to the Editor, Publisher, and the work itself, as far as the withdrawing
of their countenance must necessarily be prejudicial to its currency.
But if it shall prove that their suspicions prove unfounded, I am sure
it will give pain to them to have listened to them for a moment.

It has been my lot twice before now to stand forward to the best of my
power as the assistant of two individuals against whom a party run was
made. The one case was that of Wilson, to whom a thousand idle pranks
were imputed of a character very different and far more eccentric than
anything that ever attached to Lockhart. We carried him through upon the
fair principle that in the case of good morals and perfect talents for a
situation, where vice or crimes are not alleged, the follies of youth
should not obstruct the fair prospects of advanced manhood. God help us
all if some such modification of censure is not extended to us, since
most men have sown wild oats enough! Wilson was made a professor, as you
know, has one of the fullest classes in the University, lectures most
eloquently, and is much beloved by his pupils. The other was the case of
John Williams, now Rector of our new Academy here, who was opposed most
violently upon what on examination proved to be exaggerated rumours of
old Winchester stories. He got the situation chiefly, I think, by my
own standing firm and keeping others together. And the gentlemen who
opposed him most violently have repeatedly told me that I did the utmost
service to the Academy by bringing him in, for never was a man in such a
situation so eminently qualified for the task of education.

I only mention these things to show that it is not in my son-in-law's
affairs alone that I would endeavour to remove that sort of prejudice
which envy and party zeal are always ready to throw in the way of rising
talent. Those who are interested in the matter may be well assured that
with whatever prejudice they may receive Lockhart at first, all who have
candour enough to wait till he can afford them the means of judging will
be of opinion that they have got a person possibly as well situated for
the duties of such an office as any man that England could afford them.

I would rather have written a letter of this kind concerning any other
person than one connected with myself, but it is every word true, were
there neither son nor daughter in the case; but as such I leave it at
your discretion to show it, not generally, but to such friends and
patrons of the _Review_ as in your opinion have a title to know the

Believe me, dear Sir, Your most obedient Servant, WALTER SCOTT.

Mr. Lockhart himself addressed the two following letters to Mr. Murray:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

Chiefswood, _November_ 19, 1825.

My Dear Sir, I am deeply indebted to Disraeli for the trouble he has
taken to come hither again at a time when he has so many matters of real
importance to attend to in London. The sort of stuff that certain grave
gentlemen have been mincing at, was of course thoroughly foreseen by Sir
W. Scott and by myself from the beginning of the business. Such
prejudices I cannot hope to overcome, except by doing well what has been
entrusted to me, and after all I should like to know what man could have
been put at the head of the _Quarterly Review_ at my time of life
without having the Doctors uttering doctorisms on the occasion. If you
but knew it, you yourself personally could in one moment overcome and
silence for ever the whole of these people. As for me, nobody has more
sincere respect for them in their own different walks of excellence than
myself; and if there be one thing that I may promise for myself, it is,
that age, experience, and eminence, shall never find fair reason to
accuse me of treating them with presumption. I am much more afraid of
falling into the opposite error. I have written at some length on these
matters to Mr. Croker, Mr. Ellis, and Mr. Rose--and to no one else; nor
will I again put pen to paper, unless someone, having a right to put a
distinct question to me, does put it.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_Sunday_, CHIEFSWOOD, _November_ 27, 1825.

My Dear Murray,

I have read the letter I received yesterday evening with the greatest
interest, and closed it with the sincerest pleasure. I think we now
begin to understand each other, and if we do that I am sure _I_ have no
sort of apprehension as to the result of the whole business. But in
writing one must come to the point, therefore I proceed at once to your
topics in their order, and rely on it I shall speak as openly on every
one of them as I would _to my brother_.

Mr. Croker's behaviour has indeed distressed me, for I had always
considered him as one of those bad enemies who make excellent friends. I
had not the least idea that he had ever ceased to regard you personally
with friendship, even affection, until B.D. told me about his
trafficking with Knight; for as to the little hints you gave me when in
town, I set all that down to his aversion for the notion of your setting
up a paper, and thereby dethroning him from his invisible predominance
over the Tory daily press, and of course attached little importance to
it. I am now satisfied, more particularly after hearing how he behaved
himself in the interview with you, that there is some deeper feeling in
his mind. The correspondence that has been passing between him and me
may have been somewhat imprudently managed on my part. I may have
_committed_ myself to a certain extent in it in more ways than one. It
is needless to regret what cannot be undone; at all events, I perceive
that it is now over with us for the present. I do not, however, believe
but that he will continue to do what he has been used to do for the
_Review_; indeed, unless he makes the newspaper business his excuse, he
stands completely pledged to me to adhere to that.

But with reverence be it spoken, even this does not seem to me a matter
of very great moment. On the contrary, I believe that his papers in the
_Review_ have (with a few exceptions) done the work a great deal more
harm than good. I cannot express what I feel; but there was always the
bitterness of Gifford without his dignity, and the bigotry of Southey
without his _bonne-foi._ His scourging of such poor deer as Lady Morgan
was unworthy of a work of that rank. If we can get the same
_information_ elsewhere, no fear that we need equally regret the
secretary's quill. As it is, we must be contented to watch the course of
things and recollect the Roman's maxim, "quae casus obtullerint ad
sapientiam vertenda."

I an vexed not a little at Mr. Barrow's imprudence in mentioning my name
to Croker and to Rose as in connection with the paper; and for this
reason that I was most anxious to have produced at least one number of
the _Review_ ere that matter should have been at all suspected. As it
is, I hope you will still find means to make Barrow, Rose, and Croker
(at all events the two last) completely understand that you had, indeed,
wished me to edit the paper, but that I had declined that, and that
_then_ you had offered me the _Review_.

No matter what you say as to the firm belief I have expressed that the
paper _will_ answer, and the resolutions I have made to assist you by
writing political articles in it. It is of the highest importance that
in our anxiety about a new affair one should not lose sight of the old
and established one, and I _can_ believe that if the real state of the
case were known at the outset of my career in London, a considerable
feeling detrimental to the _Quarterly might_ be excited. We have enough
of adverse feelings to meet, without unnecessarily swelling their number
and aggravating their quality.

I beg you to have a serious conversation with Mr. Barrow on this head,
and in the course of it take care to make him thoroughly understand that
the prejudices or doubts he gave utterance to in regard to me were heard
of by me without surprise, and excited no sort of angry feeling
whatever. He could know nothing of me but from flying rumours, for the
nature of which _he_ could in no shape be answerable. As for poor Rose's
well-meant hints about my "identifying myself perhaps in the mind of
society with the scavengers of the press," "the folly of _your_ risking
your name on a _paper_," etc., etc., of course we shall equally
appreciate all this. Rose is a timid dandy, and a bit of a Whig to boot.
I shall make some explanation to him when I next have occasion to write
to him, but that sort of thing would come surely with a better grace
from you than from me. I have not a doubt that he will be a daily
scribbler in your paper ere it is a week old.

To all these people--Croker as well as the rest--John Murray is of much
more importance than they ever can be to him if he will only _believe_
what I _know_, viz. that his own name in _society_ stands miles above
any of theirs. Croker _cannot_ form the nucleus of a literary
association which you have any reason to dread. He is hated by the
higher Tories quite as sincerely as by the Whigs: besides, he has not
_now-a-days_ courage to strike an effective blow; he will not come

I come to pleasanter matters. Nothing, indeed, can be more handsome,
more generous than Mr. Coleridge's whole behaviour. I beg of you to
express to him the sense I have of the civility with which he has been
pleased to remember and allude to _me_, and assure him that I am most
grateful for the assistance he offers, and accept of it to any extent he

In this way Mr. Lockhart succeeded to the control of what his friend
John Wilson called "a National Work"; and he justified the selection
which Mr. Murray had made of him as editor: not only maintaining and
enhancing the reputation of the _Review_, by securing the friendship of
the old contributors, but enlisting the assistance of many new ones. Sir
Walter Scott, though "working himself to pieces" to free himself from
debt, came to his help, and to the first number which Lockhart edited he
contributed an interesting article on "Pepys' Memoirs."

Lockhart's literary taste and discernment were of the highest order; and
he displayed a moderation and gentleness, even in his adverse
criticism, for which those who knew him but slightly, or by reputation
only, scarce gave him credit. There soon sprang up between him and his
publisher an intimacy and mutual confidence which lasted till Murray's
death; and Lockhart continued to edit the _Quarterly_ till his own death
in 1854. In truth there was need of mutual confidence between editor and
publisher, for they were called upon to deal with not a few persons
whose deep interest in the _Quarterly_ tempted them at times to assume a
somewhat dictatorial tone in their comments on and advice for the
management of the _Review_. When an article written by Croker, on
Lamennais' "Paroles d'un Croyant," [Footnote: The article by J.W.
Croker was afterwards published in No. 104 of the _Quarterly_.] was
under consideration, Lockhart wrote to the publisher:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_November 8_, 1826.

My Dear Murray,

It is always agreeable and often useful for us to hear what you think of
the articles in progress. Croker and I both differ from you as to the
general affair, for this reason simply, that Lamennais is to Paris what
Benson or Lonsdale is to London. His book has produced and is producing
a very great effect. Even religious people there applaud him, and they
are re-echoed here by old Jerdan, who pronounces that, be he right or
wrong, he has produced "a noble sacred poem." It is needful to caution
the English against the course of France by showing up the audacious
extent of her horrors, political, moral, and religious; and you know
what _was_ the result of our article on those vile tragedies, the
extracts of which were more likely to offend a family circle than
anything in the "Paroles d'un Croyant," and which even I was afraid of.
Mr. Croker, however, will modify and curtail the paper so as to get rid
of your specific objections. It had already been judged advisable to put
the last and only blasphemous extract in French in place of English.
Depend upon it, if we were to lower our scale so as to run no risk of
offending any good people's delicate feelings, we should soon lower
ourselves so as to rival "My Grandmother the British" in want of
interest to the world at large, and even (though they would not say so)
to the saints themselves.--_Verb. sap_.

Like most sagacious publishers, Murray was free from prejudice, and was
ready to publish for all parties and for men of opposite opinions. For
instance, he published Malthus's "Essay on Population," and Sadler's
contradiction of the theory. He published Byron's attack on Southey,
and Southey's two letters against Lord Byron. He published Nugent's
"Memorials of Hampden," and the _Quarterly Review's_ attack upon it.
Southey's "Book of the Church" evoked a huge number of works on the
Roman Catholic controversy, most of which were published by Mr. Murray.
Mr. Charles Butler followed with his "Book on the Roman Catholic
Church." And the Rev. Joseph Blanco White's "Practical and Internal
Evidence against Catholicism," with occasional strictures on Mr.
Butler's "Book on the Roman Catholic Church." Another answer to Mr.
Butler came from Dr. George Townsend, in his "Accusations of History
against the Church of Rome." Then followed the Divines, of whom there
were many: the Rev. Dr. Henry Phillpotts (then of Stanhope Rectory,
Durham, but afterwards Bishop of Exeter), in his "Letter to Charles
Butler on the Theological Parts of his Book on the Roman Catholic
Church"; the Rev. G.S. Faber's "Difficulties of Romanism"; and many

While most authors are ready to take "cash down" for their manuscripts,
there are others who desire to be remunerated in proportion to the sale
of their works. This is especially the case with works of history or
biography, which are likely to have a permanent circulation. Hence, when
the judicious Mr. Hallam--who had sold the first three editions of
"Europe during the Middle Ages" to Mr. Murray for £1,400--had completed
his "Constitutional History of England," he made proposals which
resulted in Mr. Murray's agreeing to print and publish at his own cost
and risk the "Constitutional History of England," and pay to the author
two-thirds of the net profits. And these were the terms on which Mr.
Murray published all Mr. Hallam's subsequent works.

Mr. Wordsworth about this time desired to republish his Poems, and made
application with that object to Mr. Murray, who thereupon consulted

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_. _July_ 9, 1826.

"In regard to Wordsworth I certainly cannot doubt that it must be
creditable to any publisher to publish the works _of_ one who is and
must continue to be a classic Poet of England. Your adventure with
Crabbe, however, ought to be a lesson of much caution. On the other
hand, again, W.'s poems _must_ become more popular, else why so many
editions in the course of the last few years. There have been _two_ of
the 'Excursion' alone, and I know that those have not satisfied the
public. Everything, I should humbly say, depends on the terms proposed
by the great Laker, whose vanity, be it whispered, is nearly as
remarkable as his genius."

The following is the letter in which Mr. Wordsworth made his formal
proposal to Mr. Murray to publish his collected poems:

_Mr. Wordsworth to John Murray_.


_December_ 4, 1826.

Dear Sir,

I have at last determined to go to the Press with my Poems as early as
possible. Twelve months ago the were to have been put into the hands of
Messrs. Robinson & Hurst, upon the terms of payment of a certain sum,
independent of expense on my part; but the failure of that house
prevented the thing going forward. Before I offer the publication to any
one but yourself, upon the different principle agreed on between you and
me, as you may recollect, viz.; the author to meet two-thirds of the
expenses and risk, and to share two-thirds of the profit, I think it
proper to renew that proposal to you. If you are not inclined to accept
it, I shall infer so from your silence; if such an arrangement suits
you, pray let me _immediately_ know; and all I have to request is, that
without loss of time, when I have informed you of the intended quantity
of letter-press, you will then let me know what my share of the expense
will amount to.

I am, dear Sir,

Your obedient servant,


As Mr. Murray did not answer this letter promptly, Mr. H. Crabb Robinson
called upon him to receive his decision, and subsequently wrote:

_Mr. H.G. Robinson to John Murray_.

_February_ 1827.

"I wrote to Mr. Wordsworth the day after I had the pleasure of seeing
you. I am sorry to say that my letter came too late. Mr. Wordsworth
interpreted your silence into a rejection of his offer; and his works
will unfortunately lose the benefit of appearing under you auspices.
They have been under the press some weeks."

For about fifteen years there had been no business transactions between
Murray and Constable. On the eve of the failure of the Constables, the
head of the firm, Mr. Archibald Constable (October 1825), was paying a
visit at Wimbledon, when Mr. Murray addressed his host--Mr. Wright,
whose name has already occurred in the _Representative_
correspondence--as follows:

My Dear Wright,

Although I intend to do myself the pleasure of calling upon Mr.
Constable at your house tomorrow immediately after church (for it is our
charity sermon at Wimbledon, and I must attend), yet I should be most
happy, if it were agreeable to you and to him, to favour us with your
company at dinner at, I will say, five tomorrow. Mr. Constable is
godfather to my son, who will be at home, and I am anxious to introduce
him to Mr. C., who may not be long in town.

Mr. Constable and his friend accordingly dined with Murray, and that the
meeting was very pleasant may be inferred from Mr. Constable's letter of
a few days later, in which he wrote to Murray, "It made my heart glad to
be once more happy together as we were the other evening." The rest of
Mr. Constable's letter referred to Hume's Philosophical Writings, which
were tendered to Murray, but which he declined to publish.

Constable died two years later, John Ballantyne, Scott's partner, a few
years earlier; and Scott entered in his diary, "It is written that
nothing shall flourish under my shadow."



Owing to the intimate relations which were now established between
Murray and Lockhart, the correspondence is full of references to Sir
Walter Scott and to the last phases of his illustrious career.

Lockhart had often occasion to be at Abbotsford to see Sir Walter Scott,
who was then carrying on, single-handed, that terrible struggle with
adversity, which has never been equalled in the annals of literature.
His son-in-law went down in February 1827 to see him about further
articles, but wrote to Murray: "I fear we must not now expect Sir W.
S.'s assistance ere 'Napoleon' be out of hand." In the following month
of June Lockhart wrote from Portobello: "Sir W. Scott has got 'Napoleon'
out of his hands, and I have made arrangements for three or four
articles; and I think we may count for a paper of his every quarter."
Articles accordingly appeared from Sir Walter Scott on diverse subjects,
one in No. 71, June 1827, on the "Works of John Home "; another in No.
72, October 1827, on "Planting Waste Lands "; a third in No. 74, March
1828, on "Plantation and Landscape Gardening "; and a fourth in No. 76,
October 1828, on Sir H. Davy's "Salmonia, or Days of Fly-Fishing." The
last article was cordial and generous, like everything proceeding from
Sir Walter's pen. Lady Davy was greatly pleased with it. "It must always
be a proud and gratifying distinction," she said, "to have the name of
Sir Walter Scott associated with that of my husband in the review of
'Salmonia.' I am sure Sir Humphry will like his bairn the better for the
public opinion given of it by one whose immortality renders praise as
durable as it seems truly felt."

With respect to "Salmonia" the following anecdote may be mentioned, as
related to Mr. Murray by Dr. Gooch, a valued contributor to the

"At page 6 of Salmonia," said Dr. Gooch, "it is stated that 'Nelson was
a good fly-fisher, and continued the pursuit even with his left hand.' I
can add that one of his reasons for regretting the loss of his right arm
was that it deprived him of the power of pursuing this amusement
efficiently, as is shown by the following incident, which is, I think,
worth preserving in that part of his history which relates to his
talents as a fly-fisher. I was at the Naval Hospital at Yarmouth on the
morning when Nelson, after the battle of Copenhagen (having sent the
wounded before him), arrived in the Roads and landed on the Jetty. The
populace soon surrounded him, and the military were drawn up in the
marketplace ready to receive him; but making his way through the crowd,
and the dust and the clamour, he went straight to the Hospital. I went
round the wards with him, and was much interested in observing his
demeanour to the sailors. He stopped at every bed, and to every man he
had something kind and cheering to say. At length he stopped opposite a
bed in which a sailor was lying who had lost his right arm close to the
shoulder joint, and the following short dialogue passed between them.
_Nelson_: 'Well, Jack, what's the matter with you?' _Sailor_: 'Lost my
right arm, your Honour.' Nelson paused, looked down at his own empty
sleeve, then at the sailor, and then said playfully, 'Well, Jack, then
you and I are spoiled for fishermen; but cheer up, my brave fellow.' He
then passed quickly on to the next bed, but these few words had a
magical effect upon the poor fellow, for I saw his eyes sparkle with
delight as Nelson turned away and pursued his course through the wards.
This was the only occasion on which I ever saw Lord Nelson."

In the summer of 1828 Mr. Lockhart went down to Brighton, accompanied by
Sir Walter Scott, Miss Scott, Mrs. Lockhart and her son John--the
Littlejohn to whom Scott's charming "Tales of a Grandfather," which
were at that time in course of publication, had been addressed. It was
on the boy's account the party went to Brighton; he was very ill and
gradually sinking.

While at Brighton, Lockhart had an interview with the Duke of
Wellington, and wrote to Murray on the subject.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_. _May_ 18, 1828.

"I have a message from the D. of W. to say that he, on the whole, highly
approves the paper on foreign politics, but has some criticisms to
offer on particular points, and will send for me some day soon to hear
them. I have of course signified my readiness to attend him any time he
is pleased to appoint, and expect it will be next week."

That the Duke maintained his interest in the _Quarterly_ is shown by a
subsequent extract:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

AUCHENRAITH, _January_ 19, 1829.

"Sir Walter met me here yesterday, and he considered the Duke's epistle
as an effort of the deepest moment to the _Quarterly_ and all concerned.
He is sure no minister ever gave a more distinguished proof of his
feeling than by this readiness to second the efforts of a literary
organ. Therefore, no matter about a week sooner or later, let us do the
thing justice."

Before his departure for Brighton, Mr. Lockhart had been commissioned by
Murray to offer Sir Walter Scott £1,250 for the copyright of his
"History of Scotland," a transaction concerning which some informal
communications had already passed.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.


Sir W. Scott has already agreed to furnish Dr. Lardner's "Cyclopaedia"
with one vol.--"History of Scotland"--for £1,000, and he is now at this
work. This is grievous, but you must not blame me, for he has acted in
the full knowledge of my connection with and anxiety about the Family
Library. I answered him, expressing my great regret and reminding him of
Peterborough. I suppose, as I never mentioned, nor well could, _money_,
that Dr. Lardner's matter appeared more a piece of business. Perhaps you
may think of something to be done. It is a great loss to us and gain to

Yours truly,


After the failure of Ballantyne and Constable, Cadell, who had in former
years been a partner in Constable's house, became Scott's publisher, and
at the close of 1827 the principal copyrights of Scott's works,
including the novels from "Waverley" to "Quentin Durward," and most of
the poems, were put up to auction, and purchased by Cadell and Scott
jointly for £8,500. At this time the "Tales of a Grandfather" were
appearing by instalments, and Murray wrote to the author, begging to be
allowed to become the London publisher of this work. Scott replied:

_Sir W. Scott to John Murray._

6, Shandwick Place, Edinburgh,

_November _26, 1828.

My Dear Sir,

I was favoured with your note some time since, but could not answer it
at the moment till I knew whether I was like to publish at Edinburgh or
not. The motives for doing so are very strong, for I need not tell you
that in literary affairs a frequent and ready communication with the
bookseller is a very necessary thing.

As we have settled, with advice of those who have given me their
assistance in extricating my affairs, to publish in Edinburgh, I do not
feel myself at liberty to dictate to Cadell any particular selection of
a London publisher. If I did so, I should be certainly involved in any
discussions or differences which might occur between my London and
Edinburgh friends, which would be adding an additional degree of
perplexity to my affairs. I feel and know the value of your name as a
publisher, but if we should at any time have the pleasure of being
connected with you in that way, it must be when it is entirely on your
own account. The little history designed for Johnnie Lockhart was long
since promised to Cadell.

I do not, in my conscience, think that I deprive you of anything of
consequence in not being at present connected with you in literary
business. My reputation with the world is something like a high-pressure
engine, which does very well while all lasts stout and tight, but is
subject to sudden explosion, and I would rather that another than an old
friend stood the risk of suffering by the splinters.

I feel all the delicacy of the time and mode of your application, and
you cannot doubt I would greatly prefer you personally to men of whom I
know nothing. But they are not of my choosing, nor are they in any way
responsible to me. I transact with the Edinburgh bookseller alone, and
as I must neglect no becoming mode of securing myself, my terms are
harder than I think you, in possession of so well established a trade,
would like to enter upon, though they may suit one who gives up his time
to them as almost his sole object of expense and attention. I hope this
necessary arrangement will make no difference betwixt us, being, with

Your faithful, humble Servant,

Walter Scott.

On his return to London, Lockhart proceeded to take a house, No. 24,
Sussex Place, Regent's Park; for he had been heretofore living in the
furnished apartments provided for him in Pall Mall. Mr. Murray wrote to
him on the subject:

_John Murray to Mr. Lockhart_.

_July_ 31, 1828.

As you are about taking or retaking a house, I think it right to inform
you now that the editor's dividend on the _Quarterly Review_ will be in
future £325 on the publication of each number; and I think it very hard
if you do not get £200 or £300 more for your own contributions.

Most truly yours,


At the beginning of the following year Lockhart went down to Abbotsford,
where he found his father-in-law working as hard as ever.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_January_ 4, 1820.

"I have found Sir Walter Scott in grand health and spirits, and have had
much conversation with him on his hill-side about all our concerns. I
shall keep a world of his hints and suggestions till we meet; but
meanwhile he has agreed to write _almost immediately_ a one volume
biography of the great Earl of Peterborough, and I think you will agree
with me in considering the choice of this, perhaps the last of our
romantic heroes, as in all respects happy. ... He will also write _now_
an article on some recent works of Scottish History (Tytler's, etc.)
giving, he promises, a complete and gay summary of all that controversy;
and next Nov. a general review of the Scots ballads, whereof some twenty
volumes have been published within these ten years, and many not
published but only printed by the Bannatyne club of Edinburgh, and
another club of the same order at Glasgow.... I am coaxing him to make a
selection from Crabbe, with a preface, and think he will be persuaded."

_January_ 8, 1829.

"Sir Walter Scott suggests overhauling Caulfield's portraits of
remarkable characters (3 vols., 1816), and having roughish woodcuts
taken from that book and from others, and the biographies newly done,
whenever they are not in the words of the old original writers. He says
the march of intellect will never put women with beards and men with
horns out of fashion--Old Parr, Jenkins, Venner, Muggleton, and Mother
Souse, are immortal, all in their several ways."

By 1829 Scott and Cadell had been enabled to obtain possession of all
the principal copyrights, with the exception of two one-fourth shares
of "Marmion," held by Murray and Longman respectively. Sir Walter Scott
applied to Murray through Lockhart, respecting this fourth share. The
following was Murray's reply to Sir Walter Scott:

_John Murray to Sir Walter Scott_.

_June_ 8, 1829.

My Dear Sir,

Mr. Lockhart has at this moment communicated to me your letter
respecting my fourth share of the copyright of "Marmion." I have already
been applied to by Messrs. Constable and by Messrs. Longman, to know
what sum I would sell this share for; but so highly do I estimate the
honour of being, even in so small a degree, the publisher of the author
of the poem, that no pecuniary consideration whatever can induce me to
part with it. But there is a consideration of another kind, which, until
now, I was not aware of, which would make it painful to me if I were to
retain it a moment longer. I mean, the knowledge of its being required
by the author, into whose hands it was spontaneously resigned in the
same instant that I read his request. This share has been profitable to
me fifty-fold beyond what either publisher or author could have
anticipated; and, therefore, my returning it on such an occasion, you
will, I trust, do me the favour to consider in no other light than as a
mere act of grateful acknowledgment for benefits already received by, my
dear sir,

Your obliged and faithful Servant,


P.S.--It will be proper for your man of business to prepare a regular
deed to carry this into effect, which I will sign with the greatest
self-satisfaction, as soon as I receive it.

_Sir W. Scott to John Murray_.

EDINBURGH, _June_ 12, 1829.

My Dear Sir,

Nothing can be more obliging or gratifying to me than the very kind
manner in which you have resigned to me the share you held in "Marmion,"
which, as I am circumstanced, is a favour of real value and most
handsomely rendered. I hope an opportunity may occur in which I may more
effectually express my sense of the obligation than by mere words. I
will send the document of transference when it can be made out. In the
meantime I am, with sincere regard and thanks,

Your most obedient and obliged Servant,


At the end of August 1829 Lockhart was again at Abbotsford; and sending
the slips of Sir Walter's new article for the next _Quarterly_. He had
already written for No. 77 the article on "Hajji Baba," and for No. 81
an article on the "Ancient History of Scotland." The slips for the new
article were to be a continuation of the last, in a review of Tytler's
"History of Scotland." The only other articles he wrote for the
_Quarterly_ were his review of Southey's "Life of John Bunyan," No. 86,
in October 1830; and his review--the very last--of Pitcairn's "Criminal
Trials of Scotland," No. 88, in February 1831.

His last letter to Mr. Murray refers to the payment for one of these

_Sir W. Scott to John Murray_.

ABBOTSFORD, _Monday_, 1830.

My Dear Sir,

I acknowledge with thanks your remittance of £100, and I will be happy
to light on some subject which will suit the _Review_, which may be
interesting and present some novelty. But I have to look forward to a
very busy period betwixt this month and January, which may prevent my
contribution being ready before that time. You may be assured that for
many reasons I have every wish to assist the _Quarterly_, and will be
always happy to give any support which is in my power.

I have inclosed for Moore a copy of one of Byron's letters to me. I
received another of considerable interest, but I do not think it right
to give publicity without the permission of a person whose name is
repeatedly mentioned. I hope the token of my good wishes will not come
too late. These letters have been only recovered after a long search
through my correspondence, which, as usual with literary folks, is sadly

I beg my kind compliments to Mrs. Murray and the young ladies, and am,
yours truly,


Scott now began to decline rapidly, and was suffering much from his
usual spasmodic attacks; yet he had Turner with him, making drawings for
the new edition of his poems. Referring to his last article in the
_Quarterly_ on Pitcairn's "Criminal Trials," he bids Lockhart to inform
Mr. Murray that "no one knows better your liberal disposition, and he is
aware that £50 is more than his paper is worth." Scott's illness
increased, and Lockhart rarely left his side.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

CHIEFSWOOD, _September_ 16, 1831.

"Yesterday determined Sir W. Scott's motions. He owes to Croker the
offer of a passage to Naples in a frigate which sails in about a
fortnight. He will therefore proceed southwards by land next week,
halting at Rokeby, and with his son at Notts, by the way. We shall leave
Edinburgh by next Tuesday's steamer, so as to be in town before him, and
ready for his reception. We are all deeply obliged to Croker on this
occasion, for Sir Walter is quite unfit for the fatigues of a long land
journey, and the annoyances innumerable of Continental inns; and, above
all, he will have a good surgeon at hand, in case of need. The
arrangement has relieved us all of a great burden of annoyances and
perplexities and fears."

Another, and the last of Lockhart's letters on this subject, may be

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

CHIEFSWOOD, _September_ 19, 1831.


In consequence of my sister-in-law, Annie Scott, being taken unwell,
with frequent fainting fits, the result no doubt of over anxieties of
late, I have been obliged to let my wife and children depart by
tomorrow's steamer without me, and I remain to attend to Sir Walter
thro' his land progress, which will begin on Friday, and end, I hope
well, on Wednesday. If this should give any inconvenience to you, God
knows I regret it, and God knows also I couldn't do otherwise without
exposing Sir W. and his daughter to a feeling that I had not done my
duty to them. On the whole, public affairs seem to be so dark, that I am
inclined to think our best course, in the _Quarterly_, may turn out to
have been and to be, that of not again appearing until the fate of this
Bill has been quite settled. My wife will, if you are in town, be much
rejoiced with a visit; and if you write to me, so as to catch me at
Rokeby Park, Greta Bridge, next Saturday, 'tis well.



P.S.--But I see Rokeby Park would not do. I shall be at Major Scott's,
15th Hussars, Nottingham, on Monday night.

It would be beyond our province to describe in these pages the closing
scenes of Sir Walter Scott's life: his journey to Naples, his attempt to
write more novels, his failure, and his return home to Abbotsford to
die. His biography, by his son-in-law Lockhart, one of the best in the
whole range of English literature, is familiar to all our readers; and
perhaps never was a more faithful memorial erected, in the shape of a
book, to the beauty, goodness, and faithfulness of a noble literary

In this work we are only concerned with Sir Walter's friendship and
dealings with Mr. Murray, and on these the foregoing correspondence,
extending over nearly a quarter of a century, is sufficient comment.
When a committee was formed in Sir Walter's closing years to organize
and carry out some public act of homage and respect to the great genius,
Mr. Murray strongly urged that the money collected, with which
Abbotsford was eventually redeemed, should be devoted to the purchase of
all the copyrights for the benefit of Scott and his family: it cannot
but be matter of regret that this admirable suggestion was not adopted.

During the year 1827 Mr. Murray's son, John Murray the Third, was
residing in Edinburgh as a student at the University, and attended the
memorable dinner at which Scott was forced to declare himself the author
of the "Waverley Novels."

His account of the scene, as given in a letter to his father, forms a
fitting conclusion to this chapter.

"I believe I mentioned to you that Mr. Allan had kindly offered to take
me with him to a Theatrical Fund dinner, which took place on Friday
last. There were present about 300 persons--a mixed company, many of
them not of the most respectable order. Sir Walter Scott took the chair,
and there was scarcely another person of any note to support him except
the actors. The dinner, therefore, would have been little better than
endurable, had it not been remarkable for the confession of Sir Walter
Scott that he was the author of the 'Waverley Novels.'

"This acknowledgment was forced from him, I believe, contrary to his own
wish, in this manner. Lord Meadowbank, who sat on his left hand,
proposed his health, and after paying him many compliments, ended his
speech by saying that the clouds and mists which had so long surrounded
the Great Unknown were now revealed, and he appeared in his true
character (probably alluding to the _expose_ made before Constable's
creditors, for I do not think there was any preconcerted plan). Upon
this Sir Walter rose, and said, 'I did not expect on coming here today
that I should have to disclose before 300 people a secret which,
considering it had already been made known to about thirty persons, had
been tolerably well kept. I am not prepared to give my reasons for
preserving it a secret, caprice had certainly a great share in the
matter. Now that it is out, I beg leave to observe that I am sole and
undivided author of those novels. Every part of them has originated with
me, or has been suggested to me in the course of my reading. I confess
I am guilty, and am almost afraid to examine the extent of my
delinquency. "Look on't again, I dare not!" The wand of Prospero is now
broken, and my book is buried, but before I retire I shall propose the
health of a person who has given so much delight to all now present, The
Bailie Nicol Jarvie.'

"I report this from memory. Of course it is not quite accurate in words,
but you will find a tolerable report of it in the _Caledonian Mercury_
of Saturday. This declaration was received with loud and long applause.
As this was gradually subsiding, a voice from the end of the room was
heard [Footnote: The speaker on this occasion was the actor Mackay, who
had attained considerable celebrity by his representation of Scottish
characters, and especially of that of the famous Bailie in "Rob Roy."]
exclaiming in character,' Ma conscience! if my father the Bailie had
been alive to hear that ma health had been proposed by the Author of
Waverley,' etc., which, as you may suppose, had a most excellent



The public has long since made up its mind as to the merits of Colonel
Napier's "History of the Peninsular War." It is a work which none but a
soldier who had served through the war as he had done, and who,
moreover, combined with practical experience a thorough knowledge of the
science of war, could have written.

At the outset of his work he applied to the Duke of Wellington for his
papers. This rather abrupt request took the Duke by surprise. The
documents in his possession were so momentous, and the great part of
them so confidential in their nature, that he felt it to be impossible
to entrust them indiscriminately to any man living. He, however,
promised Napier to put in his hands any specified paper or document he
might ask for, provided no confidence would be broken by its
examination. He also offered to answer any question Napier might put to
him, and with this object invited him to Stratfieldsaye, where the two
Generals discussed many points connected with the campaign.

_Colonel W. Napier to John Murray_.


_December_ 5, 1828.

Dear Sir,

My first volume is now nearly ready for the press, and as I think that
in matters of business a plain straightforward course is best, I will at
once say what I conceive to be the valuable part of my work, and leave
you to make a proposition relative to publication of the single volume,
reserving further discussion about the whole until the other volumes
shall be in a more forward state.

The volume in question commences with the secret treaty of
Fontainebleau concluded in 1809, and ends with the battle of Corunna. It
will have an appendix of original documents, many of which are extremely
interesting, and there will also be some plans of the battles. My
authorities have been:

1. All the original papers of Sir Hew Dalrymple.

2. Those of Sir John Moore.

3. King Joseph's correspondence taken at the battle of Vittoria, and
placed at my disposal by the Duke of Wellington. Among other papers are
several notes and detailed instructions by Napoleon which throw a
complete light upon his views and proceedings in the early part of the

4. Notes of conversations held with the Duke of Wellington for the
especial purpose of connecting my account of his operations.

5. Notes of conversation with officers of high rank in the French,
English, and Spanish services.

6. Original journals, and the most unreserved communications with
Marshal Soult.

7. My own notes of affairs in which I have been present.

8. Journals of regimental officers of talent, and last but not least,
copies taken by myself from the original muster rolls of the French army
as they were transmitted to the Emperor.

Having thus distributed all my best wares in the bow window, I shall
leave you to judge for yourself; and, as the diplomatists say, will be
happy to treat upon a suitable basis. In the meantime,

I remain, your very obedient Servant,


About a fortnight later (December 25, 1827) he again wrote that he would
have the pleasure of putting a portion of his work into Mr. Murray's
hands in a few days; but that "it would be disagreeable to him to have
it referred to Mr. Southey for an opinion." Murray, it should be
mentioned, had published Southey's "History of the War in Spain." Some
negotiations ensued, in the course of which Mr. Murray offered 500
guineas for the volume. This proposal, however, was declined by Colonel

Murray after fuller consideration offered a thousand guineas, which
Colonel Napier accepted, and the volume was accordingly published in the
course of 1828. Notwithstanding the beauty of its style and the grandeur
of its descriptions, the book gave great offence by the severity of its
criticism, and called forth a multitude of replies and animadversions.
More than a dozen of these appeared in the shape of pamphlets bearing
their authors' names, added to which the _Quarterly Review_, departing
from the general rule, gave no less than four criticisms in succession.
This innovation greatly disgusted the publisher, who regarded them as so
much lead weighing down his _Review_, although they proceeded from the
pen of the Duke's right-hand man, the Rt. Hon. Sir George Murray. They
were unreadable and produced no effect. It is needless to add the Duke
had nothing to do with them.

Mr. Murray published no further volumes of the "History of the
Peninsular War," but at his suggestion Colonel Napier brought out the
second and succeeding volumes on his own account. In illustration of the
loss which occurred to Mr. Murray in publishing the first volume of the
history, the following letter may be given, as addressed to the editor
of the _Morning Chronicle_:

_John Murray to the Editor of the Morning Chronicle_.

ALBEMARLE STREET, _February_ 13, 1837.


My attention has been called to an article in your paper of the 14th of
January, containing the following extract from Colonel Napier's reply to
the third article in the _Quarterly Review_, on his "History of the
Peninsular War." [Footnote: The article appeared in No. 111 of
_Quarterly_, April 1836.]

"Sir George Murray only has thrown obstacles in my way, and if I am
rightly informed of the following circumstances, his opposition has not
been confined to what I have stated above. Mr. Murray, the bookseller,
purchased my first volume, with the right of refusal for the second
volume. When the latter was nearly ready, a friend informed me that he
did not think Murray would purchase, because he had heard him say that
Sir George Murray had declared it was not 'The Book.' He did not point
out any particular error, but it was not 'The Book,' meaning, doubtless,
that his own production, when it appeared, would be 'The Book.' My
friend's prognostic was not false. I was offered just half of the sum
given for the first volume. I declined it, and published on my own
account, and certainly I have had no reason to regret that Mr.
Bookseller Murray waited for 'The Book,' indeed, he has since told me
very frankly that he had mistaken his own interest."

In answer to the first part of this statement, I beg leave to say, that
I had not, at the time to which Colonel Napier refers, the honour of any
acquaintance with Sir George Murray, nor have I held any conversation or
correspondence with him on the subject of Colonel Napier's book, or of
any other book on the Peninsular War. In reply to the second part of the
statement, regarding the offer for Colonel Napier's second volume of
half the sum (viz. 500 guineas) that I gave for the first volume
(namely, 1,000 guineas), I have only to beg the favour of your insertion
of the following letter, written by me to Colonel Napier, upon the
occasion referred to.

ALBEMARLE STREET, _May_ 13, 1829.


Upon making up the account of the sale of the first volume of "The
History of the War in the Peninsula" I find that I am at this time minus
£545 12s. At this loss I do by no means in the present instance repine,
for I have derived much gratification from being the publisher of a work
which is so intrinsically valuable, and which has been so generally
admired, and it is some satisfaction to me to find by this result that
my own proposal to you was perfectly just. I will not, however, venture
to offer you a less sum for the second volume, but recommend that you
should, in justice to yourself, apply to some other publishers; if you
should obtain from them the sum which you are right in expecting, it
will afford me great pleasure, and, if you do not, you will find me
perfectly ready to negotiate; and in any case I shall continue to be,
with the highest esteem, dear Sir,

Your obliged and faithful servant,


I am confident you will do me the justice to insert this letter, and
have no doubt its contents will convince Colonel Napier that his
recollection of the circumstances has been incomplete.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient humble Servant,


It may not be generally known that we owe to Colonel Napier's work the
publication of the Duke of Wellington's immortal "Despatches." The Duke,
upon principle, refused to read Napier's work; not wishing, as he said,
to quarrel with its author. But he was made sufficiently acquainted with
the contents from friends who had perused it, and who, having made the
campaigns with him, could point to praise and blame equally undeserved,
to designs misunderstood and misrepresented, as well as to supercilious
criticism and patronizing approval, which could not but be painful to
the great commander. His nature was too noble to resent this; but he
resolved, in self-defence, to give the public the means of ascertaining
the truth, by publishing all his most important and secret despatches,
in order, he said, to give the world a correct account not only of what
he did, but of what he intended to do.

Colonel Gurwood was appointed editor of the "Despatches" and, during
their preparation, not a page escaped the Duke's eye, or his own careful
revision. Mr. Murray, who was honoured by being chosen as the publisher,
compared this wonderful collection of documents to a watch: hitherto the
general public had only seen in the successful and orderly development
of his campaigns, as it were the hands moving over the dial without
fault or failure, but now the Duke opened the works, and they were
enabled to inspect the complicated machinery--the wheels within
wheels--which had produced this admirable result. It is enough to state
that in these despatches the _whole_ truth relating to the Peninsular
War is fully and elaborately set forth.

At the beginning of 1829 Croker consulted Murray on the subject of an
annotated edition of "Boswell's Johnson." Murray was greatly pleased
with the idea of a new edition of the work by his laborious friend, and
closing at once with Croker's proposal, wrote, "I shall be happy to
give, as something in the way of remuneration, the sum of one thousand
guineas." Mr. Croker accepted the offer, and proceeded immediately with
the work.

Mr. Murray communicated to Mr. Lockhart the arrangement he had made with
Croker. His answer was:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_January_ 19, 1829.

"I am heartily rejoiced that this 'Johnson,' of which we had so often
talked, is in such hands at whatever cost. Pray ask Croker whether
Boswell's account of the Hebridean Tour ought not to be melted into the
book. Sir Walter has many MS. annotations in his 'Boswell,' both 'Life'
and 'Tour,' and will, I am sure, give them with hearty good will.... He
will write down all that he has heard about Johnson when in Scotland;
and, in particular, about the amusing intercourse between him and Lord
Auchinleck--Boswell's father--if Croker considers it worth his while."

Sir Walter Scott's offer of information, [Footnote: Sir Walter's letter
to Croker on the subject will be found in the "Croker Correspondence,"
ii. 28.] to a certain extent, delayed Croker's progress with the work.
He wrote to Mr. Murray (November 17, 1829): "The reference to Sir
Walter Scott delays us a little as to the revises, but his name is well
worth the delay. My share of the next volume (the 2nd) is quite done;
and I could complete the other two in a fortnight."

While the work was passing through the press Lockhart again wrote:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

"I am reading the new 'Boswell' with great pleasure, though, I think,
the editor is often wrong. A prodigious flood of light is thrown on the
book assuredly; and the incorporation of the 'Tour' is a great
advantage. Now, do have a really good Index. That to the former edition
I have continually found inadequate and faulty. The book is a dictionary
of wisdom and wit, and one should know exactly where to find the _dictum
magistri_. Many of Croker's own remarks and little disquisitions will
also be hereafter among the choicest of _quotabilia_."

Croker carried out the work with great industry and vigour, and it
appeared in 1831. It contained numerous additions, notes, explanations,
and memoranda, and, as the first attempt to explain the difficulties and
enigmas which lapse of time had created, it may not unfairly be said to
have been admirably edited; and though Macaulay, according to his own
account, "smashed" it in the _Edinburgh_, [Footnote: The correspondence
on the subject, and the criticism on the work by Macaulay, will be found
in the "Croker Correspondence," vol. ii. pp. 24-49.] some fifty thousand
of the "Life" have been sold.

It has been the fashion with certain recent editors of "Boswell's
Johnson" to depreciate Croker's edition; but to any one who has taken
the pains to make himself familiar with that work, and to study the vast
amount of information there collected, such criticism cannot but appear
most ungenerous. Croker was acquainted with, or sought out, all the
distinguished survivors of Dr. Johnson's own generation, and by his
indefatigable efforts was enabled to add to the results of his own
literary research, oral traditions and personal reminiscences, which but
for him would have been irrevocably lost.

The additions of subsequent editors are but of trifling value compared
with the information collected by Mr. Croker, and one of his successors
at least has not hesitated slightly to transpose or alter many of Mr.
Croker's notes, and mark them as his own.

Mrs. Shelley, widow of the poet, on receiving a present of Croker's
"Boswell," from Mr. Murray, said:

_Mrs. Shelley to John Murray_.

"I have read 'Boswell's Journal' ten times: I hope to read it many more.
It is the most amusing book in the world. Beside that, I do love the
kind-hearted, wise, and gentle Bear, and think him as lovable and kind a
friend as a profound philosopher."

Mr. Henry Taylor submitted his play of "Isaac Comnenus"--his first
work--to Mr. Murray, in February 1827. Lockhart was consulted, and,
after perusing the play, he wrote to Mr. Murray:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

"There can be no sort of doubt that this play is everyway worthy of
coming out from Albemarle Street. That the author might greatly improve
it by shortening its dialogue often, and, once at least, leaving out a
scene, and by dramatizing the scene at the Synod, instead of narrating
it, I think sufficiently clear: but, probably, the author has followed
his own course, upon deliberation, in all these matters. I am of
opinion, certainly, that _no poem_ has been lately published of anything
like the power or promise of this."

Lockhart's suggestion was submitted to Mr. Taylor, who gratefully
acknowledged his criticism, and amended his play.

Mr. Taylor made a very unusual request. He proposed to divide the loss
on his drama with the publisher! He wrote to Mr. Murray:

"I have been pretty well convinced, for some time past, that my book
will never sell, and, under these circumstances, I cannot think it
proper that you should be the sole sufferer. Whenever, therefore, you
are of opinion that the book has had a fair trial, I beg you to
understand that I shall be ready to divide the loss equally with you,
that being, I conceive, the just arrangement in the case."

Though Mr. Lockhart gave an interesting review of "Isaac Comnenus" in
the _Quarterly_, it still hung fire, and did not sell. A few years
later, however, Henry Taylor showed what he could do, as a poet, by his
"Philip van Artevelde," which raised his reputation to the highest
point. Moore, after the publication of this drama, wrote in his "Diary":
"I breakfasted in the morning at Rogers's, to meet the new poet, Mr.
Taylor, author of 'Philip van Artevelde': our company, besides, being
Sydney Smith and Southey. 'Van Artevelde' is a tall, handsome young
fellow. Conversation chiefly about the profits booksellers make of us
scribblers. I remember Peter Pindar saying, one of the few times I ever
met him, that the booksellers drank their wine in the manner of the
heroes in the hall of Odin, out of authors' skulls." This was a sharp
saying; but Rogers, if he had chosen to relate his own experiences when
he negotiated with Mr. Murray about the sale of Crabbe's works, and the
result of that negotiation, might have proved that the rule was not of
universal application.

"The Family Library" has already been mentioned. Mr. Murray had long
contemplated a serial publication, by means of which good literature and
copyright works might be rendered cheaper and accessible to a wider
circle of readers than they had hitherto been.

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was established in
1828, with Henry Brougham as Chairman. Mr. Murray subscribed £10 to this
society, and agreed to publish their "Library of Entertaining
Knowledge." Shortly afterwards, however, he withdrew from this
undertaking, which was transferred to Mr. Knight, and reverted to his
own proposed publication of cheap works.

The first volume of "The Family Library" appeared in April 1829. Murray
sent a copy to Charles Knight, who returned him the first volume of the
"Library of Entertaining Knowledge."

_Mr. Charles Knight to John Murray_.

"We each launch our vessels on the same day, and I most earnestly hope
that both will succeed, for good must come of that success. We have
plenty of sea-room and need never run foul of each other. My belief is
that, in a very few years, scarcely any other description of books will
be published, and in that case we that are first in the field may hope
to win the race."

Mr. Murray's intention was to include in the Library works on a variety
of subjects, including History, Biography, Voyages and Travels, Natural
History, Science, and general literature. They were to be written by the
best-known authors of the day--Sir Walter Scott, Southey, Milman,
Lockhart, Washington Irving, Barrow, Allan Cunningham, Dr. Brewster,
Captain Head, G.R. Gleig, Palgrave, and others. The collection was
headed by an admirable "Life of Napoleon," by J.G. Lockhart, partly
condensed from Scott's "Life of Napoleon Bonaparte," and illustrated by
George Cruikshank. When Lockhart was first invited to undertake this
biography he consulted Sir Walter Scott as to the propriety of his doing
so. Sir Walter replied:

_Sir W. Scott to Mr. Lockhart_.

_October_ 30, 1828.

"Your scruples about doing an epitome of the 'Life of Boney' for the
Family Library that is to be, are a great deal over delicate. My book in
nine thick volumes can never fill the place which our friend Murray
wants you to fill, and which if you don't some one else will right soon.
Moreover, you took much pains in helping me when I was beginning my
task, and I afterwards greatly regretted that Constable had no means of
remunerating you, as no doubt he intended when you were giving him so
much good advice in laying down his grand plans about the Miscellany. By
all means do what the Emperor [Footnote: From the time of his removal to
Albemarle Street, Mr. Murray was universally known among "the Trade" as
"The Emperor of the West."] asks. He is what the Emperor Napoleon was
not, much a gentleman, and knowing our footing in all things, would not
have proposed anything that ought to have excited scruples on your
side." [Footnote: Lockhart's "Life of Scott."]

The book met with a warm reception from the public, and went through
many editions.

Among other works published in "The Family Library" was the Rev. H.H.
Milman's "History of the Jews," in three vols., which occasioned much
adverse criticism and controversy. It is difficult for us who live in
such different times to understand or account for the tempest of
disapprobation with which a work, which now appears so innocent, was
greeted, or the obloquy with which its author was assailed. The "History
of the Jews" was pronounced _unsound_; it was alleged that the miracles
had been too summarily disposed of; Abraham was referred to as an Arab
sheik, and Jewish history was too sacred to be submitted to the laws of
ordinary investigation. Hence Milman was preached against, from Sunday
to Sunday, from the University and other pulpits. Even Mr. Sharon Turner
expostulated with Mr. Murray as to the publication of the book. He said
he had seen it in the window of Carlile, the infidel bookseller, "as if
he thought it suited his purpose." The following letter is interesting
as indicating what the Jews themselves thought of the history.

_Mr. Magnus to John Murray_. _March_ 17, 1834.


Will you have the goodness to inform me of the Christian name of the
Rev. Mr. Milman, and the correct manner of spelling his name; as a
subscription is about to be opened by individuals of the Jewish nation
for the purpose of presenting him with a piece of plate for the liberal
manner in which he has written their history.

The piece of plate was duly subscribed for and presented, with every
demonstration of acknowledgment and thanks. Milman's "History of the
Jews" did not prevent his preferment, as he was promoted from the
vicarage of St. Mary's, Reading, to the rectorship of St. Margaret's,
Westminster, and a canonry in the Collegiate Church of St. Peter; after
which, in 1849, he was made Dean of St. Paul's.



In 1827 or 1828 Mr. Hanson, the late Lord Byron's solicitor, wrote to
Murray, enquiring, on behalf of the executors, whether he would be
willing to dispose of his interest in the first five cantos of "Don
Juan." Mr. Murray, however, had long been desirous of publishing a
complete edition of the works of Lord Byron, "for the public," he wrote,
"are absolutely indignant at not being able to obtain a complete edition
of Lord Byron's works in this country; and at least 15,000 copies have
been brought here from France." Murray proposed that those copyrights of
Lord Byron, which were the property of his executors, should be valued
by three respectable publishers, and that he should purchase them at
their valuation. Mr. Hobhouse, to whom as one of the executors this
proposal was made, was anxious that the complete edition should be
published in England with as little delay as possible, but he stated
that "some obstacles have arisen in consequence of the Messrs. Hunt
having upon hand some hundred copies of their two volumes, which they
have asked a little time to get rid of, and for which they are now
accounting to the executors."

Murray requested Mr. Hanson to apply to the executors, and inform him
what sum they required for the works of Lord Byron, the copyrights of
which were in their possession. This they refused to state, but after
considerable delay, during which the Hunts were disposing of the two
volumes, the whole of the works of Lord Byron which were not in Mr.
Murray's possession were put up to auction, and bought by him for the
sum of £3,885. These included the "Hours of Idleness," eleven cantos of
"Don Juan," the "Age of Bronze," and other works--all of which had
already been published.

Notwithstanding the destruction of Lord Byron's Memoirs, described in a
previous chapter, Murray had never abandoned the intention of bringing
out a Biography of his old friend the poet, for which he possessed
plenteous materials in the mass of correspondence which had passed
between them. Although his arrangement with Thomas Moore had been
cancelled by that event, his eye rested on him as the fittest person,
from his long intimacy with the poet, to be entrusted with the task, for
which, indeed, Lord Byron had himself selected him.

Accordingly in 1826 author and publisher seem to have drawn together
again, and begun the collection of materials, which was carried on in a
leisurely way, until Leigh Hunt's scandalous attack on his old patron
and benefactor [Footnote: "Recollections of Lord Byron and some of his
Contemporaries," 1828. 4to.] roused Murray's ardour into immediate

It was eventually resolved to publish the Life and Correspondence
together; and many letters passed between Murray and Moore on the

From the voluminous correspondence we retain the following extract from
a letter from Moore to Murray:

"One of my great objects, as you will see in reading me, is to keep my
style down to as much simplicity as I am capable of; for nothing could
be imagined more discordant than the mixture of any of our
Asiatico-Hibernian eloquence with the simple English diction of Byron's

Murray showed the early part of "Byron's Life" to Lockhart, who replied
to him at once:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_February_ 23, 1829.

"I can't wait till tomorrow to say that I think the beginning of 'Byron'
quite perfect in every way--the style simple, and unaffected, as the
materials are rich, and how sad. It will be Moore's greatest work--at
least, next to the 'Melodies,' and will be a fortune to you. My wife
says it is divine. By all means engrave the early miniature. Never was
anything so drearily satisfactory to the imagination as the whole
picture of the lame boy's start in life."

Moore was greatly touched by this letter. He wrote from Sloperton:

_Mr. Moore to John Murray_.

"Lockhart's praise has given me great pleasure, and his wife's even
still greater; but, after all, the merit is in my subject--in the man,
not in me. He must be a sad bungler who would spoil such a story."

As the work advanced, Sir Walter Scott's opinion also was asked.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_September_ 29, 1829.

"Sir Walter has read the first 120 pages of Moore's 'Life of Byron'; and
he says they are charming, and not a syllable _de trop_. He is now busy
at a grand rummage among his papers, and has already found one of Lord
Byron's letters which shall be at Mr. Moore's service forthwith. He
expects to find more of them. This is curious, as being the first of
'Byron' to Scott."

The first volume of "Lord Byron's Life and Letters," published on
January 1, 1830, was read with enthusiasm, and met with a very
favourable reception. Moore says in his Diary that "Lady Byron was
highly pleased with the 'Life,'" but among the letters received by Mr.
Murray, one of the most interesting was from Mrs. Shelley, to whom a
presentation copy had been sent.

_Mrs. Shelley to John Murray_.

_January_ 19, 1830.

Except the occupation of one or two annoyances, I have done nothing but
read, since I got "Lord Byron's Life." I have no pretensions to being a
critic, yet I know infinitely well what pleases me. Not to mention the
judicious arrangement and happy _tact_ displayed by Mr. Moore, which
distinguish the book, I must say a word concerning the style, which is
elegant and forcible. I was particularly struck by the observations on
Lord Byron's character before his departure to Greece, and on his
return. There is strength and richness, as well as sweetness.

The great charm of the work to me, and it will have the same to you, is
that the Lord Byron I find there is _our_ Lord Byron--the fascinating,
faulty, philosophical being--daring the world, docile to a private
circle, impetuous and indolent, gloomy, and yet more gay than any other.
I live with him again in these pages--getting reconciled (as I used in
his lifetime) to those waywardnesses which annoyed me when he was away,
through the delightful tone of his conversation and manners.

His own letters and journals mirror himself as he was, and are
invaluable. There is something cruelly kind in this single volume. When
will the next come? Impatient before, how tenfold more so am I now.
Among its many other virtues, this book is accurate to a miracle. I have
not stumbled on one mistake with regard either to time, place, or

I am, dear Sir,

Your obedient and obliged Servant,


The preparation of the second volume proceeded more rapidly than the
first, for Lord Byron's letters to Murray and Moore during the later
years of his life covered the whole period, and gave to the record an
almost autobiographical character. It appeared in January 1831, and
amongst many other readers of it Mrs. Somerville, to whom Mr. Murray
sent a present of the book, was full of unstinted praise.

_Mrs. Somerville to John Murray_.

_January_ 13, 1831.

You have kindly afforded me a source of very great interest and pleasure
in the perusal of the second volume of Moore's "Life of Byron." In my
opinion, it is very superior to the first; there is less repetition of
the letters; they are better written, abound more in criticism and
observation, and make the reader better acquainted with Lord Byron's
principles and character. His morality was certainly more suited to the
meridian of Italy than England; but with all his faults there is a charm
about him that excites the deepest interest and admiration. His letter
to Lady Byron is more affecting and beautiful than anything I have read;
it must ever be a subject of regret that it was not sent; it seems
impossible that it should not have made a lasting impression, and might
possibly have changed the destinies of both. With kind remembrances to
Mrs. Murray and the young people,

Believe me, truly yours,


Mr. Croker's opinion was as follows:

"As to what you say of Byron's volume, no doubt there are _longueurs_,
but really not many. The most teasing part is the blanks, which perplex
without concealing. I also think that Moore went on a wrong principle,
when, publishing _any_ personality, he did not publish _all_. It is like
a suppression of evidence. When such horrors are published of Sir S.
Romilly, it would have been justice to his memory to show that, on the
_slightest_ provocation, Byron would treat his dearest friend in the
same style. When his sneers against Lady Byron and her mother are
recorded, it would lessen their effect if it were shown that he sneered
at all man and womankind in turn; and that the friend of his choicest
selection, or the mistress of his maddest love, were served no better,
when the maggot (selfishness) bit, than his wife or his mother-in-law."

The appearance of the Life induced Captain Medwin to publish his
"Conversations with Lord Byron," a work now chiefly remembered as having
called forth from Murray, who was attacked in it, a reply which, as a
crashing refutation of personal charges, has seldom been surpassed.
[Footnote: Mr. Murray's answer to Medwin's fabrications is published in
the Appendix to the 8vo edition of "Lord Byron's Poems."]

Amongst the reviews of the biography was one by Lockhart in the
_Quarterly_ (No. 87), which was very favourable; but an article, by Mr.
Croker in No. 91, on another of Moore's works--the "Life of Lord Edward
Fitzgerald"--was of a very different character. Murray told Moore of the
approaching appearance of the article in the next number, and Moore
enters in his Diary, "Saw my 'Lord Edward Fitzgerald' announced as one
of the articles in the _Quarterly_, to be abused of course; and this too
immediately after my dinings and junketings with both author and

_Mr. Moore to John Murray_.

_October_ 25, 1831.

... I see that what I took for a joke of yours is true, and that you are
_at_ me in this number of the _Quarterly_. I have desired Power to send
you back my copy when it comes, not liking to read it just now for
reasons. In the meantime, here's some _good_-humoured doggerel for you:


_Editur et edit_.

No! Editors don't care a button,
  What false and faithless things they do;
They'll let you come and cut their mutton,
  And then, they'll have a cut at you.

With Barnes I oft my dinner took,
  Nay, met e'en Horace Twiss to please him:
Yet Mister Barnes traduc'd my Book,
  For which may his own devils seize him!

With Doctor Bowring I drank tea,
  Nor of his cakes consumed a particle;
And yet th' ungrateful LL.D.
  Let fly at me, next week, an article!

John Wilson gave me suppers hot,
  With bards of fame, like Hogg and Packwood;
A dose of black-strap then I got,
  And after a still worse of Blackwood.

Alas! and must I close the list
  With thee, my Lockhart of the _Quarterly?_
So kind, with bumper in thy fist,--
  With pen, so very gruff and tartarly.

Now in thy parlour feasting me,
  Now scribbling at me from your garret,--
Till, 'twixt the two, in doubt I be,
  Which sourest is, thy wit or claret?

Should you again see the Noble Scott before he goes, remember me most
affectionately to him. Ever yours,

Thomas Moore.

Mr. Murray now found himself at liberty to proceed with his cherished
scheme of a complete edition of Lord Byron's works.

_John Murray to Mr. Moore._

February 28, 1832.

When I commenced this complete edition of Byron's works I was so out of
heart by the loss upon the first edition of the "Life," and by the
simultaneous losses from the failure of three booksellers very largely
in my debt, that I had little if any hopes of its success, and I felt
myself under the necessity of declining your kind offer to edit it,
because I did not think that I should have had it in my power to offer
you an adequate remuneration. But now that the success of this
speculation is established, if you will do me the favour to do what you
propose, I shall have great satisfaction in giving you 500 guineas for
your labours.

Most sincerely yours,

John Murray.

In 1837, the year in which the work now in contemplation was published,
the Countess Guiccioli was in London, and received much kindness from
Mr. Murray. After her return to Rome, she wrote to him a long letter,
acknowledging the beautifully bound volume of the landscape and portrait
illustrations of Lord Byron's works. She complained, however, of
Brockedon's portrait of herself.

_Countess Guiccioli to John Murray_.

"It is not resembling, and to tell you the truth, my dear Mr. Murray, I
wish it was so; not on account of the ugliness of features (which is
also remarkable), but particularly for having this portrait an
expression of _stupidity_, and for its being _molto antipatico_, as we
say in our language. But perhaps it is not the fault of the painter, but
of the original, and I am sorry for that. What is certain is that
towards such a creature nobody may feel inclined to be indulgent; and if
she has faults and errors to be pardoned for, she will never be so on
account of her _antipatia_! But pray don't say that to Mr. Brockedon."

A copy was likewise sent to Sir R. Peel with the following letter:

ALBEMARLE STREET, _April_ 17, 1837.


As the invaluable instructions which you addressed to the students of
the University of Glasgow have as completely associated your name with
the literature of this country, as your political conduct has with its
greatest statesmen, I trust that I shall be pardoned for having
inscribed to you (without soliciting permission) the present edition of
the works of one of our greatest poets, "your own school-and
form-fellow," _Byron_.

I have the honour to be, etc.,


_The Right Hon. Sir R. Peel to John Murray_.

WHITEHALL, _April_ 18, 1837.


I am much flattered by the compliment which you have paid to me in
dedicating to me a beautiful edition of the works of my distinguished
"school-and form-fellow."

I was the next boy to Lord Byron at Harrow for three or four years, and
was always on very friendly terms with him, though not living in
particular intimacy out of school.

I do not recollect ever having a single angry word with him, or that
there ever was any the slightest jealousy or coldness between us.

It is a gratification to me to have my name associated with his in the
manner in which you have placed it in friendly connection; and I do not
believe, if he could have foreseen, when we were boys together at
school, this continuance of a sort of amicable relation between us after
his death, the idea would have been otherwise than pleasing to him.

Believe me,

My dear Sir,

Very faithfully yours,


A few words remain to be added respecting the statue of Lord Byron,
which had been so splendidly executed by Thorwaldsen at Rome. Mr.
Hobhouse wrote to Murray: "Thorwaldsen offers the completed work for
£1,000, together with a bas-relief for the pedestal, suitable for the
subject of the monument." The sculptor's offer was accepted, and the
statue was forwarded from Rome to London. Murray then applied to the
Dean of Westminster, on behalf of the subscribers, requesting to know
"upon what terms the statue now completed could be placed in some
suitable spot in Westminster Abbey." The Dean's answer was as follows:

_The Dean of Westminster to John Murray_.

DEANERY, WESTMINSTER, _December_ 17, 1834.


I have not had the opportunity, till this morning, of consulting with
the Chapter on the subject of your note. When you formerly applied to me
for leave to inter the remains of Lord Byron within this Abbey, I stated
to you the principle on which, as Churchmen, we were compelled to
decline the proposal. The erection of a monument in honour of his memory
which you now desire is, in its proportion, subject to the same
objection. I do indeed greatly wish for a figure by Thorwaldsen here;
but no taste ought to be indulged to the prejudice of a duty.

With my respectful compliments to the Committee, I beg you to believe

Yours truly,


The statue was for some time laid up in a shed on a Thames wharf. An
attempt was made in the House of Commons to alter the decision of the
Dean and Chapter, but it proved of no avail. "I would do my best," said
Mr. Hobhouse, "to prevail upon Sir Robert Peel to use his influence with
the Dean. It is a national disgrace that the statue should lie neglected
in a carrier's ware-house, and it is so felt by men of all parties. I
have had a formal application from Trinity College, Cambridge, for leave
to place the monument in their great library, and it has been intimated
to me that the French Government desire to have it for the Louvre." The
result was that the subscribers, in order to retain the statue in
England, forwarded it to Trinity College, Cambridge, whose noble library
it now adorns.

The only memorial to Byron in London is the contemptible leaning bronze
statue in Apsley House Gardens, nearly opposite the statue of Achilles.
Its pedestal is a block of Parian marble, presented by the Greek
Government as a national tribute to the memory of Byron.



Me. Disraeli's earliest appearance as an author had been with the novel
of "Vivian Grey," published after a brief visit to Germany while he was
still in his eighteenth year. Two volumes were published in 1826, and a
third volume, or continuation, in the following year. The work brought
the author some notoriety, but, as already noticed, it contained matter
which gave offence in Albemarle Street. After the publication of the
first part, which was contemporaneous with the calamitous affair of the
_Representative_, Mr. Murray saw but little of the Disraeli family, but
at the commencement of 1830, Mr. Benjamin Disraeli once more applied to
him for an interview. Mr. Murray, however, in whose mind the former
episode was still fresh, was unwilling to accede to this request, and
replied in the third person.

_John Murray to Mr. B. Disraeli_.

"Mr. Murray is obliged to decline at present any personal interview; but
if Mr. Benjamin Disraeli is disposed to confide his MS. to Mr. Murray as
a man of business, Mr. Disraeli is assured that the proposal will be
entertained in every respect with the strictest honour and

_Mr. B. Disraeli to John Murray_.


The object of my interview with you is _purely literary_. It has always
been my wish, if it ever were my fate to write anything calculated to
arrest public attention, that you should be the organ of introducing it
to public notice. A letter I received this morning from my elected
critic was the reason of my addressing myself to you.

I am sorry that Mr. Mitchell is out of town, because he is a person in
whom you rightly have confidence; but from some observations he made to
me the other day it is perhaps not to be regretted that he does not
interfere in this business. As he has overrated some juvenile
indiscretions of mine, I fear he is too friendly a critic.

I am thus explicit because I think that candour, for all reasons, is
highly desirable. If you feel any inclination to pursue this affair, act
as you like, and fix upon any critic you please. I have no objection to
Mr. Lockhart, who is certainly an able one, and is, I believe,
influenced by no undue partiality towards me.

At all events, this is an affair of no great importance--and whatever
may be your determination, it will not change the feelings which, on my
part, influenced this application. I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,


P.S.--I think it proper to observe that I cannot crudely deliver my MS.
to any one. I must have the honour of seeing you or your critic. I shall
keep this negotiation open for a couple of days--that is, I shall wait
for your answer till Tuesday morning, although, from particular
circumstances, time is important to me.

Mr. Disraeli was about to make a prolonged journey abroad. Before he set
out he again wrote to Mr. Murray:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.

BRADENHAM, BERKS, _May_ 27, 1830.


I am unwilling to leave England, which I do on Saturday, without
noticing your last communication, because I should regret very much if
you were to misconceive the motives which actuated me in not complying
with the suggestion therein contained. I can assure you I leave in
perfect confidence both in your "honour" and your "impartiality," for
the first I have never doubted, and the second it is your interest to

The truth is, my friend and myself differed in the estimate of the MS.
alluded to, and while I felt justified, from his opinion, in submitting
it to your judgment, I felt it due to my own to explain verbally the
contending views of the case, for reasons which must be obvious.

As you forced me to decide, I decided as I thought most prudently. The
work is one which, I dare say, would neither disgrace you to publish,
nor me to write; but it is not the kind of production which should
recommence our connection, or be introduced to the world by the
publisher of Byron and Anastasius.

I am now about to leave England for an indefinite, perhaps a long
period. When I return, if I do return, I trust it will be in my power
for the _third time_ to endeavour that you should be the means of
submitting my works to the public. For this I shall be ever ready to
make great sacrifices, and let me therefore hope that when I next offer
my volumes to your examination, like the Sibylline books, their
inspiration may at length be recognised.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,


_John Murray to Mr. Disraeli_.

_May_ 29, 1830.

Mr. Murray acknowledges the receipt of Mr. Benjamin Disraeli's polite
letter of the 27th. Mr. Murray will be ready at all times to receive any
MS. which Mr. B. Disraeli may think proper to confide to him. Mr. Murray
hopes the result of Mr. Disraeli's travels will complete the restoration
of his health, and the gratification of his expectations."

Nearly two years passed before Mr. Disraeli returned to England from
those travels in Spain, the Mediterranean and the Levant, which are so
admirably described in his "Home Letters," [Footnote: "Home Letters,"
written by the late Earl of Beaconsfield in 1830 and 1831. London,
1885.] and which appear to have exercised so powerful an influence on
his own character, and his subsequent career. Shortly after his return,
he wrote to Mr. Murray:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.


_February_ 10, 1832.


I have at length completed a work which I wish to submit to your
consideration. In so doing, I am influenced by the feelings I have
already communicated to you.

If you retain the wish expressed in a note which I received at Athens in
the autumn of 1830, I shall have the honour of forwarding the MS, to
you. Believe me, Sir, whatever may be the result,

Very cordially yours,


The MS. of the work was at once forwarded to Mr. Murray, who was,
however, averse to publishing it without taking the advice of his
friends. He first sent it to Mr. Lockhart, requesting him to read it and
pronounce his opinion.

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_March_ 3, 1832.

"I can't say what ought to be done with this book. To me, knowing whose
it is, it is full of interest; but the affectations and absurdities are
such that I can't but think they would disgust others more than the life
and brilliancy of many of the descriptions would please them. You should
send it to Milman without saying who is the author.--J.G.L."

The MS. was accordingly sent to Mr. Milman, but as he was very ill at
the time, and could not read it himself, but transferred it to his wife,
much delay occurred in its perusal. Meanwhile, Mr. Disraeli became very
impatient about the publication, and again wrote:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.

_March_ 4, 1832.


I wish that I could simplify our arrangements by a stroke by making you
a present of "The Psychological Romance"; but at present you must indeed
take the will for the deed, although I hope the future will allow us to
get on more swimmingly. That work has, in all probability, cost me more
than I shall ever obtain by it, and indeed I may truly say that to write
that work I have thrown to the winds all the obvious worldly prospects
of life.

I am ready to make every possible sacrifice on my part to range myself
under your colours. I will willingly give up the immediate and positive
receipt of a large sum of money for the copyright, and by publishing the
work anonymously renounce that certain sale which, as a successful,
although I confess not very worthy author, I can command. But in
quitting my present publisher, I incur, from the terms of our last
agreement, a _virtual penalty_, which I have no means to pay excepting
from the proceeds of my pen. Have you, therefore, any objection to
advance me a sum on the anticipated profits of the edition, not
exceeding two hundred pounds?

It grieves me much to appear exacting to you, but I frankly tell you the
reason, and, as it will enable me to place myself at your disposal, I
hope you will not consider me mercenary, when I am indeed influenced by
the most sincere desire to meet your views.

If this modification of your arrangement will suit you, as I fervently
trust it will, I shall be delighted to accede to your wishes. In that
case let me know without loss of time, and pray let us meet to talk over
minor points, as to the mode of publication, etc. I shall be at home all
the morning; my time is very much occupied, and on Thursday or Friday I
must run down, for a day or two, to Wycombe to attend a public meeting.
[Footnote: Mr. Disraeli was then a candidate, on the Radical side, for
the borough of Wycombe.]

Fervently trusting that this arrangement will meet your wishes,

Believe me, yours,


While the MS. was still in Mr. Milman's hands, Mr. Disraeli followed
this up with another letter:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_


MY DEAR SIR, I am very sensible that you have conducted yourself, with
regard to my MS., in the most honourable, kind, and judicious manner;
and I very much regret the result of your exertions, which neither of us

I can wait no longer. The delay is most injurious to me, and in every
respect very annoying. I am therefore under the painful necessity of
requesting you to require from your friend the return of my work without
a moment's delay, but I shall not deny myself the gratification of
thanking you for your kindness and subscribing myself, with regard,

Your faithful Servant,


At length Mr. Milman's letter arrived, expressing his judgment on the
work, which was much more satisfactory than that of Mr. Lockhart.

_The Rev. H.H. Milman to John Murray_.

READING, _March_ 5, 1832.


I have been utterly inefficient for the last week, in a state of almost
complete blindness; but am now, I trust, nearly restored. Mrs. Milman,
however, has read to me the whole of the MS. It is a very remarkable
production--very wild, very extravagant, very German, very powerful,
very poetical. It will, I think, be much read--as far as one dare
predict anything of the capricious taste of the day--much admired, and
much abused. It is much more in the Macaulay than in the Croker line,
and the former is evidently in the ascendant. Some passages will startle
the rigidly orthodox; the phrenologists will be in rapture. I tell you
all this, that you may judge for yourself. One thing insist upon, if you
publish it-that the title be changed. The whole beauty, of the latter
part especially, is its truth. It is a rapid volume of travels, a
"Childe Harold" in prose; therefore do not let it be called "a Romance"
on any account. Let those who will, believe it to be a real history, and
those who are not taken in, dispute whether it is truth or fiction. If
it makes any sensation, this will add to its notoriety. "A Psychological
Auto-Biography" would be too sesquipedalian a title; but "My Life
Psychologically Related," or "The Psychology of my Life," or some such
title, might be substituted.


Before Mr. Milman's communication had been received, another pressing
letter arrived from Mr. Disraeli.

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.


It is with deep regret and some mortification that I appear to press
you. It is of the highest importance to me that the "P.R." should
appear without loss of time. I have an impending election in the
country, which a single and not improbable event may precipitate. It is
a great object with me, that my work should be published before that

Its rejection by you will only cause me sorrow. I have no desire that
you should become its publisher, unless you conceive it may be the first
of a series of works, which may support your name, and sustain your
fortunes. There is no question of pecuniary matters between us; I leave
all these with you, with illimitable trust.

Pray, pray, my dear Sir, do not let me repent the feelings which impel
me to seek this renewal of our connection. I entreat therefore your
attention to this subject, and request that you will communicate your

Believe me, as I have already said, that whatever that decision may be,
I shall not the less consider myself,

Very cordially yours,


And again, in a subsequent letter, Mr. Disraeli said:

"There is no work of fiction on whose character I could not decide in
four-and-twenty hours, and your critic ought not to be less able than
your author. Pray, therefore, to communicate without loss of time to
your obedient faithful servant.


On receiving Mr. Milman's approval, Mr. Murray immediately made up his
mind to publish the work. He wrote to Mr. Disraeli:

_John Murray to Mr. Disraeli_.

_March_ 6, 1832.


Your MS. has this moment been returned to me, accompanied by a
commendation which enables me to say that I should be proud of being its
publisher. But in these times I am obliged to refrain from speculation,
and I cannot offer any sum for it that is likely to be equal to its
probable value.

I would, however, if it so please you, print at my expense an edition of
1,200 or 1,500 copies, and give you half the profits; and after the sale
of this edition, the copyright shall be entirely your own; so that if
the work prove as successful as I anticipate, you will ensure all the
advantages of it without incurring any risque. If this proposal should
not suit you, I beg to add that I shall, for the handsome offer of your
work in the first instance, still remain,

Your obedient Servant,


Some further correspondence took place as to the title of the work.
"What do you think," said Mr. Disraeli, "of the 'Psychological Memoir'?
I hesitate between this and 'Narrative,' but discard 'History' or
'Biography.' On survey, I conceive the MS. will make four Byronic tomes,
according to the pattern you were kind enough to show me." The work was
at length published in 4 vols., foolscap 8vo, with the title of
"Contarini Fleming: a Psychological Biography."

Before the appearance of the work, Mr. Disraeli wrote to Mr. Murray as

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.

BRADENHAM HOUSE, _May_ 6, 1832.


From the notice of "C.F." in the _Literary Gazette_, which I received
this morning, I imagine that Jerdan has either bribed the printer, or
purloined some sheets. It is evident that he has only seen the last
volume. It is unnecessary for me to observe that such premature notice,
written in such complete ignorance of the work, can do no good. I think
that he should be reprimanded, and his petty larceny arrested. I shall
be in town on Tuesday.

Yours, B.D.

The work, when it appeared in 1833, excited considerable sensation, and
was very popular at the time of its publication. It is now included in
the uniform edition of Lord Beaconsfield's works.

During his travels in the East, Mr. Disraeli was attended by Lord
Byron's faithful gondolier, who had accompanied his master to
Missolonghi, and remained with him till his death.

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.

DUKE STREET, _July 5_, 1832.


I have just returned to town, and will call in Albemarle Street as soon
as I can. Tita, Lord Byron's faithful servant, and [Footnote: See note,
p. 259.] who was also my travelling companion in the East, called upon
me this morning. I thought you might wish to see one so intimately
connected with the lost bard, and who is himself one of the most
deserving creatures in the world.

Yours faithfully,


At the same time that Mr. Disraeli was engaged on his novel, he was busy
with another, but this time a political work entitled "England and
France: a Cure for the Ministerial Gallomania," dedicated to Lord Grey.
The first letter on the subject--after Mr. Murray had agreed to publish
the work--appears to have been the following, from Bradenham, Monday
night, but without date:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.


By to-morrow's coach, at your desire, I send you one-half of the volume,
which, however, is not in the finished state I could have wished. I have
materials for any length, but it is desirable to get out without a
moment's loss of time. It has been suggested to publish a volume
periodically, and let this come out as No. 1; so as to establish a
journal of general foreign politics, for which there are ample means of
first-rate information. I have not been able even to revise what is
sent, but it will sufficiently indicate the work.

I am to meet a personage on Thursday evening in town, and read over the
whole to him. It is therefore absolutely necessary that the MS. should
be returned to you on Thursday morning, and I will call in Albemarle
Street the moment of my arrival, which will be about four o'clock. If in
time, acknowledge the receipt by return of post.

The remaining portion of the volume consists of several more dramatic
scenes in Paris, a view of the character and career of L.P., [Footnote:
Louis Philippe.] a most curious chapter on the conduct of the
Diplomatists, and a general view of the state of Europe at the moment of
publication. Pray be cautious, and above all let me depend upon your
having the MS. on Thursday, otherwise, as Liston says in "Love, Law and
Physic," "_we shall get all shot_."


_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_,

_Friday_, 11 o'clock.


I much regret that I missed you yesterday, but I called upon you the
instant I arrived. I very much wish to talk over the "Gallomania," and
will come on to you, if it be really impossible for you to pay me a
visit. I have so much at this moment on my hands, that I should esteem
such an incident, not only an honour, but a convenience.


There seems to have been a difference of opinion between the author and
the publisher respecting the title of the book:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.


I have a great respect for your judgment, especially on the subject of
titles, as I have shown in another instance, one which I shall ever
regret. In the present, I shall be happy to receive from you any
suggestion, but I can offer none. To me the _Gallomania_ (or _mania_ for
what is French) appears to be one of the most felicitous titles ever
devised. It is comprehensive, it is explicit, it is poignant and
intelligible, as I should suppose, to learned and unlearned. The word
_Anglomania_ is one of the commonest on the other side of the channel,
is repeated daily in almost every newspaper; has been the title of one
or two works; and of the best farce in the French language. It is here
also common and intelligible.

There is no objection to erasing the epithet "New," if you think it
loads the title.

Yours truly,


The three following letters were written on the same day:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_. DUKE STREET, _March_ 30, 1832.


I am going to dine with Baron D'Haussez, Baron de Haber, _et hoc genus_,
today, and must report progress, otherwise they will think I am trifling
with them. Have you determined on a title? What think you of "A Cure for
the Ministerial Gallomania," and advertise, dedicated to Lord Grey? Pray
decide. You are aware I have not yet received a proof. Affairs look
awkward in France. Beware lest we are a day after the fair, and only
annalists instead of prophets.

Your very faithful Servant, B. DISRAELI.

_March_ 30.


I think it does very well, and I hope you are also satisfied. I shall
send you the rest of the MS. tomorrow morning. There is a very
remarkable chapter on Louis Philippe which is at present with Baron
D'Haussez; and this is the reason I have not forwarded it to you. I keep
the advertisement to show them.



In further answer to your note received this evening, I think it proper
to observe that I entirely agree with you that I "am bound to make as
few alterations as possible," coming as they do from such a quarter; and
I have acted throughout in such a spirit. All alterations and omissions
of consequence are in this first sheet, and I have retained in the
others many things of which I do not approve, merely on account of my
respect for the source from whence they are derived.

While you remind me of what I observed to your son, let me also remind
you of the condition with which my permission was accompanied, viz.:
that everything was to be submitted to my approval, and subject to my
satisfaction. On this condition I have placed the proofs in the hands of
several persons not less distinguished than your friend, [Footnote: Mr.
Croker, with Mr. B. Disraeli's knowledge, revised the proofs.] and
superior even in rank and recent office. Their papers are on my table,
and I shall be happy to show them to you. I will mention one: the
chapter on Belgium was originally written by the Plenipotentiary of the
King of Holland to the Conference, Baron Van Zuylen. Scarcely a line of
the original composition remains, although a very able one, because it
did not accord with the main design of the book.

With regard to the omission, pp. 12, 13, I acknowledge its felicity; but
it is totally at variance with every other notice of M. de Talleyrand in
the work, and entirely dissonant with the elaborate mention of him in
the last chapter. When the reviser introduced this pungent remark, he
had never even read the work he was revising.

With regard to the authorship of this work, I should never be ashamed of
being considered the author, I should be _proud to be_; but I am not. It
is written by Legion, but I am one of them, and I bear the
responsibility. If it be supposed to be written by a Frenchman, all its
good effects must be marred, as it seeks to command attention and
interest by its purely British spirit.

I have no desire to thrust my acquaintance on your critic. More than
once, I have had an opportunity to form that acquaintance, and more than
once I have declined it, but I am ready to bear the _brunt of
explanation_, if you desire me.

It is quite impossible that anything adverse to the general measure of
Reform can issue from my pen or from anything to which I contribute.
Within these four months I have declined being returned for a Tory
borough, and almost within these four hours, to mention slight affairs,
I have refused to inscribe myself a member of "The Conservative Club." I
cannot believe that you will place your critic's feelings for a few
erased passages against my permanent interest.

But in fact these have nothing to do with the question. To convenience
you, I have no objection to wash my hands of the whole business, and put
you in direct communication with my coadjutors. I can assure you that it
is from no regard for my situation that Reform was omitted, but because
they are of opinion that its notice would be unwise and injurious. For
myself, I am ready to do anything that you can desire, except entirely
change my position in life.

I will see your critic, if you please, or you can give up the
publication and be reimbursed, which shall make no difference in our
other affairs. All I ask in this and all other affairs, are candour and

The present business is most pressing. At present I am writing a chapter
on Poland from intelligence just received, and it will be ready for the
printer tomorrow morning, as I shall finish it before I retire. I await
your answer with anxiety.

Yours truly,


Mr. Disraeli was evidently intent upon the immediate publication of his
work. On the following day he wrote again to Mr. Murray:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.

_March_ 31, 1832.


We shall have an opportunity of submitting the work to Count Orloff
tomorrow morning, in case you can let me have a set of the proofs
tonight, I mean as far as we have gone. I do not like to send mine,
which are covered with corrections.

Yours truly, B.D.

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_. _Monday morning_, 9 _o'clock [April_ 2].


Since I had the honour of addressing you the note of last night, I have
seen the Baron. Our interview was intended to have been a final one, and
it was therefore absolutely necessary that I should apprize him of all
that had happened, of course concealing the name of your friend. The
Baron says that the insertion of the obnoxious passages is fatal to all
his combinations; that he has devoted two months of the most valuable
time to this affair, and that he must hold me personally responsible for
the immediate fulfilment of my agreement, viz.: to ensure its
publication when finished.

We dine at the same house today, and I have pledged myself to give him a
categorical reply at that time, and to ensure its publication by some
mode or other.

Under these principal circumstances, my dear sir, I can only state that
the work must be published at once, and with the omission of all
passages hostile to Reform; and that if you are unwilling to introduce
it in that way, I request from your friendliness such assistance as you
can afford me about the printer, etc., to occasion its immediate
publication in some other quarter.

After what took place between myself and my coadjutor last night, I
really can have for him only one answer or one alternative, and as I
wish to give him the first, and ever avoid the second, I look forward
with confidence to your answer.


Mr. Disraeli next desires to have a set of the proofs to put into the
hands of the Duke of Wellington:

_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_,

_April_ 6, 1832.


I have just received a note, that if I can get a set of clean proofs by
Sunday, they will be put in the Duke's hands preliminary to the debate.
I thought you would like to know this. Do you think it impossible? Let
this be between us. I am sorry to give you all this trouble, but I know
your zeal, and the interest you take in these affairs. I myself will
never keep the printer, and engage when the proofs are sent me to
prepare them for the press within an hour.



_Mr. Disraeli to John Murray_.


I am very glad to receive the copy. I think that one should be sent to
the editor of the _Times_ as quickly as possible; that at least he
should not be anticipated in the receipt, even if in the _notice_, by a
Sunday paper. But I leave all this to your better judgment. You will
send copies to Duke Street as soon as you have them.


After the article in the _Times_ had appeared, Baron de Haber, a
mysterious German gentleman of Jewish extraction, who had taken part in
the production of "Gallomania," wrote to Mr. Murray:

_Baron de Haber to John Murray_.

2 _Mai_, 1832.


J'espère que vous serez content de l'article de _Times_ sur la
"Gallomania." C'est un grand pas de fait. Il serait utile que le
_Standard_ et le _Morning Post_ le copie en entier, avec des
observations dans son sens. C'est a vous, mon cher Monsieur Murray, de
soigner cet objet. J'ai infiniment regrette de ne m'etre pas trouve chez
moi hier, lorsque vous etes venu me voir, avec l'aimable Mr. Lockhart.

Tout a vous,


_Baron de Haber to John Murray_.



Vous desirez dans l'intèrêt de l'ouvrage faire mentionner dans le
_Standard_ que le _Times_ d'aujourd'hui paroît etre assez d'accord avec
l'auteur de la "Gallomania" sur M. Thiers, espérant que de jour en jour
il reviendra aux idees de cet auteur.

Il seroit aussi convenable de dire que la _prophétie_ dans la lettre à
_My Lord Grey_ était assez juste: Allusion--"In less than a month we
shall no doubt hear of their _warm_ reception in the Provinces, and of
some gratifying, perhaps startling, demonstrations of national
gratitude." Voyez, mon cher Monsieur, comme depuis 8 jours ces pauvres
Députés qui ont voté pour le Ministre sont traités, Si vous étes à la
maison ce soir, dites-le-moi, je désire vous parler. Dinez-vous

Votre dévoué,


The following announcement was published by Mr. Disraeli in reply to
certain criticisms of his work:

"I cannot allow myself to omit certain observations of my able critic
without remarking that those omissions are occasioned by no
insensibility to their acuteness.

"Circumstances of paramount necessity render it quite impossible that
anything can proceed from my pen hostile to the general question of

"Independent however of all personal considerations, and viewing the
question of Reform for a moment in the light in which my critic
evidently speculates, I would humbly suggest that the cause which he
advocates would perhaps be more united in the present pages by being
passed over _in silence_. It is important that this work should be a
work not of _party_ but of national interest, and I am induced to
believe that a large class in this country, who think themselves bound
to support the present administration from a superficial sympathy with
their domestic measures, have long viewed their foreign policy with
distrust and alarm.

"If the public are at length convinced that Foreign Policy, instead of
being an abstract and isolated division of the national interests, is in
fact the basis of our empire and present order, and that this basis
shakes under the unskilful government of the Cabinet, the public may be
induced to withdraw their confidence from that Cabinet altogether.

"With this exception, I have adopted all the additions and alterations
that I have yet had the pleasure of seeing without reserve, and I seize
this opportunity of expressing my sense of their justness and their

"_The Author of 'Gallomania_.'" [Footnote: Several references are made
to "Contarini Fleming" and "Gallomania" in "Lord Beaconsfield's Letters
to his Sister," published in 1887.]

The next person whom we shall introduce to the reader was one who had
but little in common with Mr. Benjamin Disraeli, except that, like him,
he had at that time won little of that world-wide renown which he was
afterwards to achieve. This "writer of books," as he described himself,
was no other than Thomas Carlyle, who, when he made the acquaintance of
Mr. Murray, had translated Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister," written the "Life
of Schiller," and several articles in the Reviews; but was not yet known
as a literary man of mark. He was living among the bleak, bare moors of
Dumfriesshire at Craigenputtock, where he was consoled at times by
visits from Jeffrey and Emerson, and by letters from Goethe, and where
he wrote that strange and rhapsodical book "Sartor Resartus," containing
a considerable portion of his own experience. After the MS. was nearly
finished, he wrapt it in a piece of paper, put in it his pocket, and
started for Dumfries, on his way to London.

Mr. Francis Jeffrey, then Lord Advocate, recommended Carlyle to try
Murray, because, "in spite of its radicalism, he would be the better
publisher." Jeffrey wrote to Mr. Murray on the subject, without
mentioning Carlyle's name:

_Mr. Jeffrey to John Murray_. _May_ I, 1831.

"Lord Jeffrey [Footnote: Jeffrey writes thus, although he did not become
a Lord of Session till 1834.] understands that the earlier chapters of
this work (which is the production of a friend of his) were shown some
months ago to Mr. Murray (or his reader), and were formally judged of;
though, from its incomplete state, no proposal for its publication could
then be entertained. What is now sent completes it; the earlier chapters
being now under the final perusal of the author.

"Lord Jeffrey, who thinks highly of the author's abilities, ventures to
beg Mr. Murray to look at the MS. now left with him, and to give him, as
soon as possible, his opinion as to its probable success on publication;
and also to say whether he is willing to undertake it, and on what

Carlyle, who was himself at the time in London, called upon Mr. Murray,
and left with him a portion of the manuscript, and an outline of the
proposed volume.

_Mr. Carlyle to John Murray_.


_Wednesday, August_ 10, 1831.


I here send you the MS. concerning which I have, for the present, only
to repeat my urgent request that no time may be lost in deciding on it.
At latest, next Wednesday I shall wait upon you, to see what further, or
whether anything further is to be done.

In the meanwhile, it is perhaps unnecessary to say, that the whole
business is strictly confidential; the rather, as I wish to publish

I remain, dear Sir, yours truly,


Be so kind as to write, by the bearer, these two words, "MS. received."

When Carlyle called a second time Murray was not at home, but he found
that the parcel containing the MS. had not been opened. He again wrote
to the publisher on the following Friday:

_Mr. Carlyle to John Murray_.


As I am naturally very anxious to have this little business that lies
between us off my hands--and, perhaps, a few minutes' conversation would
suffice to settle it all--I will again request, in case I should be so
unlucky as to miss you in Albemarle Street, that you would have the
goodness to appoint me a short meeting at any, the earliest, hour that
suits your convenience.

I remain, dear Sir, yours truly,


This was followed up by a letter from Mr. Jeffrey:

_Mr. Jeffrey to John Murray_.

_Sunday, August_ 28, 1831.


Will you favour me with a few minutes' conversation, any morning of this
week (the early part of it, if possible), on the subject of my friend
Carlyle's projected publication. I have looked a little into the MS. and
can tell you something about it. Believe me, always, very faithfully


The interview between Jeffrey and Murray led to an offer for the MS.

_Mr. Carlyle to John Murray_.



I have seen the Lord Advocate [Jeffrey], who informs me that you are
willing to print an edition of 750 copies of my MS., at your own cost,
on the principle of what is called "half profits"; the copyright of the
book after that to belong to myself. I came down at present to say
that, being very anxious to have you as a publisher, and to see my book
put forth soon, I am ready to accede to these terms; and I should like
much to meet you, or hear from you, at your earliest convenience, that
the business might be actually put in motion. I much incline to think,
in contrasting the character of my little speculation with the character
of the times, that _now_ (even in these months, say in November) were
the best season for emitting it. Hoping soon to see all this pleasantly

I remain, dear Sir, yours truly,


Mr. Murray was willing to undertake the risk of publishing 750 copies,
and thus to allow the author to exhibit his literary wares to the
public. Even if the whole edition had sold, the pecuniary results to
both author and publisher would have been comparatively trifling, but as
the copyright was to remain in the author's possession, and he would
have been able to make a much better bargain with the future editions,
the terms may be considered very liberal, having regard to the
exceptional nature of the work. Mr. Carlyle, however, who did not know
the usual custom of publishers, had in the meantime taken away his MS.
and offered it to other publishers in London, evidently to try whether
he could not get a better bid for his book. Even Jeffrey thought it "was
too much of the nature of a rhapsody, to command success or respectful
attention." The publishers thought the same. Carlyle took the MS. to
Fraser of Regent Street, who offered to publish it if Carlyle would
_give him_ a sum not exceeding £150 sterling. He had already been to
Longmans & Co., offering them his "German Literary History," but they
declined to publish the work, and he now offered them his "Sartor
Resartus," with a similar result. He also tried Colburn and Bentley, but
without success. When Murray, then at Ramsgate, heard that Carlyle had
been offering his book to other publishers, he wrote to him:

_John Murray to Mr. Carlyle_.

_September_ 17, 1831.


Your conversation with me respecting the publication of your MS. led me
to infer that you had given me the preference, and certainly not that
you had already submitted it to the greatest publishers in London, who
had declined to engage in it. Under these circumstances it will be
necessary for me also to get it read by some literary friend, before I
can, in justice to myself, engage in the printing of it.

I am, dear Sir, your faithful servant,


To this Mr. Carlyle replied:

_September_ 19, 1831


I am this moment favoured with your note of the 17th, and beg to say, in

_First_.--That your idea, derived from conversation with me, of my
giving you the preference to all other Publishers, was perfectly
correct. I had heard you described as a man of honour, frankness, and
even generosity, and knew you to have the best and widest connexions; on
which grounds, I might well say, and can still well say, that a
transaction with you would please me better than a similar one with any
other member of the Trade.

_Secondly_.--That your information, of my having submitted my MS. to the
greatest publishers in London, if you mean that, after coming out of
your hands, it lay two days in those of Messrs. Longman & Rees, and was
from them delivered over to the Lord Advocate, is also perfectly
correct: if you mean anything else, incorrect.

_Thirdly_.--That if you wish the Bargain, which I had understood myself
to have made with you, unmade, you have only to cause your Printer, who
is now working on my MS., to return the same, without damage or delay,
and consider the business as finished. I remain, Sir, your obedient


In the meantime Murray submitted the MS. to one of his literary
advisers, probably Lockhart, whose report was not very encouraging.
Later, as Mr. Carlyle was unwilling to entertain the idea of taking his
manuscript home with him, and none of the other publishers would accept
it, he urgently requested Mr. Murray again to examine it, and come to
some further decision. "While I, with great readiness," he said, "admit
your views, and shall cheerfully release you from all engagement, or
shadow of engagement, with me in regard to it: the rather, as it seems
reasonable for me to expect some higher remuneration for a work that has
cost me so much effort, were it once fairly examined, such remuneration
as was talked of between _us_ can, I believe, at all times, be
procured." He then proposed "a quite new negotiation, if you incline to
enter on such"; and requested his decision. "If not, pray have the
goodness to cause my papers to be returned with the least possible
delay." The MS. was at once returned; and Carlyle acknowledged its

_Mr. Carlyle to John Murray_.

_October_ 6, 1831.


I have received the MS., with your note and your friend's criticism, and
I find it all safe and right. In conclusion, allow me to thank you for
your punctuality and courtesy in this part of the business; and to join
cordially in the hope you express that, in some fitter case, a closer
relation may arise between us. I remain, my dear Sir, faithfully yours,


Mr. Carlyle returned to Craigenputtock with his manuscript in his
pocket; very much annoyed and disgusted by the treatment of the London
publishers. Shortly after his arrival at home, he wrote to Mr. Macvey
Napier, then editor of the _Edinburgh Review_:

"All manner of perplexities have occurred in the publishing of my poor
book, which perplexities I could only cut asunder, not unloose; so the
MS., like an unhappy ghost, still lingers on the wrong side of Styx: the
Charon of Albemarle Street durst not risk it in his _sutilis cymba_, so
it leaped ashore again. Better days are coming, and new trials will end
more happily."

A little later (February 6, 1832) he said:

"I have given up the notion of hawking my little manuscript book about
any further. For a long time it has lain quiet in its drawer, waiting
for a better day. The bookselling trade seems on the edge of
dissolution; the force of puffing can go no further; yet bankruptcy
clamours at every door: sad fate! to serve the Devil, and get no wages
even from him! The poor bookseller Guild, I often predict to myself,
will ere long be found unfit for the strange part it now plays in our
European World; and give place to new and higher arrangements, of which
the coming shadows are already becoming visible."

The "Sartor Resartus" was not, however, lost. Two years after Carlyle's
visit to London, it came out, bit by bit, in _Fraser's Magazine_.
Through the influence of Emerson, it was issued, as a book, at Boston,
in the United States, and Carlyle got some money for his production. It
was eventually published in England, and, strange to say, has had the
largest sale in the "People's Edition of Carlyle's Works." Carlyle,
himself, created the taste to appreciate "Sartor Resartus."



In July 1838 Mr. W.E. Gladstone, then Tory member of Parliament for
Newark-upon-Trent, wrote to Mr. Murray from 6 Carlton Gardens, informing
him that he has written and thinks of publishing some papers on the
subject of the relationship of the "Church and the State," which would
probably fill a moderate octavo volume, and that he would be glad to
know if Mr. Murray would be inclined to see them. Mr. Murray saw the
papers, and on August 9 he agreed with Mr. Gladstone to publish 750 or
1,000 copies of the work on "Church and State," on half profits, the
copyright to remain with the author after the first edition was sold.
The work was immediately sent to press, and proofs were sent to Mr.
Gladstone, about to embark for Holland. A note was received by Mr.
Murray from the author (August 17, 1838):

"I write a line from Rotterdam to say that sea-sickness prevented my
correcting the proofs on the passage."

This was Mr. Gladstone's first appearance in the character of an author,
and the work proved remarkably successful, four editions being called
for in the course of three years. It was reviewed by Macaulay in the
_Edinburgh_ for April 1839, and in the _Quarterly_ by the Rev. W. Sewell
in December. "Church Principles," published in 1840, did not meet with
equal success. Two years later we find a reference to the same subject.

_Mr. W.E. Gladstone to John Murray_.

13 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE, _April_ 6, 1842.


I thank you very much for your kindness in sending me the new number of
the _Quarterly_. As yet I have only read a part of the article on the
Church of England, which seems to be by a known hand, and to be full of
very valuable research: I hope next to turn to Lord Mahon's "Joan of

Amidst the pressure of more urgent affairs, I have held no consultation
with you regarding my books and the sale or no sale of them. As to the
third edition of the "State in its Relations," I should think the
remaining copies had better be got rid of in whatever summary or
ignominious mode you may deem best. They must be dead beyond recall. As
to the others, I do not know whether the season of the year has at all
revived the demand; and would suggest to you whether it would be well to
advertise them a little. I do not think they find their way much into
the second-hand shops.

With regard to the fourth edition, I do not know whether it would be
well to procure any review or notice of it, and I am not a fair judge of
its merits even in comparison with the original form of the work; but my
idea is, that it is less defective both in the theoretical and in the
historical development, and ought to be worth the notice of those who
deemed the earlier editions worth their notice and purchase: that it
would really put a reader in possession of the view it was intended to
convey, which I fear is more than can with any truth be said of its

I am not, however, in any state of anxiety or impatience: and I am
chiefly moved to refer these suggestions to your judgment from
perceiving that the Fourth Edition is as yet far from having cleared

I remain always,

Very faithfully yours,


In the same year another author of different politics and strong
anti-slavery views appeared to claim Mr. Murray's assistance as a
publisher. It was Mr. Thomas Fowell Buxton, M.P., who desired him to
publish his work upon the "Slave Trade and its Remedy."

_Mr. Buxton to John Murray_.

_December_ 31, 1837.

"The basis of my proposed book has already been brought before the
Cabinet Ministers in a confidential letter addressed to Lord
Melbourne.... It is now my purpose to publish a portion of the work, on
the nature, extent, and horrors of the slave trade, and the failure of
the efforts hitherto made to suppress it, [Footnote: See "Life of W.E.
Forster," ch. iv.] reserving the remainder for another volume to be
published at a future day. I should like to have 1,500 copies of the
first volume thrown off without delay."

The book was published, and was followed by a cheaper volume in the
following year, of which a large number was sold and distributed.

The following letter illustrates the dangerous results of reading sleepy
books by candle-light in bed:

_Mr. Longman to John Murray_.



Can you oblige me by letting me have a third volume of "Wilberforce"?
The fact is, that in reading that work, my neighbour, Mr. Alexander,
fell fast asleep from exhaustion, and, setting himself on fire, burnt
the volume and his bed, to the narrow escape of the whole Terrace. Since
that book has been published, premiums of fire assurance are up, and not
having already insured my No. 2, now that the fire has broken out near
my own door, no office will touch my house nor any others in the Terrace
until it is ascertained that Mr. Alexander has finished with the book.
So pray consider our position, and let me have a third volume to make up
the set as soon as possible.

Mr. Murray had agreed with the Bishop of Llandaff to publish Lord
Dudley's posthumous works, but the Bishop made certain complaints which
led to the following letter from Mr. Murray:

_John Murray to the Bishop of Llandaff_.

_December_ 31, 1839.


I am told that your Lordship continues to make heavy complaints of the
inconvenience you incur by making me the publisher of "Lord Dudley's
Letters," in consequence of the great distance between St. Paul's
Churchyard and Albemarle Street, and that you have discovered another
cause for dissatisfaction in what you consider the inordinate profits of
a publisher.

My Lord, when I had the honour to publish for Sir Walter Scott and Lord
Byron, the one resided in Edinburgh, the other in Venice; and, with
regard to the supposed advantages of a publisher, they were only such as
custom has established, and experience proved to be no more than
equivalent to his peculiar trouble and the inordinate risque which he

My long acquaintance with Lord Dudley, and the kindness and friendship
with which he honoured me to the last, made me, in addition to my
admiration of his talents, desire, and, indeed, expect to become the
publisher of his posthumous works, being convinced that he would have
had no other. After what has passed on your Lordship's side, however, I
feel that it would be inconsistent with my own character to embarrass
you any longer, and I therefore release your Lordship at once from any
promise or supposed understanding whatever regarding this publication,
and remain, my Lord,

Your Lordship's humble Servant,


The Bishop of Llandaff seems to have thought better of the matter, and
in Mr. Murray's second letter to him (January 1, 1840) he states that,
after his Lordship's satisfactory letter, he "renews his engagement as
publisher of Lord Dudley's 'Letters' with increased pleasure." The
volume was published in the following year, but was afterwards
suppressed; it is now very scarce.

Mrs. Jameson proposed to Mr. Murray to publish a "Guide to the
Picture-Galleries of London." He was willing to comply with her request,
provided she submitted her manuscript for perusal and approval. But as
she did not comply with his request, Mr. Murray wrote to her as follows:

_John Murray to Mrs. Jameson_.

_July_ 14, 1840


It is with unfeigned regret that I perceive that you and I are not
likely to understand each other. The change from a Publisher, to whose
mode of conducting business you are accustomed, to another of whom you
have heard merely good reports, operates something like second
marriages, in which, whatever occurs that is different from that which
was experienced in the first, is always considered wrong by the party
who has married a second time. If, for a particular case, you have been
induced to change your physician, you should not take offence, or feel
even surprise, at a different mode of treatment.

My rule is, never to engage in the publication of any work of which I
have not been allowed to form a judgment of its merits and chances of
success, by having the MSS. left with me a reasonable time, in order to
form such opinion; and from this habit of many years' exercise, I
confess to you that it will not, even upon the present occasion, suit me
to deviate.

I am well aware that you would not wish to publish anything derogatory
to the high reputation which you have so deservedly acquired; but
Shakespeare, Byron, and Scott have written works that do not sell; and,
as you expect money for the work which you wish to allow me the honour
of publishing, how am I to judge of its value if I am not previously
allowed to read it?

Mrs. Jameson at length submitted her work for Mr. Murray's inspection;
and after some negotiation, her Guide-Book was purchased for £400.

Mr. Murray, it may here be mentioned, had much communication with Sir
Robert Peel during his parliamentary career. He published many of Peel's
speeches and addresses--his Address to the Students of Glasgow
University; his Speeches on the Irish Disturbances Bill, the Coercion
Bill, the Repeal of the Union, and the Sugar Bills--all of which were
most carefully revised before being issued. Sugar had become so cloying
with Sir Robert, that he refused to read his speeches on the subject. "I
am so sick of Sugar," he wrote to Murray, "and of the eight nights'
debate, that I have not the courage to look at any report of my
speech--at least at present." A later letter shows that the connection

_The Rt. Hon. Sir R. Peel to John Murray_.

_July_ or _August_, 1840.


Your printer must be descended from him who omitted _not_ from the
seventh Commandment, and finding a superfluous "not" in his possession,
is anxious to find a place for it.

I am sorry he has bestowed it upon me, and has made me assure my
constituents that I do _not_ intend to support my political principles.
Pray look at the 4th line of the second page of the enclosed.

Faithfully yours,


No account of Mr. Murray's career would be complete without some mention
of the "Handbooks," with which his name has been for sixty years
associated; for though this series was in reality the invention of his
son, it was Mr. Murray who provided the means and encouragement for the
execution of the scheme, and by his own experience was instrumental in
ensuring its success.

As early as 1817 Hobhouse had remarked on the inadequate character of
most books of European travel. In later years Mrs. Starke made a
beginning, but her works were very superficial and inadequate, and after
personally testing them on their own ground, Mr. John Murray decided
that something better was needed.

Of the origin of the Guide-books Mr. John Murray the Third has given
the following account in Murray's Magazine for November 1889.

"Since so many thousands of persons have profited by these books, it may
be of some interest to the public to learn their origin, and the cause
which led me to prepare them. Having from my early youth been possessed
by an ardent desire to travel, my very indulgent father acceded to my
request, on condition that I should prepare myself by mastering the
language of the country I was to travel in. Accordingly, in 1829, having
brushed up my German, I first set foot on the Continent at Rotterdam,
and my 'Handbook for Holland' gives the results of my personal
observations and private studies of that wonderful country.

"At that time such a thing as a Guide-book for Germany, France, or Spain
did not exist. The only Guides deserving the name were: Ebel, for
Switzerland; Boyce, for Belgium; and Mrs. Starke, for Italy. Hers was a
work of real utility, because, amidst a singular medley of classical
lore, borrowed from Lemprière's Dictionary, interwoven with details
regulating the charges in washing-bills at Sorrento and Naples, and an
elaborate theory on the origin of _Devonshire Cream_, in which she
proves that it was brought by Phoenician colonists from Asia Minor into
the West of England, it contained much practical information gathered on
the spot. But I set forth for the North of Europe unprovided with any
guide, excepting a few manuscript notes about towns and inns, etc., in
Holland, furnished me by my good friend Dr. Somerville, husband of the
learned Mrs. Somerville. These were of the greatest use. Sorry was I
when, on landing at Hamburg, I found myself destitute of such friendly
aid. It was this that impressed on my mind the value of practical
information gathered on the spot, and I set to work to collect for
myself all the facts, information, statistics, etc., which an English
tourist would be likely to require or find useful.

The first of Mr. John Murray's Handbooks to the Continent, published
1836, included Holland, Belgium, and North Germany, and was followed at
short intervals by South Germany, Switzerland--in which he was assisted
by his intimate friend and fellow-traveller, William Brockedon, the
artist, who was then engaged in preparing his own splendid work on "The
Peaks, Passes, and Glaciers of the Alps"--and France. These were all
written by Mr. Murray himself; but, as the series proceeded, it was
necessary to call in the aid of other writers and travellers.
Switzerland, which appeared in 1838, was followed in 1839 by Norway,
Sweden, and Denmark, and in 1840 by the Handbook to the East, the work
of Mr. H. Parish, aided by Mr. Godfrey Levinge. In 1842 Sir Francis
Palgrave completed the Guide to Northern Italy, while Central and
Southern Italy were entrusted to Mr. Octavian Blewitt, for many years
Secretary of the Royal Literary Fund.

In later years, as well as at the earlier period, the originator of the
Handbooks was fortunate enough to secure very able colleagues, among
whom it is sufficient to mention Richard Ford for Spain, Sir Gardner
Wilkinson for Egypt, Dr. Porter for Palestine, Sir George Bowen for
Greece, Sir Lambert Playfair for Algiers and the Mediterranean, and Mr.
George Dennis for Sicily.



In November 1840 a tall athletic gentleman in black called upon Mr.
Murray offering a MS. for perusal and publication. George Borrow had
been a travelling missionary of the Bible Society in Spain, though in
early life he had prided himself on being an athlete, and had even taken
lessons in pugilism from Thurtell, who was a fellow-townsman. He was a
native of Dereham, Norfolk, but had wandered much in his youth, first
following his father, who was a Captain of Militia. He went from south
to north, from Kent to Edinburgh, where he was entered as pupil in the
High School, and took part in the "bickers" so well described by Sir
Walter Scott. Then the boy followed the regiment to Ireland, where he
studied the Celtic dialect. From early youth he had a passion, and an
extraordinary capacity, for learning languages, and on reaching manhood
he was appointed agent to the Bible Society, and was sent to Russia to
translate and introduce the Scriptures. While there he mastered the
language, and learnt besides the Solavonian and the gypsy dialects. He
translated the New Testament into the Tartar Mantchow, and published
versions from English into thirty languages. He made successive visits
into Russia, Norway, Turkey, Bohemia, Spain and Barbary. In fact, the
sole of his foot never rested. While an agent for the Bible Society in
Spain, he translated the New Testament into Spanish, Portuguese, Romany,
and Basque--which language, it is said, the devil himself never could
learn--and when he had learnt the Basque he acquired the name of
Lavengro, or word-master.

Such was George Borrow when he called upon Murray to offer him the MSS.
of his first book, "The Gypsies in Spain." Mr. Murray could not fail to
be taken at first sight with this extraordinary man. He had a splendid
physique, standing six feet two in his stockings, and he had brains as
well as muscles, as his works sufficiently show. The book now submitted
was of a very uncommon character, and neither the author nor the
publisher was very sanguine about its success. Mr. Murray agreed, after
perusal, to print and publish 750 copies of "The Gypsies in Spain," and
divide the profits with the author. But this was only the beginning, and
Borrow reaped much better remuneration from future editions of the
volume. Indeed, the book was exceedingly well received, and met with a
considerable sale; but not so great as his next work, "The Bible in
Spain," which he was now preparing.

_Mr. George Borrow to John Murray_. _August_ 23, 1841.

"A queer book will be this same 'Bible in Spain,' containing all my
queer adventures in that queer country whilst engaged in distributing
the Gospel, but neither learning, nor disquisition, fine writing, or
poetry. A book with such a Bible and of this description can scarcely
fail of success. It will make two nice foolscap octavo volumes of about
500 pages each. I have not heard from Ford since I had last the pleasure
of seeing you. Is his book out? I hope that he will not review the
'Zincali' until the Bible is forthcoming, when he may, if he please,
kill two birds with one stone. I hear from Saint Petersburg that there
is a notice of the 'Zincali' in the _Revue Britannique_; it has been
translated into Russian. Do you know anything about it?"

_Mr. George Borrow to John Murray_. OULTON HALL, LOWESTOFT, _January_


We are losing time. I have corrected seven hundred consecutive pages of
MS., and the remaining two hundred will be ready in a fortnight. I do
not think there will be a dull page in the whole book, as I have made
one or two very important alterations; the account of my imprisonment at
Madrid cannot fail, I think, of being particularly interesting....
During the last week I have been chiefly engaged in horse-breaking. A
most magnificent animal has found his way to this neighbourhood--a
half-bred Arabian. He is at present in the hands of a low horse-dealer,
and can be bought for eight pounds, but no one will have him. It is said
that he kills everybody who mounts him. I have been _charming_ him, and
have so far succeeded that he does not fling me more than once in five
minutes. What a contemptible trade is the author's compared with that of
the jockey's!

Mr. Borrow prided himself on being a horse-sorcerer, an art he learned
among the gypsies, with whose secrets he claimed acquaintance. He
whispered some unknown gibberish into their ears, and professed thus to
tame them.

He proceeded with "The Bible in Spain." In the following month he sent
to Mr. Murray the MS. of the first volume. To the general information as
to the contents and interest of the volume, he added these words:

_Mr. George Borrow to John Murray_.

_February_, 1842.

"I spent a day last week with our friend Dawson Turner at Yarmouth. What
capital port he keeps! He gave me some twenty years old, and of nearly
the finest flavour that I ever tasted. There are few better things than
old books, old pictures, and old port, and he seems to have plenty of
all three."

_May_ 10, 1842.

"I am coming up to London tomorrow, and intend to call at Albemarle
Street.... I make no doubt that we shall be able to come to terms; I
like not the idea of applying to second-rate people. I have been
dreadfully unwell since I last heard from you--a regular nervous attack;
at present I have a bad cough, caught by getting up at night in pursuit
of poachers and thieves. A horrible neighbourhood this--not a magistrate
that dares to do his duty.

"P.S.--Ford's book not out yet?"

There seems to have been some difficulty about coming to terms. Borrow
had promised his friends that his book should be out by October 1, and
he did not wish them to be disappointed:

_Mr. George Borrow to John Murray_.

_July_ 4, 1842.

Why this delay? Mr. Woodfall [the printer] tells me that the state of
trade is wretched. Well and good! But you yourself told me so two months
ago, when you wrote requesting that I would give you the preference,
provided I had not made arrangements with other publishers. Between
ourselves, my dear friend, I wish the state of the trade were ten times
worse than it is, and then things would find their true level, and an
original work would be properly appreciated, and a set of people who
have no pretensions to write, having nothing to communicate but
tea-table twaddle, could no longer be palmed off upon the public as
mighty lions and lionesses. But to the question: What are your
intentions with respect to "The Bible in Spain"? I am a frank man, and
frankness never offends me. Has anybody put you out of conceit with the
book? There is no lack of critics, especially in your neighbourhood.
Tell me frankly, and I will drink your health in Rommany. Or, would the
appearance of "The Bible" on the first of October interfere with the
Avatar, first or second, of some very Lion or Divinity, to whom George
Borrow, who is neither, must, of course, give place? Be frank with me,
my dear sir, and I will drink your health in Rommany and Madeira.

In case of either of the above possibilities being the fact, allow me to
assure you that I am quite willing to release you from your share of the
agreement into which we entered. At the same time, I do not intend to
let the work fall to the ground, as it has been promised to the public.
Unless you go on with it, I shall remit Woodfall the necessary money for
the purchase of paper, and when it is ready offer it to the world. If it
be but allowed fair play, I have no doubt of its success. It is an
original book, on an original subject. Tomorrow, July 5, I am
thirty-nine. Have the kindness to drink my health in Madeira.

Ever most sincerely yours,


Terms were eventually arranged to the satisfaction of both parties.
Borrow informed Murray that he had sent the last proofs to the printer,
and continued:

_Mr. George Borrow to John Murray_.

_November_ 25, 1842.

Only think, poor Allan Cunningham dead! A young man, only fifty-eight,
strong and tall as a giant, might have lived to a hundred and one; but
he bothered himself about the affairs of this world far too much. That
statue shop [of Chantrey's] was his bane! Took to bookmaking
likewise--in a word, was too fond of Mammon. Awful death--no
preparation--came literally upon him like a thief in the dark. I'm
thinking of writing a short life of him; old friend of twenty years'
standing. I know a good deal about him; "Traditional Tales," his best
work, first appeared in _London Magazine_, Pray send Dr. Bowring a copy
of the Bible-another old friend. Send one to Ford, a capital fellow. God
bless you--feel quite melancholy.

Ever yours,


"The Bible in Spain" was published towards the end of the year, and
created a sensation. It was praised by many critics, and condemned by
others, for Borrow had his enemies in the press.

_Mr. George Borrow to John Murray, Junior_.

LOWESTOFT, _December_ 1, 1842.


I received your kind letter containing the bills. It was very friendly
of you, and I thank you, though, thank God, I have no Christmas bills to
settle. Money, however, always acceptable. I dare say I shall be in
London with the entrance of the New Year; I shall be most happy to see
you, and still more your father, whose jokes do one good. I wish all the
world were as gay as he; a gentleman drowned himself last week on my
property, I wish he had gone somewhere else. I can't get poor Allan out
of my head. When I come up, intend to go and see his wife. What a woman!
I hope our book will be successful. If so, shall put another on the
stocks. Capital subject; early life, studies, and adventures; some
account of my father, William Taylor, Whiter, Big Ben, etc., etc. Had
another letter from Ford; wonderful fellow; seems in high spirits.
Yesterday read "Letters from the Baltic"; much pleased with it; very
clever writer; critique in _Despatch_ harsh and unjust; quite uncalled
for; blackguard affair altogether.

I remain, dear Sir, ever yours,


_December_ 31, 1842.


I have great pleasure in acknowledging your very kind letter of the
28th, and am happy to hear that matters are going on so prosperously. It
is quite useless to write books unless they sell, and the public has of
late become so fastidious that it is no easy matter to please it. With
respect to the critique in the _Times_, I fully agree with you that it
was harsh and unjust, and the passages selected by no means calculated
to afford a fair idea of the contents of the work. A book, however, like
"The Bible in Spain" can scarcely be published without exciting
considerable hostility, and I have been so long used to receiving hard
knocks that they make no impression upon me. After all, the abuse of the
_Times_ is better than its silence; it would scarcely have attacked the
work unless it had deemed it of some importance, and so the public will
think. All I can say is, that I did my best, never writing but when the
fit took me, and never delivering anything to my amanuensis but what I
was perfectly satisfied with. You ask me my opinion of the review in the
_Quarterly_. Very good, very clever, very neatly done. Only one fault to
find--too laudatory. I am by no means the person which the reviewer had
the kindness to represent me. I hope you are getting on well as to
health; strange weather this, very unwholesome, I believe, both for man
and beast: several people dead, and great mortality amongst the cattle.
Am tolerably well myself, but get but little rest--disagreeable
dreams--digestion not quite so good as I could wish; been on the water
system--won't do; have left it off, and am now taking lessons in
singing. I hope to be in London towards the end of next month, and
reckon much upon the pleasure of seeing you. On Monday I shall mount my
horse and ride into Norwich to pay a visit to a few old friends.
Yesterday the son of our excellent Dawson Turner rode over to see me;
they are all well, it seems. Our friend Joseph Gurney, however, seems to
be in a strange way--diabetes, I hear. I frequently meditate upon "The
Life," and am arranging the scenes in my mind. With best remembrances to
Mrs. M. and all your excellent family,

Truly and respectfully yours,


Mr. Richard Ford's forthcoming work--"The Handbook for Spain"--about
which Mr. Borrow had been making so many enquiries, was the result of
many years' hard riding and constant investigation throughout Spain, one
of the least known of all European countries at that time. Mr. Ford
called upon Mr. Murray, after "The Bible in Spain" had been published,
and a copy of the work was presented to him. He was about to start on
his journey to Heavitree, near Exeter. A few days after his arrival Mr.
Murray received the following letter from him:

_Mr. Richard Ford to John Murray_.

"I read Borrow with great delight all the way down per rail, and it
shortened the rapid flight of that velocipede. You may depend upon it
that the book will sell, which, after all, is the rub. It is the
antipodes of Lord Carnarvon, and yet how they tally in what they have in
common, and that is much--the people, the scenery of Galicia, and the
suspicions and absurdities of Spanish Jacks-in-office, who yield not in
ignorance or insolence to any kind of red-tapists, hatched in the
hot-beds of jobbery and utilitarian mares-nests ... Borrow spares none
of them. I see he hits right and left, and floors his man wherever he
meets him. I am pleased with his honest sincerity of purpose and his
graphic abrupt style. It is like an old Spanish ballad, leaping in _res
medias_, going from incident to incident, bang, bang, bang, hops, steps,
and jumps like a cracker, and leaving off like one, when you wish he
would give you another touch or _coup de grâce_ ... He really sometimes
puts me in mind of Gil Blas; but he has not the sneer of the Frenchman,
nor does he gild the bad. He has a touch of Bunyan, and, like that
enthusiastic tinker, hammers away, _à la Gitano_, whenever he thinks he
can thwack the Devil or his man-of-all-work on earth--the Pope. Therein
he resembles my friend and everybody's friend--_Punch_--who, amidst all
his adventures, never spares the black one. However, I am not going to
review him now; for I know that Mr. Lockhart has expressed a wish that I
should do it for the _Quarterly Review_. Now, a wish from my liege
master is a command. I had half engaged myself elsewhere, thinking that
he did not quite appreciate such a _trump_ as I know Borrow to be. He is
as full of meat as an egg, and a fresh laid one--not one of your Inglis
breed, long addled by over-bookmaking. Borrow will lay you golden eggs,
and hatch them after the ways of Egypt; put salt on his tail and secure
him in your coop, and beware how any poacher coaxes him with 'raisins'
or reasons out of the Albemarle preserves. When you see Mr. Lockhart
tell him that I will do the paper. I owe my entire allowance to the _Q.
R_. flag ... Perhaps my understanding the _full force_ of this 'gratia'
makes me over partial to this wild Missionary; but I have ridden over
the same tracks without the tracts, seen the same people, and know that
_he_ is true, and I believe that he believes all that he writes to be

Mr. Lockhart himself, however, wrote the review for the _Quarterly_ (No.
141, December 1842). It was a temptation that he could not resist, and
his article was most interesting. "The Gypsies in Spain" and "The Bible
in Spain" went through many editions, and there is still a large demand
for both works. Before we leave George Borrow we will give a few
extracts from his letters, which, like his books, were short, abrupt,
and graphic. He was asked to become a member of the Royal Institution.

_Mr. George Borrow to John Murray_.

_February_ 26, 1843.

"I should like to become a member. The thing would just suit me, more
especially as they do not want _clever_ men, but _safe_ men. Now, I am
safe enough; ask the Bible Society, whose secrets I have kept so much to
their satisfaction, that they have just accepted at my hands an English
Gypsy Gospel gratis. What would the Institution expect me to write? I
have exhausted Spain and the Gypsies, though an essay on Welsh language
and literature might suit, with an account of the Celtic tongue. Or,
won't something about the ancient North and its literature be more
acceptable? I have just received an invitation to join the Ethnological
Society (who are they?), which I have declined. I am at present in great
demand; a bishop has just requested me to visit him. The worst of these
bishops is that they are skin-flints, saving for their families. Their
cuisine is bad, and their port wine execrable, and as for their
cigars!--I say, do you remember those precious ones of the Sanctuary? A
few days ago one of them turned up again. I found it in my great-coat
pocket, and thought of you. I have seen the article in the _Edinburgh_
about the Bible--exceedingly brilliant and clever, but rather too
epigrammatic, quotations scanty and not correct. Ford is certainly a
most astonishing fellow; he quite flabbergasts me--handbooks, review's,
and I hear that he has just been writing a 'Life of Velasquez' for the
'Penny Cyclopaedia'!"

OULTON HALL, LOWESTOFT, _March_ 13, 1843.

"So the second edition is disposed of. Well and good. Now, my dear
friend, have the kindness to send me an account of the profits of it and
let us come to a settlement. Up to the present time do assure you I have
not made a penny by writing, what with journeys to London and tarrying
there. Basta! I hate to talk of money matters.

"Let them call me a nonentity if they will; I believe that some of those
who say I am a phantom would alter their tone provided they were to ask
me to a good dinner; bottles emptied and fowls devoured are not exactly
the feats of a phantom: no! I partake more of the nature of a Brownie or
Robin Goodfellow--goblins, 'tis true, but full of merriment and fun, and
fond of good eating and drinking. Occasionally I write a page or two of
my life. I am now getting my father into the Earl of Albemarle's
regiment, in which he was captain for many years. If I live, and my
spirits keep up tolerably well, I hope that within a year I shall be
able to go to press with something which shall beat the 'Bible in

And a few days later:

"I have received your account for the two editions. I am perfectly
satisfied. We will now, whenever you please, bring out a third edition.

"The book which I am at present about will consist, if I live to finish
it, of a series of Rembrandt pictures, interspersed here and there with
a Claude. I shall tell the world of my parentage, my early thoughts and
habits, how I become a _sap-engro,_ or viper-catcher: my wanderings with
the regiment in England, Scotland, and Ireland, in which last place my
jockey habits first commenced: then a great deal about Norwich, Billy
Taylor, Thurtell, etc.: how I took to study and became a _lav-engro._
What do you think of this for a bill of fare? I am now in a blacksmith's
shop in the south of Ireland taking lessons from the Vulcan in horse
charming and horse-shoe making. By the bye, I wish I were acquainted
with Sir Robert Peel. I could give him many a useful hint with respect
to Ireland and the Irish. I know both tolerably well. Whenever there's a
row, I intend to go over with Sidi Habesmith and put myself at the head
of a body of volunteers."

During the negotiations for the publication of Mr. Horace Twiss's "Life
of the Earl of Eldon," Mr. Murray wrote to Mr. Twiss:

_John Murray to Mr. Twiss_.

_May_ 11, 1842.

"I am very sorry to say that the publishing of books at this time
involves nothing but loss, and that I have found it absolutely
necessary to withdraw from the printers every work that I had in the
press, and to return to the authors any MS. for which they required
immediate publication."

Mr. Murray nevertheless agreed to publish the "Life of Eldon" on
commission, and it proved very successful, going through several

Another work offered to Mr. Murray in 1841 was "The Moor and the Loch,"
by John Colquhoun, of Luss. He had published the first edition at
Edinburgh through Mr. Blackwood; and, having had some differences with
that publisher, he now proposed to issue the second edition in London.
He wrote to Mr. Murray desiring him to undertake the work, and received
the following reply:

_John Murray to Mr. Colquhoun_.

_March_ 16, 1841.


I should certainly have had much pleasure in being the original
publisher of your very interesting work "The Moor and the Loch," but I
have a very great dislike to the _appearance even_ of interfering with
any other publisher. Having glass windows, I must not throw stones. With
Blackwood, indeed, I have long had particular relations, and they for
several years acted as my agents in Edinburgh; so pray have the kindness
to confide to me the cause of your misunderstanding with that house, and
let me have the satisfaction of at least trying in the first place to
settle the matter amicably. In any case, however, you may rely upon all
my means to promote the success of your work, the offer of which has
made me, dear Sir,

Your obliged and faithful Servant,


_Mr. Colquhoun to John Murray_.

_March_ 20, 1841.


I am much obliged by your note which I received yesterday. I shall
endeavour to see you directly, and when I explain the cause of my
dissatisfaction with Messrs. Blackwood, I am sure you will at once see
that it would be impossible for us to go on comfortably together with my
second edition; and even if any adjustment was brought about, I feel
convinced that the book would suffer. I do not mean to imply anything
against the Messrs. Blackwood as men of business, and should be sorry to
be thus understood; but this case has been a peculiar one, and requires
too long an explanation for a letter. In the meantime I have written to
you under the strictest confidence, as the Messrs. B. are not aware of
my intention of bringing out a second edition at the present time, or of
my leaving them. My reasons, however, are such that my determination
cannot be altered; and I hope, after a full explanation with you, that
we shall at once agree to publish the book with the least possible
delay. I shall be most happy to return your note, which you may
afterwards show to Messrs. B., and I may add that had you altogether
refused to publish my book, it could in no way have affected my decision
of leaving them.

I remain, dear Sir, faithfully yours,


Mr. Colquhoun came up expressly to London, and after an interview with
Mr. Murray, who again expressed his willingness to mediate with the
Edinburgh publishers, Mr. Colquhoun repeated his final decision, and Mr.
Murray at length agreed to publish the second edition of "The Moor and
the Loch." It may be added that in the end Mr. Colquhoun did, as urged
by Murray, return to the Blackwoods, who still continue to publish his

Allan Cunningham ended his literary life by preparing the "Memoirs" of
his friend Sir David Wilkie. Shortly before he undertook the work he had
been prostrated by a stroke of paralysis, but on his partial recovery he
proceeded with the memoirs, and the enfeebling effects of his attack may
be traced in portions of the work. Towards the close of his life Wilkie
had made a journey to the East, had painted the Sultan at
Constantinople, and afterwards made his way to Smyrna, Rhodes, Beyrout,
Jaffa, and Jerusalem. He returned through Egypt, and at Alexandria he
embarked on board the _Oriental_ steamship for England. While at
Alexandria, he had complained of illness, which increased, partly in
consequence of his intense sickness at sea, and he died off Gibraltar on
June 1, 1841, when his body was committed to the deep. Turner's splendid
picture of the scene was one of Wilkie's best memorials. A review of
Allan Cunningham's work, by Mr. Lockhart, appeared in the _Quarterly_,
No. 144. Previous to its appearance he wrote to Mr. Murray as follows:

_Mr. Lockhart to John Murray_.

_February_ 25, 1843.


I don't know if you have read much of "The Life of Wilkie." All
Cunningham's part seems to be wretched, but in the "Italian and Spanish
Journals and Letters" Wilkie shines out in a comparatively new
character. He is a very eloquent and, I fancy, a deep and instructive
critic on painting; at all events, Vol. ii. is full of very high
interest.... Is there anywhere a good criticism on the alteration that
Wilkie's style exhibited after his Italian and Spanish tours? The
general impression always was, and I suppose will always be, that the
change was for the worse. But it will be a nice piece of work to account
for an unfortunate change being the result of travel and observation,
which we now own to have produced such a stock of admirable theoretical
disquisition on the principles of the Art. I can see little to admire or
like in the man Wilkie. Some good homely Scotch kindness for kith and
kin, and for some old friends too perhaps; but generally the character
seems not to rise above the dull prudentialities of a decent man in awe
of the world and the great, and awfully careful about No. 1. No genuine
enjoyment, save in study of Art, and getting money through that study.
He is a fellow that you can't suppose ever to have been drunk or in
love--too much a Presbyterian Elder for either you or me.

Mr. Murray received a communication (December 16, 1841), from Mr. John
Sterling, Carlyle's friend, with whom he had had transactions on his own
account. "Not," he said, "respecting his own literary affairs, but those
of a friend." The friend was Mr. John Stuart Mill, son of the historian
of British India. He had completed his work on Logic, of which Mr.
Sterling had the highest opinion. He said it had been the "labour of
many years of a singularly subtle, patient, and comprehensive mind. It
will be our chief speculative monument of this age." Mr. Mill himself
addressed Mr. Murray, first on December 20, 1841, while he was preparing
the work for the press, and again in January and February, 1842, when he
had forwarded the MS. to the publisher, and requested his decision. We
find, however, that Mr. Murray was very ill at the time; that he could
not give the necessary attention to the subject; and that the MS. was
eventually returned.

When Copyright became the subject of legislation in 1843, Mr. Murray
received a letter from Mr. Gladstone.

_Mr. Gladstone to John Murray_.

WHITEHALL, _February_ 6, 1843.


I beg leave to thank you for the information contained in and
accompanying your note which reached me on Saturday. The view with which
the clauses relating to copyright in the Customs Act were framed was
that those interested in the exclusion of pirated works would take care
to supply the Board of Customs from time to time with lists of all works
under copyright which were at all likely to be reprinted abroad, and
that this would render the law upon the whole much more operative and
more fair than an enormous catalogue of all the works entitled to the
privilege, of which it would be found very difficult for the officers at
the ports to manage the use.

Directions in conformity with the Acts of last Session will be sent to
the Colonies.

But I cannot omit to state that I learn from your note with great
satisfaction, that steps are to be taken here to back the recent
proceedings of the Legislature. I must not hesitate to express my
conviction that what Parliament has done will be fruitless, unless the
_law_ be seconded by the adoption of such modes of publication, as will
allow the public here and in the colonies to obtain possession of new
and popular English works at moderate prices. If it be practicable for
authors and publishers to make such arrangements, I should hope to see a
great extension of our book trade, as well as much advantage to
literature, from the measures that have now been taken and from those
which I trust we shall be enabled to take in completion of them; but
unless the proceedings of the trade itself adapt and adjust themselves
to the altered circumstances, I can feel no doubt that we shall relapse
into or towards the old state of things; the law will be first evaded
and then relaxed.

I am, my dear Sir,

Faithfully yours,


Here it is fitting that a few paragraphs should be devoted to the
closing years of Robert Southey, who for so many years had been the
friend and coadjutor of the publisher of the _Quarterly_.

Between 1808 and 1838, Southey had written ninety-four articles for the
_Quarterly_; the last was upon his friend Thomas Telford, the engineer,
who left him a legacy. He had been returned Member of Parliament for
Downton (before the Reform Bill passed), but refused the honour--a
curious episode not often remembered in the career of this distinguished
man of letters. When about fifty-five years old, his only certain source
of income was from his pension, from which he received £145, and from
his laureateship, which was £90. But the larger portion of these sums
went in payment for his life insurance, so that not more than £100 could
be calculated on as available. His works were not always profitable. In
one year he only received £26 for twenty-one of his books, published by

Murray gave him £1,000 for the copyright of the "Peninsular War"; but
his "Book of the Church" and his "Vindiciae" produced nothing.

Southey's chief means of support was the payments (generally £100 for
each article) which he received for his contributions to the
_Quarterly_; but while recognizing this, as he could not fail to do, as
well as Murray's general kindness towards him, he occasionally allowed a
vein of discontent to show itself even in his acknowledgment of favours

In 1835 Southey received a pension of £300 from the Government of Sir
Robert Peel. He was offered a Baronetcy at the same time, but he
declined it, as his circumstances did not permit him to accept the

_Mr. Southey to John Murray_.

_June_ 17, 1835.

"What Sir Robert Peel has done for me will enable me, when my present
engagements are completed, to employ the remainder of my life upon those
works for which inclination, peculiar circumstances, and long
preparation, have best qualified me. They are "The History of Portugal,"
"The History of the Monastic Orders," and "The History of English
Literature," from the time when Wharton breaks off. The possibility of
accomplishing three such works at my age could not be dreamt of, if I
had not made very considerable progress with one, and no little, though
not in such regular order, with the others."

Shortly after his second marriage, Southey's intellect began to fail
him, and he soon sank into a state of mental imbecility. He would wander
about his library, take down a book, look into it, and then put it back
again, but was incapable of work. When Mr. Murray sent him the octavo
edition of the "Peninsular War," his wife answered:

_Mrs. Southey to John Murray_.

GRETA HALL, _May_ 15, 1840.

If the word _pleasure_ were not become to me as a _dead letter, I_
should tell you with how much I took possession of your kind gift. But I
_may_ tell you truly that it gratified, and more than gratified me, by
giving pleasure to my dear husband, as a token of your regard for him,
so testified towards myself. The time is not far passed when we should
have rejoiced together like children over such an acquisition.

Yours very truly and thankfully,


_May_ 23, 1840.


Very cordially I return your friendly salutations, feeling, as I do,
that every manifestation of kindness for my husband's sake is more
precious to me than any I could receive for my own exclusively.
Two-and-twenty years ago, when he wished to put into your hands, as
publisher, a first attempt of mine, of which he thought better than it
deserved, he little thought in that so doing he was endeavouring to
forward the interests of his future wife; of her for whom it was
appointed (a sad but honoured lot) to be the companion of his later
days, over which it has pleased God to cast the "shadow before" of that
"night in which no man can work." But twelve short months ago he was
cheerfully anticipating (in the bright buoyancy of his happy nature) a
far other companionship for the short remainder of our earthly sojourn;
never forgetting, however, that ours must be short at the longest, and
that "in the midst of life we are in death." He desires me to thank you
for your kind expressions towards him, and to be most kindly remembered
to you. Your intimation of the favourable progress of his 8vo "Book of
the Church" gave him pleasure, and he thanks you for so promptly
attending to his wishes about a neatly bound set of his "Peninsular
War." Accept my assurances of regard, and believe me to be, dear Sir,

Yours very truly,


On September 17, 1840, Mr. Murray sent to Mr. Southey a draft for £259,
being the balance for his "Book of the Church," and informed him that he
would be pleased to know that another edition was called for. Mrs.
Southey replied:

_Mrs. Southey to John Murray_.

"He made no remark on your request to be favoured with any suggestions
he might have to offer. _My_ sad persuasion is that Robert Southey's
works have received their last revision and correction from his mind and

GRETA HALL, _October 5_, 1840.


I will not let another post go out, without conveying to you my thanks
for your very kind letter last night received. It will gratify you to
know that its contents (the copy of the critique included), aroused and
fixed Mr. Southey's attention more than anything that has occurred for
months past--gratifying him, I believe, far more than anything more
immediately concerning himself could have done. "Tell Murray," he said,
"I am very much obliged to him." It is long since he has sent a message
to friend or relation.

Now let me say for myself that I am very thankful to _you_--very
thankful to my indulgent reviewer--and that if I could yet feel interest
about anything of my own writing, I should be pleased and encouraged by
his encomium--as well as grateful for it. But if it did _not sound
thanklessly_, I should say, "too late--too late--it comes too late!"
and that bitter feeling came upon me so suddenly, as my eyes fell upon
the passage in question, that they overflowed with tears before it was

But he _did take interest in_ it, at least for a few moments, and so it
was not _quite_ too late; and (doing as I _know he would have me)_, I
shall act upon your most _kind_ and _friendly_ advice, and transmit it
to Blackwood, who will, I doubt not, be willingly guided by it.

It was one of my husband's pleasant visions before our marriage, and his
favourite prospect, to publish a volume of poetry conjointly with me,
not weighing the disproportion of talent.

I must tell you that immediately on receiving the _Review_, I should
have written to express my sense of your kindness, and of the flattering
nature of the critique; but happening to _tell_ Miss Southey and her
brother that you had sent it me, as I believed, as an obliging personal
attention, they assured me I was mistaken, and that the numbers were
only intended for "their set." Fearing, therefore, to arrogate to myself
more than was designed for me, I kept silence; and now expose _my
simplicity_ rather than _leave_ myself _open_ to the imputation of
unthankfulness. Mr. Southey desires to be very kindly remembered to you,
and I am, my dear Sir,

Very thankfully and truly yours, Car. Southey.

P.S.--I had almost forgotten to thank you for so kindly offering to send
the _Review_ to any friends of mine, I may wish to gratify. I _will_
accept the proffered favour, and ask you to send one addressed to Miss
Burnard, Shirley, Southampton, Hants. The other members of my family and
most of my friends take the _Q.R._, or are sure of seeing it. This last
number is an excellent one.

Southey died on March 21, 1843. The old circle of friends was being
sadly diminished. "Disease and death," his old friend Thomas Mitchell,
one of the survivors of the early contributors to the _Quarterly_, wrote
to Murray, "seem to be making no small havoc among our literary
men--Maginn, Cunningham, Basil Hall, and poor Southey, worst of all.
Lockhart's letters of late have made me very uneasy, too, about him. Has
he yet returned from Scotland, and is he at all improved?" Only a few
months later Mr. Murray himself was to be called away from the scene of
his life's activity. In the autumn of 1842 his health had already begun
to fail rapidly, and he had found it necessary to live much out of
London, and to try various watering-places; but although he rallied at
times sufficiently to return to his business for short periods, he never
recovered, and passed away in sleep on June 27, 1843, at the age of



In considering the career of John Murray, the reader can hardly fail to
be struck with the remarkable manner in which his personal qualities
appeared to correspond with the circumstances out of which he built his

When he entered his profession, the standard of conduct in every
department of life connected with the publishing trade was determined by
aristocratic ideas. The unwritten laws which regulated the practice of
bookselling in the eighteenth century were derived from the Stationers'
Company. Founded as it had been on the joint principles of commercial
monopoly and State control, this famous organization had long lost its
old vitality. But it had bequeathed to the bookselling community a large
portion of its original spirit, both in the practice of cooperative
publication which produced the "Trade Books," so common in the last
century, and in that deep-rooted belief in the perpetuity of copyright,
which only received its death-blow from the celebrated judgment of the
House of Lords in the case of Donaldson _v_. Becket in 1774. Narrow and
exclusive as they may have been in their relation to the public
interest, there can be no doubt that these traditions helped to
constitute, in the dealings of the booksellers among themselves, a
standard of honour which put a certain curb on the pursuit of private
gain. It was this feeling which provoked such intense indignation in the
trade against the publishers who took advantage of their strict legal
rights to invade what was generally regarded as the property of their
brethren; while the sense of what was due to the credit, as well as to
the interest, of a great organized body, made the associated
booksellers zealous in the promotion of all enterprises likely to add to
the fame of English literature.

Again, there was something, in the best sense of the word, aristocratic
in the position of literature itself. Patronage, indeed, had declined.
The patron of the early days of the century, who, like Halifax, sought
in the Universities or in the London Coffee-houses for literary talent
to strengthen the ranks of political party, had disappeared, together
with the later and inferior order of patron, who, after the manner of
Bubb Dodington, nattered his social pride by maintaining a retinue of
poetical clients at his country seat. The nobility themselves, absorbed
in politics or pleasure, cared far less for letters than their fathers
in the reigns of Anne and the first two Georges. Hence, as Johnson said,
the bookseller had become the Maecenas of the age; but not the
bookseller of Grub Street. To be a man of letters was no longer a
reproach. Johnson himself had been rewarded with a literary pension, and
the names of almost all the distinguished scholars of the latter part of
the eighteenth century--Warburton, the two Wartons, Lowth, Burke, Hume,
Gibbon, Robertson--belong to men who either by birth or merit were in a
position which rendered them independent of literature as a source of
livelihood. The author influenced the public rather than the public the
author, while the part of the bookseller was restricted to introducing
and distributing to society the works which the scholar had designed.

Naturally enough, from such conditions arose a highly aristocratic
standard of taste. The centre of literary judgment passed from the
half-democratic society of the Coffee-house to the dining-room of
scholars like Cambridge or Beauclerk; and opinion, formed from the
brilliant conversation at such gatherings as the Literary Club;
afterwards circulated among the public either in the treatises of
individual critics, or in the pages of the two leading Monthly Reviews.
The society from which it proceeded, though not in the strict sense of
the word fashionable, was eminently refined and widely representative;
it included the politician, the clergyman, the artist, the connoisseur,
and was permeated with the necessary leaven of feminine intuition,
ranging from the observation of Miss Burney or the vivacity of Mrs.
Thrale, to the stately morality of Mrs. Montagu and Mrs. Hannah More.

On the other hand, the whole period of Murray's life as a publisher,
extending, to speak broadly, from the first French Revolution to almost
the eve of the French Revolution of 1848, was characterized in a marked
degree by the advance of Democracy. In all directions there was an
uprising of the spirit of individual liberty against the prescriptions
of established authority. In Politics the tendency is apparent in the
progress of the Reform movement. In Commerce it was marked by the
inauguration of the Free Trade movement. In Literature it made itself
felt in the great outburst of poetry at the beginning of the century,
and in the assertion of the superiority of individual genius to the
traditional laws of form.

The effect produced by the working of the democratic spirit within the
aristocratic constitution of society and taste may without exaggeration
be described as prodigious. At first sight, indeed, there seems to be a
certain abruptness in the transition from the highly organized society
represented in Boswell's "Life of Johnson," to the philosophical
retirement of Wordsworth and Coleridge. It is only when we look beneath
the surface that we see the old traditions still upheld by a small class
of Conservative writers, including Campbell, Rogers, and Crabbe, and, as
far as style is concerned, by some of the romantic innovators, Byron,
Scott, and Moore. But, generally speaking, the age succeeding the first
French Revolution exhibits the triumph of individualism. Society itself
is penetrated by new ideas; literature becomes fashionable; men of
position are no longer ashamed to be known as authors, nor women of
distinction afraid to welcome men of letters in their drawing-rooms. On
all sides the excitement and curiosity of the times is reflected in the
demand for poems, novels, essays, travels, and every kind of imaginative
production, under the name of _belles lettres_.

A certain romantic spirit of enterprise shows itself in Murray's
character at the very outset of his career. Tied to a partner of a petty
and timorous disposition, he seizes an early opportunity to rid himself
of the incubus. With youthful ardour he begs of a veteran author to be
allowed the privilege of publishing, as his first undertaking, a work
which he himself genuinely admired. He refuses to be bound by mere
trading calculations. "The business of a publishing bookseller," he
writes to a correspondent, "is not in his shop, or even in his
connections, but in his brains." In all his professional conduct a
largeness of view is apparent. A new conception of the scope of his
trade seems early to have risen in his mind, and he was perhaps the
first member of the Stationers' craft to separate the business of
bookselling from that of publishing. When Constable in Edinburgh sent
him "a miscellaneous order of books from London," he replied: "Country
orders are a branch of business which I have ever totally declined as
incompatible with my more serious plans as a publisher."

With ideas of this kind, it may readily be imagined that Murray was not
what is usually called "a good man of business," a fact of which he was
well aware, as the following incident, which occurred in his later
years, amusingly indicates.

The head of one of the larger firms with which he dealt came in person
to Albemarle Street to receive payment of his account. This was duly
handed to him in bills, which, by some carelessness, he lost on his way
home, He thereupon wrote to Mr. Murray, requesting him to advertise in
his own name for the lost property. Murray's reply was as follows:

TWICKENHAM, _October_ 26, 1841.

MY DEAR-----,

I am exceedingly sorry for the vexatious, though, I hope, only temporary
loss which you have met with; but I have so little character for being a
man of business, that if the bills were advertised in _my_ name it would
be publicly confirming the suspicion--but in your own name, it will be
only considered as a very extraordinary circumstance, and I therefore
give my impartial opinion in favour of the latter mode. Remaining, my

Most truly yours,


The possession of ordinary commercial shrewdness, however, was by no
means the quality most essential for successful publishing at the
beginning of the nineteenth century. Both Constable and Ballantyne were
men of great cleverness and aptitude for business; but, wanting certain
higher endowments, they were unable to resist the whirl of excitement
accompanying an unprecedented measure of financial success. Their ruin
was as rapid as their rise. To Murray, on the other hand, perhaps their
inferior in the average arts of calculation, a vigorous native sense,
tempering a genuine enthusiasm for what was excellent in literature,
gave precisely that mixture of dash and steadiness which was needed to
satisfy the complicated requirements of the public taste.

A high sense of rectitude is apparent in all his business transactions;
and Charles Knight did him no more than justice in saying that he had
"left an example of talent and honourable conduct which would long be a
model for those who aim at distinction in the profession." He would have
nothing to do with what was poor and shabby. When it was suggested to
him, as a young publisher, that his former partner was ready to bear
part of the risk in a contemplated undertaking, he refused to associate
his fortunes with a man who conducted his business on methods that he
did not approve. "I cannot allow my name to stand with his, because he
undersells all other publishers at the regular and advertised prices."
Boundless as was his admiration for the genius of Scott and Byron, he
abandoned one of the most cherished objects of his ambition-to be the
publisher of new works by the author of "Waverley"--rather than involve
himself further in transactions which he foresaw must lead to discredit
and disaster; and, at the risk of a quarrel, strove to recall Byron to
the ways of sound literature, when through his wayward genius he seemed
to be drifting into an unworthy course.

In the same way, when the disagreement between the firms of Constable
and Longmans seemed likely to turn to his own advantage, instead of
making haste to seize the golden opportunity, he exerted himself to
effect a reconciliation between the disputants, by pointing out what he
considered the just and reasonable view of their mutual interests. The
letters which, on this occasion, he addressed respectively to Mr. A.G.
Hunter, to the Constables, and to the Longmans, are models of good sense
and manly rectitude. Nor was his conduct to Constable, after the
downfall of the latter, less worthy of admiration. Deeply as Constable
had injured him by the reckless conduct of his business, Murray not
only retained no ill-feeling against him, but, anxious simply to help a
brother in misfortune, resigned in his favour, in a manner full of the
most delicate consideration, his own claim to a valuable copyright. The
same warmth of heart and disinterested friendship appears in his efforts
to re-establish the affairs of the Robinsons after the failure of that
firm. Yet, remarkable as he was for his loyalty to his comrades, he was
no less distinguished by his spirit and independence. No man without a
very high sense of justice and self-respect could have conducted a
correspondence on a matter of business in terms of such dignified
propriety as Murray employed in addressing Benjamin Disraeli after the
collapse of the _Representative_. It is indeed a proof of power to
appreciate character, remarkable in so young a man, that Disraeli
should, after all that had passed between them, have approached Murray
in his capacity of publisher with complete confidence. He knew that he
was dealing with a man at once shrewd and magnanimous, and he gave him
credit for understanding how to estimate his professional interest apart
from his sense of private injury.

Perhaps his most distinguishing characteristic as a publisher was his
unfeigned love of literature for its own sake. His almost romantic
admiration for genius and its productions raised him above the
atmosphere of petty calculation. Not unfrequently it of course led him
into commercial mistakes, and in his purchase of Crabbe's "Tales" he
found to his cost that his enthusiastic appreciation of that author's
works and the magnificence of his dealings with him were not the measure
of the public taste. Yet disappointments of this kind in no way
embittered his temper, or affected the liberality with which he treated
writers like Washington Irving, of whose powers he had himself once
formed a high conception. The mere love of money indeed was never an
absorbing motive in Murray's commercial career, otherwise it is certain
that his course in the suppression of Byron's Memoirs would have been
something very different to that which he actually pursued. On the
perfect letter which he wrote to Scott, presenting him with his fourth
share in "Marmion," the best comment is the equally admirable letter in
which Scott returned his thanks. The grandeur--for that seems the
appropriate word--of his dealings with men of high genius, is seen in
his payments to Byron, while his confidence in the solid value of
literary excellence appears from the fact that, when the _Quarterly_ was
not paying its expenses, he gave Southey for his "Life of Nelson" double
the usual rate of remuneration. No doubt his lavish generosity was
politic as well as splendid. This, and the prestige which he obtained as
Byron's publisher, naturally drew to him all that was vigorous and
original in the intellect of the day, so that there was a general desire
among young authors to be introduced to the public under his auspices.
The relations between author and publisher which had prevailed in the
eighteenth century were, in his case, curiously inverted, and, in the
place of a solitary scholar like Johnson, surrounded by an association
of booksellers, the drawing-room of Murray now presented the remarkable
spectacle of a single publisher acting as the centre of attraction to a
host of distinguished writers.

In Murray the spirit of the eighteenth century seemed to meet and
harmonize with the spirit of the nineteenth. Enthusiasm, daring,
originality, and freedom from conventionality made him eminently a man
of his time, and, in a certain sense, he did as much as any of his
contemporaries to swell that movement in his profession towards complete
individual liberty which had been growing almost from the foundation of
the Stationers' Company. On the other hand, in his temper, taste, and
general principles, he reflected the best and most ancient traditions of
his craft. Had his life been prolonged, he would have witnessed the
disappearance in the trade of many institutions which he reverenced and
always sought to develop. Some of them, indeed, vanished in his own
life-time. The old association of booksellers, with its accompaniment of
trade-books, dwindled with the growth of the spirit of competition and
the greater facility of communication, so that, long before his death,
the co-operation between the booksellers of London and Edinburgh was no
more than a memory. Another institution which had his warm support was
the Sale dinner, but this too has all but succumbed, of recent years, to
the existing tendency for new and more rapid methods of conducting
business. The object of the Sale dinner was to induce the great
distributing houses and the retail booksellers to speculate, and buy an
increased supply of books on special terms. Speculation has now almost
ceased in consequence of the enormous number of books published, which
makes it difficult for a bookseller to keep a large stock of any single
work, and renders the life of a new book so precarious that the demand
for it may at any moment come to a sudden stop.

The country booksellers--a class in which Murray was always deeply
interested--are dying out. Profits on books being cut down to a minimum,
these tradesmen find it almost impossible to live by the sale of books
alone, and are forced to couple this with some other kind of business.

The apparent risk involved in Murray's extraordinary spirit of adventure
was in reality diminished by the many checks which in his day operated
on competition, and by the high prices then paid for ordinary books. Men
were at that time in the habit of forming large private libraries, and
furnishing them with the sumptuous editions of travels and books of
costly engraving issued from Murray's press. The taste of the time has
changed. Collections of books have been superseded, as a fashion, by
collections of pictures, and the circulating library encourages the
habit of reading books without buying them. Cheap bookselling, the
characteristic of the age, has been promoted by the removal of the tax
on paper, and by the fact that paper can now be manufactured out of
refuse at a very low cost. This cheapness, the ideal condition for which
Charles Knight sighed, has been accompanied by a distinct deterioration
in the taste and industry of the general reader. The multiplication of
reviews, magazines, manuals, and abstracts has impaired the love of, and
perhaps the capacity for, study, research, and scholarship on which the
general quality of literature must depend. Books, and even knowledge,
like other commodities, may, in proportion to the ease with which they
are obtained, lose at once both their external value and their intrinsic

Murray's professional success is sufficient evidence of the extent of
his intellectual powers. The foregoing Memoir has confined itself almost
exclusively to an account of his life as a publisher, and it has been
left to the reader's imagination to divine from a few glimpses how much
of this success was due to force of character and a rare combination of
personal qualities. A few concluding words on this point may not be

Quick-tempered and impulsive, he was at the same time warm-hearted and
generous to a fault, while a genuine sense of humour, which constantly
shows itself in his letters, saved him many a time from those troubles
into which the hasty often fall. "I wish," wrote George Borrow, within a
short time of the publisher's death, "that all the world were as gay as

He was in some respects indolent, and not infrequently caused serious
misunderstandings by his neglect to answer letters; but when he did
apply himself to work, he achieved results more solid than most of his
compeers. He had, moreover, a wonderful power of attraction, and both in
his conversation and correspondence possessed a gift of felicitous
expression which rarely failed to arouse a sympathetic response in those
whom he addressed. Throughout "the trade" he was beloved, and he rarely
lost a friend among those who had come within his personal influence.

He was eager to look for, and quick to discern, any promise of talent in
the young. "Every one," he would say, "has a book in him, or her, if one
only knew how to extract it," and many was the time that he lent a
helping hand to those who were first entering on a literary career.

To his remarkable powers as a host, the many descriptions of his dinner
parties which have been preserved amply testify; he was more than a mere
entertainer, and took the utmost pains so to combine and to place his
guests as best to promote sympathetic conversation and the general
harmony of the gathering. Among the noted wits and talkers, moreover,
who assembled round his table he was fully able to hold his own in
conversation and in repartee.

On one occasion Lady Bell was present at one of these parties, and
wrote: "The talk was of wit, and Moore gave specimens. Charles thought
that our host Murray said the best things that brilliant night."

Many of the friends whose names are most conspicuous in these pages had
passed away before him, but of those who remained there was scarcely one
whose letters do not testify to the general affection with which he was
regarded. We give here one or two extracts from letters received during
his last illness.

Thomas Mitchell wrote to Mr. Murray's son:

"Give my most affectionate remembrances to your father. More than once I
should have sunk under the ills of life but for his kind support and
countenance, and so I believe would many others say besides myself. Be
his maladies small or great, assure him that he has the earnest
sympathies of one who well knows and appreciates his sterling merits."

Sir Francis Palgrave, who had known Mr. Murray during the whole course
of his career, wrote to him affectionately of "the friendship and
goodwill which," said he, "you have borne towards me during a period of
more than half my life. I am sure," he added, "as we grow older we find
day by day the impossibility of finding _any_ equivalent for old
friends." Sharon Turner also, the historian, was most cordial in his

"Our old friends," he said, "are dropping off so often that it becomes
more and more pleasing to know that some still survive whom we esteem
and by whom we are not forgotten.... Certainly we can look back on each
other now for forty years, and I can do so as to you with great pleasure
and satisfaction, when, besides the grounds of private satisfaction and
esteem, I think of the many works of great benefit to society which you
have been instrumental in publishing, and in some instances of
suggesting and causing. You have thus made your life serviceable to the
world as well as honourable to yourself.... You are frequently in my
recollections, and always with those feelings which accompanied our
intercourse in our days of health and activity. May every blessing
accompany you and yours, both here and hereafter."

It was not only in England that his loss was felt, for the news of his
death called forth many tokens of respect and regard from beyond the
seas, and we will close these remarks with two typical extracts from the
letters of American correspondents.

To Mr. Murray's son, Dr. Robinson of New York summed up his qualities in
these words:

"I have deeply sympathised with the bereaved family at the tidings of
the decease of one of whom I have heard and read from childhood, and to
whose kindness and friendship I had recently been myself so much
indebted. He has indeed left you a rich inheritance, not only by his
successful example in business and a wide circle of friends, but also
in that good name which is better than all riches. He lived in a
fortunate period--his own name is inseparably connected with one of the
brightest eras of English literature--one, too, which, if not created,
was yet developed and fostered by his unparalleled enterprise and
princely liberality. I counted it a high privilege to be connected with
him as a publisher, and shall rejoice in continuing the connection with
his son and successor."

Mrs. L.H. Sigourney wrote from Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.:

"Your father's death is a loss which is mourned on this side of the
Atlantic. His powerful agency on the patronage of a correct literature,
which he was so well qualified to appreciate, has rendered him a
benefactor in that realm of intellect which binds men together in all
ages, however dissevered by political creed or local prejudice. His
urbanity to strangers is treasured with gratitude in many hearts. To me
his personal kindness was so great that I deeply regretted not having
formed his acquaintance until just on the eve of my leaving London. But
his parting gifts are among the chief ornaments of my library, and his
last letter, preserved as a sacred autograph, expresses the kindness of
a friend of long standing, and promises another 'more at length,' which,
unfortunately, I had never the happiness of receiving."



Abercorn, Marq. and Marchioness of,
Allegra, death of; buried at Harrow,
Athenaeum Club,
Austen, Miss Jane, "Northanger
  Abbey,"; Novels published
  by Murray,
Austria, Empress of,

Baillie, Miss Joanna,
Ballantyne & Co. (John & James),
  bill transactions with Murray;
  partnership with
  Scott; proposed edition of
  "British Novelists,"; Works
  of De Foe; James B. meets
  Murray at Boroughbridge;
  appointed Edinburgh agents for
  _Q.R._; views on _Q.R._;
  close alliance with Murray;
  financial difficulties;
  breach with Murray; failure
  of _Edinburgh Ann. Reg_.;
  "Waverley,"; "Lord of the
  Isles,"; "Don Roderick,";
  Scott's proposed letters
  from the Continent; proposal
  to Murray and Blackwood
  about Scott's works; in
  debt to Scott; "Tales of
  my Landlord," "The Black
  Dwarf,"; bankruptcy;
  death of John Ballantyne,
Barker, Miss,
Barrow, Sir John, induced by
  Canning to write for _Q. R_.;
  visit to Gifford; consulted
  by Murray about voyages or
  travels; nicknamed "Chronometer"
  by B. Disraeli,
Bartholdy, Baron,
Barton, Bernard,
Basevi, junr., George,
Bastard, Capt.,
Beattie, Dr.,
Bedford, Grosvenor,
Bell, Lady,
Bell & Bradfute,
Bellenden, Mary,
Belzoni, Giovanni,
Berry, Miss, edits "Horace Walpole's
Blackwood, William, appointed
  Murray's Agent for Scotland;
  visits Murray; intimacy with
  Murray; early career;
  threatens Constable with proceedings
  for printing Byron's
  "Poems,"; refuses to sell
  "Don Juan,"; alliance and
  correspondence with Murray;
  Ballantyne's proposals
  about Scott's works; _Blackwood's
  Magazine_ started;
  Murray's remonstrance about the
  personality of articles;
  Hazlitts libel action;
  interested with Murray in various
_Blackwood's Magazine_ started
  (first called _Edinburgh Magazine_);
  article attacking
  Byron; "Ancient Chaldee
  MS.,"; "The Cockney
  School of Poetry,"; personality
  of articles,;
  "Hypocrisy Unveiled," etc.;
  Murray retires from--Cadell and
  Davies appointed London Agents
Blessington, Countess of, "Conversations
  with Lord Byron,"
Blewitt, Octavian,
Borrow, George,
  his youth;
  capacity for learning languages;
  appointed Agent to the Bible Society--Russia, Norway, Turkey and Spain,
  his translation of the Bible;
  called Lavengro,
  his splendid physique,
  "Gypsies of Spain,"
  "The Bible in Spain,"
  as a horse-breaker,
  remarks on Allan Cunningham's death,
  asked to become a member of the Royal Institution,
"Boswell's Johnson,"
  Croker's edition of,
Bray, Mrs.,
Brockedon, William,
  his portrait of the Countess Guiccioli,
  his help in Murray's Handbooks,
Brougham, Lord,
  his article in _Ed. Rev._ on Dr. Young's theory of light,
  Chairman of the Society for the diffusion of Useful Knowledge,
Broughton, Lord, _see_ Hobhouse.
Buccleuch, Duke of,
  his present of a farm to James Hogg,
Butler, Charles,
  "Books on the R. Cath. Church,"
Burney, Dr.,
Buxton, Thos. Powell,
  "Slave Trade and its Remedy,"
Byron, Lord,
  first association and meeting with Murray,
  "Childe Harold,"
  presented to Prince Regent,
  friendship with Scott,
  "Giaour," "Bride of Abydos,"
  "Ode to Napoleon,"
  meets Scott at Murray's house,
  remarks on Battle of Waterloo,
  portrait by Phillips,
  kindness to Maturin,
  dealings with Murray,
  residence in Piccadilly,
  pecuniary embarrassments,
  Murray's generous offer,
  Murray's remonstrance,
  "Siege of Corinth" and "Parisina,"
  separation from wife,
  sale of effects,
  "Sketch from Private Life,"
  leaves England,
  "Childe Harold" and "Prisoner of Chillon,"
  remarks on Scott's Review of "Childe Harold," Canto III.,
  attack of fever at Venice,
  "Childe Harold," Canto IV.,
  visit from Hobhouse,
  his bust by Thorwaldsen,
  correspondence with Murray in 1817 to 1822,
  Frere's "Whistlecraft,"
  at Venice,
  opinion of Southey,
  "Don Juan," Cantos I. and II.;
  Murray's suggestions as to,
  hatred of Romilly,
  "Letter of Julia,"
  "Mazeppa," "Ode to Venice,"
  Copyright of "Don Juan,"
  Countess Guiccioli: proposal to visit S. America,
  "Don Juan," Cantos III. and IV.,
  "Don Juan," Canto V.,
  Murray's refusal to publish further Cantos of "Don Juan,"
  "My boy Hobby O!"
  Hobhouse's anger,
  Whig Club at Cambridge,
  pamphlet on "Bowles' strictures,"
  "The Two Foscari," "Cain, a Mystery,"
  injunction in case of "Cain,"
  death and burial of Allegra,
  illness, and last letter to Murray,
  adopts Hato or Hatagée,
  the Suliotes incident,
  death: Murray's application for his burial in Westminster Abbey refused,
  Memoirs and Moore,
  destruction of Memoirs,
  agreement between Moore and Murray,
  Moore undertakes to write "Life,"
  Murray's negotiations with Moore as to "Life,"
  agreement as to "Life,"
  Vol. I. of "Life" published,
  Vol. II.,
  Murray's proposed edition of his works,
  Thorwaldsen's statue refused by Dean of Westminster,
  attempt to alter Dean's decision;
  the statue placed in library of Trinity College, Cambridge,
Byron, Lady, her offer to Murray
  for redemption of Byron's Memoirs,

Cadell & Davies, appointed London Agents
  for _Blackwood's Magazine_,
Callcott, Lady, _see_ Graham, Mrs.
Campbell, Thomas, "Pleasures o
  Hope," "Hohenlinden," "The
  Exile of Erin," "Ye Mariners of
  England," "Battle of the Baltic,"
  "Lochiel's Warning"; correspondence
  with Scott; intimacy
  with Murray;
  proposed "Selection from British
  Poets"; "Gertrude
  of Wyoming"; Lectures on
  Poetry; "Now Barabbas
  was a Publisher"; his
  opinion of Mrs. Hemans's "Records
  of Woman,"
Canning, George, starts _Anti-Jacobin_;
  assists in starting _Quarterly Review_;
  article in _Q.R._ on "Austrian
  State Papers"; on Spain;
  views on the Royal Society
  of Literature; opinion of
  "Waverley"; letters from
  Gifford; called "X."
  by Benjamin Disraeli,
Canning, Stratford, "The Miniature";
  connection with
  _Q.R._; introduces Gifford
  to Murray; his mission to
Carlyle, Thomas, recommended to
  Murray by Lord Jeffrey;
  correspondence with Murray
  about "Sartor Resartus";
  "Sartor Resartus" declined
  by other publishers;
  returns to Craigenputtock;
  "Sartor Resartus" published in
  _Fraser's Magazine_, and, through
  Emerson's influence, in United
Cawthorn, publisher of "English
  Bards and Scotch Reviewers,"
Chantrey, Sir F., calls Murray "a
  brother Cyclops," _note_
Chesterfield, Lord,
Cleghorn, James, Editor of _Blackwood's
Colburn, the publisher, "Vivian
  Grey"; declines "Sartor
Coleridge, John Taylor; appointed
  Editor to _Quarterly
  Review_; wishes to resign
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor;
  correspondence with Murray;
  Goethe's "Faust";
  "Wallenstein"; "The
  Friend"; "Remorse,"
  "Glycine," "Christabel,"
  "Christmas Tale," "Zapolya";
  opinion of Frere,
Colman's Comedy, "John Bull,"
Colquhoun, Rt. Hon. J.C. (Lord
Colquhoun, John, "The Moor and
  the Loch"; correspondence
  with Murray; dissatisfaction
  with Blackwood; visit to
  London and interview with
Constable, Archibald (Constable &
  Co.); _Farmer's Magazine,
  Scots Magazine, Edinburgh
  Review_; his partner,
  A.G. Hunter; appointed
  Murray's agent; "Sir Tristram"
  and "Lay of the Last
  Minstrel"; breach with
  Longman; injunction as to
  _Edin. Rev._ obtained by Longman;
  letter from Jeffrey;
  Murray's remonstrances as to
  drawing bills;
  establishes London House;
  breach with Murray;
  final breach with Murray;
  fresh alliance with Scott;
  Campbell's "Selections from the British Poets";
  Poems by Byron on his Domestic Circumstances;
  Mrs. Markham's "History of England";
  renews friendship with Murray;
Cooper, James Fenimore,
Copyright Bill, the, Mr. Gladstone's remarks on,
Coxe, Archdeacon,
Crabbe, "Tales of the Hall," and other poems,
Creech and Elliot
Croker, Crofton
Croker, John Wilson,
  visit to Prince Regent,
  portrait by Eddis,
  "Stories for Children on Hist. of England",
  on "Don Juan" and Byron,
  takes charge of _Q.R._ during Gifford's illness,
  views on the _Monthly Register_,
  edits Lady Hervey's Letters,
  opinion of the Waldegrave and Walpole Memoirs,
  edits the Suffolk Papers,
  edits Mrs. Delany's Letters,
  Lockhart's opinion of him,
  "Boswell's Johnson",
  opinion of Moore's "Life of Byron",
  Moore's "Life of Lord Fitzgerald"
Cumberland, Richard,
  "John de Lancaster"
Cumming, Thomas
Cunningham, Allan,
  "Paul Jones: a Romance",
  his death,
  "Memoirs of Sir D. Wilkie",
  Lockhart's article in _Q.R._ on the "Memoirs"
Cunningham, Rev. J.W.,
  and the burial of Allegra at Harrow

Dacre, Lady (Mrs. Wilmot)
Dagley (the engraver)
Dallas, Mr.
Davies, Annie,
  Gifford's housekeeper
Davy, Sir Humphry,
  "Salmonia, or Days of Fly-Fishing"
D'Haussez, Baron
Delany, Mrs.
De Quincy
De Staël, Madame,
  ordered to quit Paris,
  a frequenter of Murray's drawing-room
Disraeli, Benjamin,
  "Aylmer Papillon," "History of Paul Jones",
  correspondence with Murray,
  pamphlets on Mining Speculations,
  connection with Messrs. Powles,
  partner with Murray and Powles in _Representative_,
  letters to Murray on the _Representative_ negotiations,
  description of York Cathedral,
  visits Lockhart,
  interview with Scott at Chiefswood,
  second visit to Scotland, and exertions on behalf of _Representative_
  drops his connection with _Representative_,
  "Vivian Grey" and "Contarini Fleming",
  renewal of correspondence with Murray,
  travels in Spain, etc.,
  Radical candidate for Wycombe,
  attended by Tita (Byron's Gondolier),
  publishes reply to criticisms on "Gallomania"
D'Israeli, Isaac,
  "Curiosities of Literature",
  friendship with Murray,
  birth of his son Benjamin,
  Murray's marriage-settlement,
  advice about _Q.R._,
  "Calamities of Authors",
  "Character of James I.",
  impromptu on Belzoni,
  meets Washington Irving at Murray's,
  consulted by Murray as to _Representative_,
  proposed pamphlet on his misunderstanding with Murray
D'Oyley, Rev. Dr.
Dudley, Lord,
  his "Letters"

Eastlake, Sir Charles L.,
  "Translation of Memoirs of the Carbonari",
  Mrs. Graham's interest in
Eaton, Mrs.
Ebrington, Lord
_Edinburgh Annual Register_
_Edinburgh Magazine_ and _Review_
_Edinburgh Review_ started,
  published by Murray,
  its great success,
  injunction obtained by Longman,
  Jeffrey, editor of,
  articles on "Marmion",
  on "Don Cevallos on the Occupation of Spain"
Eldon, Lord,
  on copyright of "Cain"
Elliot, Miss;
  marries John Murray II.
Elliot, Charles
Ellis, George; letters from
  Scott; friendship with
  Scott; contributes to _Q.R._;
  constant critic of the _Q. R_.;
  article on Spain;
  on ponderous articles in _Q.R._;
  advice as to punctuality in
  issuing _Q. R_.
Ellis, Sir Henry, "Embassy to China"
Emerson, friendship with Carlyle
Erskine, William
Everett, A.H.

Faber, Rev. G.S.
Falconer, William, "The Shipwreck";
  lost at sea
  "Family Library," works comprising
Fazakerly's interview with Napoleon
Ferriar, Dr., on "Apparitions"
Field, Barron
Ford's "Dramatic Works"
Ford, Richard, "Handbook to
  Spain"; opinion of
Foscolo, Ugo
Fraser, Rev. Alexander
Fraser, Mr., offers £150 for "Sartor
Frere, John Hookham;
  Coleridge's opinion of;
  his marriage; "Whistle-craft"

Garden, Mrs., "Memorials of James Hogg"
Gifford, William, introduced to
  Murray; accepts editorship
  of _Q. R_.; advice from Scott
  on _Q. R_.; Southey and
  the _Q. R_.; unpunctuality as
  editor; at Ryde;
  George Canning and the _Q. R_.;
  Southey's "Life of Nelson";
  Miss A.T. Palmer's bribe;
  disagreement with Murray;
  wages war with _Edin. Rev._;
  relations with Murray;
  opinion of Pillans; bad health;
  Murray's present;
  opinion of W.S. Landor;
  review of Ford's "Dramatic
  Works"; on Charles
  Lamb--his deep grief;
  opinion of "Childe Harold";
  illness and death of his
  housekeeper; opinion of
  Southey; memorial to his
  housekeeper; libellous attack
  on him; opinion of Miss
  Austen's novels; of Maturin;
  illness at Dover; Murray
  gives him a carriage;
  Byron's "unlordly scrape";
  edition of "Ben Jonson";
  illness; Croker
  akes charge of _Q. R_.;
  opinion of Milman's "Fall of
  Jerusalem"; letter to George
  Canning; resigns editorship;
  declines Oxford degree;
  his death and burial in
  Westminster Abbey; will;
  character; love for
  children; venomous attack
  upon him
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W.E., Tory
  member for Newark; proposal
  to Murray about "Church
  and State"; visit to Holland;
  "Church and State" published,
  and "Church Principles";
  letter to Murray on Copyright
Gleig, Rev. George
Glenbervie, Lord
Gooch, Dr., anecdote of Lord Nelson
Gordon, General Sir Robert
Graham, Mrs. (Lady Callcott);
  intimacy with Murray
Grahame's "British Georgies"
Grant, Sir Robert; his articles
  in _Q.R._ on "Character of the late
  C.J. Fox"
Guiccioli, Countess; Murray's
  kindness to; Brockedon's
  portrait of
Gurney, Joseph
Gurwood, Col., editor of Wellington

Haber, Baron de
Hall, Capt. Basil
Hall, Sir James,
Hall, S.C.,
Hallam, Henry,
  friendship with Murray,
  "Middle Ages,"
  "Constitutional History,"
Hamilton, Walter,
  "East India Gazetteer,"
  "Description of Hindostan and Adjacent Countries,"
Hamilton, Sir William,
"Handbooks," Murray's,
Hanson, Mr. (Byron's solicitor),
Hastings, Warren,
Hato, or Hatagée,
  Greek child adopted by Byron,
Hay, R.W.,
Hazlitt, William,
  his libellous pamphlet on Gifford,
  action for libel against Blackwood and Murray,
Heber, Bishop (Rev. Reginald),
Heber, Richard,
Hemans, Mrs.,
  "Records of Woman,"
Herschell, Sir John,
  on Dr. Young's theory of light,
Hervey, Lady,
  "Letters, etc.,"
Highley, Samuel,
Hoare, Prince,
  "Epochs of the Arts,"
Hobhouse, John Cam (Lord Broughton),
  "Journey through Albania, etc., with Lord Byron,"
  "Last Reign of Napoleon,"
  visits Byron at Venice,
  his inscription for Thorwaldsen's bust of Byron,
  on Byron's intention to visit S. America,
  imprisoned for breach of privilege,
  "My boy Hobby O!"--his account of the Whig Club at Cambridge,
  Byron's executor,
  anxiety about a complete edition of Byron's Works,
Hodgson, Rev. Francis,
Hogg, James,
  "Ettrick Shepherd,"
  "The Queen's Wake,"
  "The Pilgrims of the Sun,"
  correspondence with Murray,
  Duke of Buccleuch gives him a farm,
  supposed to be author of "Tales of my Landlord,"
  contributor to _Blackwood's Magazine_,
  said to be author of the "Chaldee Manuscript,"
  helped by Scott and Murray,
  "Jacobite Relics of Scotland,"
Holland, Lord,
  "Life of Lope de Vega and Inez de Castro,"
  on Napoleon's treatment at St. Helena,
  opinion of "Tales of my Landlord,"
  proposals to Murray about the Waldegrave and Walpole Memoirs,
Holland, Rev. W. (Canon of Chichester),
Hope, Thomas,
  "Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Modern Greek, etc.,"
Hoppner, Mr.,
Horton, Sir Robert Wilmot,
  letter from Murray with particulars of the destruction of
Byron's Memoirs,
Howard, Mrs.,
Hume, Joseph,
Hunt, John,
Hunt, Leigh,
  joint Editor of the _Examiner_,
  in gaol for libelling Prince Regent,
  correspondence with Murray about "Story of Rimini,"
  "Recollections of Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries,"
Hunter, Alexander G.,
Hunter, Charles,
Hurst, Rohinson & Co.,

Inchbald, Mrs.,
Ireland, Dr. John (Dean of Westminster),
  proposed burial of Byron in the Abbey,
  Gifford's executor,
  Byron's statue,
Irving, Peter,
Irving, Washington,
  account of a dinner at Murray's,
  "Sketch Book,"
  "Bracebridge Hall,"
  letter from Murray as to _Representative_,

Jameson, Mrs.,
  "Guide to the Picture Galleries of London,"
Jeffrey, Francis,
  Editor of _Edinburgh Review,_
  opinion of Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge,
  Southey's opinion of him,
  "Don Cevallos on the Occupation of Spain,"
  party politics in _Ed. Rev_.,
  recommends Carlyle to Murray,
  his interview with Murray,
Jerdan, William
  his erroneous account in _Literary Gazette_ of destruction
   of Byron's Memoirs,
  on Gifford,

Kean, Charles,
  in "Bertram,"
  in "Manuel,"
Keats' "Endymion" reviewed in _Q.R._,
Kerr, William,
Kerr, Robert,
Kinnaird, Honble. Douglas, and "Childe Harold,"
  letter to Murray,
Kinneir, Macdonald, "Persia,"
Kingsburg, Miss Harriet (Mrs. Maturin),
Knight, Charles,
  "Library of Entertaining Knowledge,"
  remarks on Murray's honourable conduct,
Knight, H. Gally,

Lamb, Lady Caroline,
  opinion of Byron's works,
  correspondence with Murray,
  "Ada Reis,"
Lamb, Charles,
Lamb, Honble. George,
Lamb, Honble. William (Lord Melbourne),
Lamennais' "Paroles d'un Croyant,"
Landor, W.S., "Remarks upon C.J. Fox's Memoirs,"
Lauderdale, Lord,
Lavater on Physiognomy,
Leigh, Honble. Augusta, her wish that Byron's Memoirs should be
Levinge, Godfrey,
Leyden's "Africa,"
Lieven, Prince,
Lindo, Mr. and Mrs.,
Llandaff, Bishop of, "Lord Dudley's Letters,"
Lockhart, John, the "Littlejohn," to whom Scott's "Tales of a
Grandfather" were addressed,
Lockhart, John Gibson, contributor to _Blackwood's Magazine_,
  article on "The Cockney School of Poetry,"
  challenges the anonymous author of "Hypocrisy Unveiled, etc.,"
  called "M." by B. Disraeli,
  at Chiefswood,
  B. Disraeli's visit,
  editorship of _Representative_ offered to him,
  Scott's opinion of him, 261, 273
  accepts editorship of _Q.R._,
  his success as Editor of _Q.R._,
  relations with Murray,
  opinion of Wordsworth's poems,
  visit to Brighton with Scott,
  interview with Duke of Wellington,
  at Abbotsford,
  Scott's death: writes his "Life,"
  remarks on Croker's edition of "Boswell's Johnson,"
  on Taylor's "Isaac Comnenus,"
  "Life of Napoleon,"
  opinion of early part of Moore's "Life of Byron,"
  opinion of "Contarini Fleming,"
  article on Borrow's "Bible in Spain,"
  on Wilkie,
  his illness,
Longman & Co.,
  breach with Constable,
  Murray's intervention,
  injunction as to _Edin. Rev_.,
  accept £1,000 for claim on _Edin. Rev_.,
  Coleridge's "Wallenstein,"
  offer to Campbell,
  Crabbe's poems declined,
  advertise an edition of Mrs. Rundell's "Domestic Cookery,"
  injunction granted to Murray,
  refuse to publish "Sartor Resartus,"
Longman, Thos., on the danger of reading in bed,
Lyndhurst, Lord,
Lyttelton, Lord, "Dialogues of the Dead," "History of King Henry II.,"

Maas, of Coblentz,
Macaulay, Lord, his articles in _Edin. Rev_., on Crokers's "Boswell's
  Gladstone's "Church and State,"
Macirone, Col.
Mackay, the actor
Mackintosh, Sir James
Macleod, John,
  "Voyage of H.M.S. _Alceste_ to Loochoo"
Macready, W.C.
Maginn, Dr.
Magnus, Samuel,
  his testimonial to Dean Milman
Mahon, Lord (Earl Stanhope)
Malcolm, Sir John
  "Sketch of the Sikhs"
  "Rent," "Corn-Laws," "Essay on Population"
Markham, Mrs.,
  "History of England"
Mason, Rev. William (T. Gray's executor)
  controversy with Murray
Maturin, Rev. Chas. Robert
  his early life and marriage; "The Fatal Revenge," "The Wild Irish
Boy," "The Milesian Chief," "Bertram"
  "Bertram" at Drury Lane
  his death
Maule, William
Mavrocordato, Prince
Mawman, Joseph
Medwin, Capt. Thomas,
  "Conversations of Lord Byron"
Melbourne, Lord (_see_ Lamb)
Mémoires pour servir
Milbanke, Miss
Mill, James,
  "History of British India"
Mill, John Stuart
Miller, John
Miller, Robert
Miller, William,
  of Albemarle Street
Mills, James
Milman, Dean (Rev. H.H.)
  "Fall of Jerusalem"
  one of Murray's Historians
  "History of Christianity"
  "History of the Jews" received with disapprobation; his remarks
on Sharon Turner's Expostulation; testimonial from the Jews
  opinion of "Contarini Fleming"
Mirza, Abul Hassan,
  impressions of English Society
Mitchell, Thomas
  impressions of Ugo Foscolo
  opinion of Murray
  "History of Greece"
_Monthly Register_
Moore, Thomas
  opinion of "The Corsair"
  presented with Byron's Memoirs
  offers them to Longman
  accepted by Murray
  their destruction
  reconciled to Murray and undertakes "Life of Byron"
  his views on Cookery Books and on Mrs. Rundell's "Domestic
  agreement with Murray as to "Life of Byron," receives £3,000
from Murray for "Life"
  Lockhart's opinion of the "Life"
  Vol. I. of "Life" published
  Vol. II. of "Life" published; Mrs. Somerville's opinion of it
  "Thoughts on Editors"
  Murray's proposal as to a complete edition of Byron's works
Morgan, Lady
Morier, James,
  "Hajji Baba"
  of Rokeby Park
Murat, King of Naples
Murray, Sir George
Murray, Joe (Byron's Steward)
Murray I., John.
  1745-68--His birth and early years
  1768--Marriage and retirement from Royal Marines
    offers partnership to W. Falconer
    purchases W. Sandby's business
    early publications
  1769-70--Support from Sir R. Gordon and his old comrades
    money difficulties
    agents in Ireland and Scotland
  1771--Defence of Sir R. Gordon
  1777-78--Second marriage
    controversy with Rev. W. Mason
  1782-93--Paralytic stroke
    his son's education and character
    Dr. Johnson's funeral
    illness and death
Murray II., John
  called by Lord Byron "The Anax of Publishers,"
  nicknamed "The Emperor of the West,"
   at Edinburgh High School,
   at school at Margate,
   at school at Gosport,
   sight of one eye destroyed,
  1793--At school at Kennington,
  1795--Enters his father's business firm of Murray & Highley,
  1802--Dissolves partnership with Highley and starts business
  1803--Offers to publish Colman's Comedy "John Bull,"
   money difficulties,
   military duties,
   friendship with Isaac D'Israeli,
   Isaac D'Israeli's "Narrative Poems,"
   business transactions with Constable,
   appoints Constable his agent in Edinburgh;
   pushes sale of _Edinburgh Review_,
  1804--Birth of Benjamin Disraeli,
   takes Charles Hunter as apprentice,
  1805--Isaac D'Israeli's letters to him,
   attempts to reconcile Constable and Longman,
   expedition to Edinburgh,
   attachment to Miss Elliot,
  1806--The "Miniature" and Stratford Canning,
   introduced to George Canning,
   close attention to business,
   visits Edinburgh,
   engagement to Miss Elliot,
   financial position,
   appointed publisher of _Edinburgh Review_,
   Campbell's proposed Magazine and "Selection from British Poets,"
  1807--Marries Miss Elliot,
   I. D'Israeli one of his Trustees,
   friendship with Sharon Turner,
   injunction in the matter of the _Edinburgh Review_,
   remonstrates with Constable about drawing bills,
   breach with Constable,
   bill transactions with Ballantyne,
   writes to George Canning proposing a new Review,
  1808--"Marmion" and friendship with Scott,
   proposed edition of the "British Novelists,"
   De Foe's works,
   introduced to Gifford by Stratford Canning,
   visits Scott at Ashestiel,
   correspondence about _Quarterly Review_,
   Gifford accepts editorship,
   Missionary Reports and Southey's article in
   article on Spain for _Q.R._ by Canning, Gifford, and Ellis,
   correspondence with Mrs. Inchbald,
  1809--Meets Ballantyne at Boroughbridge,
   appoints Ballantyne Edinburgh publisher
   of _Q.R._,
   Scott's _Life of Swift_,
   _Q.R._, No. 1 published,
   urges Scott to visit London,
   letter to Stratford Canning,
   exertions to procure contributors,
   Mrs. Rundell's "Domestic Cookery,"
   close alliance with Ballantyne,
   Grahame's "British Georgies" and Scott's "English Ministrelsy,"
   financial difficulties with Ballantyne,
   letter from Campbell on "Selection from British Poets,"
   Campbell's Gertrude of "Wyoming,"
  1810--Breach with Ballantyne,
   appoints W. Blackwood his agent in Scotland,
   Southey's "Life of Nelson,"
   money difficulties--Ballantyne's bills,
   transfers printing business,
   Constable's bills,
   decrease in circulation of _Q.R._,
  1811--Relations with Gifford,
   improvement of _Q.R._,
   generosity to Gifford,
   origin of his connection with Byron,
   "Childe Harold,"
  1812--Ballantyne's bills again,
   purchases stock of Miller,
    of Albemarle Street,
    removes to Albemarle Street,
    Constable's bills,
    final breach with Constable,
    complete success of _Q.R._
    refuses "The Rejected Addresses,"
  1813--"The Giaour," and "The Bride of Abydos,"
    Sir J. Malcolm,
    I. D'Israeli's "Calamities of Authors,"
    Scott's bill transactions,
    Mme. de Staël at Albemarle Street,
    other books published by him during the year,
  1814--"The Corsair,"
    "Ode to Napoleon,"
    "Lara and Jacqueline,"
    Mrs. Murray's visit to Leith,
    letters to Mrs. Murray,
    visit from Blackwood,
    dines with I. D'Israeli,
    education of his son John,
    visit to D'Israeli at Brighton,
    description of Newstead Abbey,
    Byron's skull-cup,
    trip to Edinburgh,
    alliance with Blackwood,
    visit to Abbotsford,
    shares in Scott's "Don Roderick,"
    correspondence with Coleridge,
  1815--Drawing-room in Albemarle Street,
    Mme. de Staël,
    first meeting of Scott and Byron,
    Napoleon's escape from Elba,
    sends first news of Battle of Waterloo to Blackwood,
    literary parties,
    portraits of distinguished men,
    trip to Paris,
    Scott's proposed letters from the Continent,
    Napoleon's personal correspondence with crowned heads, etc., of
    publishes Miss Austen's "Emma,"
    begins to publish Malthus' works,
    correspondence with Leigh Hunt as to the "Story of Rimini,"
    correspondence with James Hogg,
    dealings with Byron,
    his liberal offer to Byron,
    "Siege of Corinth" and "Parisina,"
    remonstrates with Byron,
    correspondence with Blackwood,
    other books published by him during the year,
  1816--Kindness to Rev. C.R. Maturin,
    Coleridge's "Glycine: a Song," "Remorse," "Zapolya," "Christabel,"
and "Christmas Tale,"
    correspondence with Leigh Hunt,
    Gifford's illness,
    gives Gifford a carriage,
    entrusted with sale of Byron's books and furniture,
    buys some of Byron's books, the large screen (now at Albemarle
Street), and silver cup,
    Byron's "Sketch from Private Life,"
    Byron leaves England,
    "Childe Harold" and "The Prisoner of Chillon,"
    letter to Byron on the "Monody on Sheridan,"
    "Tales of my Landlord,"
    correspondence with Lady Byron and Lady C. Lamb,
    Ballantyne's proposal about Scott's works,
    his assistance to Hogg,
    other books published by him during the year,
  1817--Correspondence with Coleridge,
    Scott's review of "Childe Harold," Canto III.,
    letters from Lady C. Lamb,
    "Manuscrit venu de Ste. Hèléne,"
    "Childe Harold," Canto IV.,
    Captain Basil Hall's "Fragments of Voyages and Travels,"
    correspondence with Lady Abercorn,
    Giovanni Belzoni,
    Washington Irving at Albemarle Street,
    other books published by him during the year,
    visit to Scott,
    "Don Juan," Canto I.,
    takes share in
   _Blackwood's Magazine_,
   remonstrances with Blackwood on the personality of the Magazine
   the anonymous pamphlet "Hypocrisy Unveiled,"
   assailed by a pamphlet, entitled "A Letter to Mr. John Murray
of Albemarle Street, etc.,"
   Hazlitt's libel action,
   correspondence with Scott,
   friendship with Hallam--publishes "Middle Ages,"
   the proposed _Monthly Register_,
   Crabbe's "Tales of the Hall," and other poems,
   Rev. H.H. Milman
  1819--Campbell's "Selections from British Poets,"
   suggestions to Byron about "Don Juan," Canto II.,
   "Mazeppa" and "The Ode to Venice,"
   Blackwood refuses to sell "Don Juan,"
   copyright of "Don Juan" infringed--injunction applied for and
   retires from _Blackwood's Magazine_,
   transfers his Scottish Agency to Oliver and Boyd,
   Thomas Hope's "Anastasius,"
   threatened by Colonel Macirone with libel action,
   verdict in his favour,
   buys house at Wimbledon,
   literary levées at Albemarle Street,
   his acquaintance with Ugo Foscolo
  1820--"Don Juan, Cantos III. and IV.,"
   Hobhouse's anger--the "My boy Hobby O!" incident,
   Milman's "Fall of Jerusalem,"
   B. Disraeli first mentioned,
   Washington Irving's "Sketch-Book,"
   other books published by him during the year
  1821--Cantos III., IV., and V. of "Don Juan,"
   refuses to publish further cantos of "Don Juan,"
   Byron's pamphlet on Bowles,
   "The Two Foscari," "Cain, a Mystery,"
   present with Scott at Coronation of George IV.,
   injunction in case of "Cain,"
   accepts Byron's "Memoirs,"
   Mrs. Graham's letter to him about Sir Charles Eastlake,
   pirated copies of Byron's works in America and France,
   injunction obtained restraining sale by Longman of Mrs. Rundell's
"Domestic Cookery,"
  1822--Death of Allegra,
   Milman's "Fall of Jerusalem,"
   intimacy with Milman,
   "Bracebridge Hall,"
   declines James Fenimore Cooper's novels,
   Ugo Foscolo
  1823--Giflord's serious illness--difficulty in choosing new Editor
for the _Q.R._,
   other books published by him during the year
  1824--Closing incidents of friendship with Byron,
   Byron's last letter and illness,
   Byron's death,
   correspondence with Dr. Ireland (Dean of Westminster) about Byron's
burial in Westminster Abbey,
   destruction of Byron's Memoirs,
   Moore undertakes "Life of Byron,"
   Mrs. Markham's "History of England,"
   a crisis in the _Q.R._,
   John Taylor Coleridge appointed Editor of _Q.R._;
   correspondence with B. Disraeli about "Aylmer Papillon"
1825--Agreement and arrangements regarding proposed morning paper,
   letters from B. Disraeli as to _Representative_,
   I. D'Israeli's views on the _Representative_,
   offers editorship of _Representative_ to Lockhart;
   Scott's opinion of the scheme,
   secures foreign
    correspondents for _Representative_,
    bears the whole expense,
    appoints Lockhart Editor of _Q.R._ on Coleridge's resignation,
    letters to him from Scott on Lockhart's fitness for the _Q.R._
    letters from Lockhart,
    Hallam's "Constitutional History,"
    renews friendship with Constable after fifteen years' interval,
    other books published by him during the year,
  1826--_Representative_ started--its utter failure,
    health breaks down,
    commercial crisis and failure of large publishing houses, Constable
 & Co., Ballantyne & Co., Hurst, Robinson & Co., and others,
    helps London publishers in their difficulties,
    _Representative_ ceases to exist after career of six months,
    misunderstanding with I. D'Israeli,
    intimacy with Lockhart,
    Wordsworth's proposal to him,
  1827--Letter from his son describing Scott's acknowledgement of
the authorship of "Waverley Novels" at the Theatrical Fund dinner in
    Henry Taylor's "Isaac Comnenus,"
    buys all Byron's works,
  1828--Offers Scott £1,250 for copyright of "History of Scotland,"
    "Tales of a Grandfather,"
    Napier's "History of Peninsular War,"
    the "Wellington Despatches,"
    "Library of Entertaining Knowledge,"
    negotiations with Moore as to "Life of Byron,"
  1829--Resigns his share in "Marmion" to Scott,
    Croker's edition of "Boswell's Johnson,"
    "The Family Library,"
  1830--Milman's "History of the Jews,"
    Moore's "Life of Byron," Vol. I.,
    renewal of correspondence with B. Disraeli and negotiations with
him as to "Contarini Fleming: a Psychological Biography,"
  1831--Moore's "Life of Byron," Vol. II.,
    Moore's "Thoughts on Editors,"
    Thomas Carlyle recommended to him by Lord Jeffrey,
    "Sartor Resartus"--which he ultimately declines to publish,
  1832--Complete edition of Byron's works,
    correspondence with Benjamin Disraeli about "Gallomania,"
  1834--Dean of Westminster refuses his request that Thorwaldsen's
statue of Byron should be placed in Westminster Abbey,
  1836--The first Handbook to the Continent (Holland, Belgium, and
 North Germany), published,
  1837--Letter to _Morning Chronicle_ on Napier's "History of the
Peninsular War,"
  1838--Mr. Gladstone's "Church and State,"
    T. Powell Buxton's "Slave Trade and its Remedy,"
    Handbook to Switzerland,
  1839--Handbook to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark,
  1840--Mrs. Jameson and her "Guide to the Picture Galleries of
    Handbook to the East,
    George Borrow,
    Borrow's "Gypsies of Spain,"
    Southey's death,
  1841--Bishop of Llandaff and "Lord Dudley's Letters,"
    correspondence with John Colquhoun on "The Moor and the Loch,"
  1842--Handbook to Italy,
    letters from George Borrow,
    "The Bible in Spain" published,
 Horace Twiss's "Life of Lord Eldon,"
  his illness,
 1843--In constant communication with Sir Robert Peel,
   many of whose speeches, etc., he published,
  Richard Ford's Handbook of Spain,
  Mr. Gladstone on the Copyright Bill,
  his failing health and death,
  his dinner-parties an institution,
  tokens of respect from all parts--extracts from letters
   of sympathy from the Americans, Dr. Robinson and Mrs.
   L.H. Sigourney,
Murray, III., John, a reader for the press at six years
  recollections of Scott and Byron at Albemarle Street,
  present at the destruction of Byron's Memoirs,
  letter from R.W. Hay on the anonymous attack on Gifford's
  present at the Theatrical Fund Dinner in Edinburgh when
   Scott declared himself the author of the "Waverley Novels,"
  the originator and author of the "Guides,"
  extract from his article in Murray's Magazine on the

Napier, Macvey,
Napier, Col. W., "History of the Peninsular War,"
  at Strathfieldsaye with Duke of Wellington,
  negotiations with Murray,
Napoleon Buonaparte, escapes from Elba,
  private correspondence with crowned heads, etc., of
   Europe declined by Murray,
Nelson, Lord, anecdote of,
Newton (the artist),
Nugent's "Memorials of Hampden,"

Oliver & Boyd,
Orloff, Count,
Ouseley, Sir Gore,
Owen, Robert,
  his "New View of Society,"

Paget, Lieut. Henry (Murray's stepfather),
Palgrave, Sir Francis, Murray's Guide to Northern Italy,
  on Murray's friendship,
Palmer, Miss Alicia T.,
Parish, H.,
Paul, Emperor, proposal to assist Napoleon in turning
  English out of India,
Paxton, Dr. G.A.,
Peel, Sir Robert, on Byron,
  publishes his speeches, etc.,
Perry, James, _Independent Gazette_,
Phillips, Sir Richard, 17
  "Waverley" offered to, 97
Phillips, Thomas, his portraits,
Phillpotts, Rev. Dr. Henry (Bishop of Exeter),
Pillans, Mr.,
Pindar, Peter,
Pitcairn's "Criminal Trials of Scotland,"
Polidori, Dr.,
Powles, J.D.,
Pringle, Thomas, Editor of _Blackwood's Magazine_,
Proctor, John,

_Quarterly Review_, proposals by Murray
  to Canning,
  to Scott,
  Gifford accepts editorship,
  letters from Scott,
  his advice
  to Gifford,
  general arrangements,
  first number appears,
  first edition exhausted,
  its unpunctual appearance,
  Southey a constant contributor to,
  its prosperity,
  Sir J. Barrow's connection with,
  Croker takes charge of it during Gifford's illness,
  Gifford's illness and resignation,
  crisis--only two numbers in 1824,
  J.T. Coleridge appointed Editor,
  Coleridge resigns,
  Lockhart appointed Editor,

Ramsay & Co., George,
Regent, Prince,
_Representative_, The, Murray's daily newspaper; its
  first appearance and complete
  ceases to exist,
Roberts, Rev. Dr.
Robinson, Dr.
Robinson, H. Crabb
Rogers, Samuel,
  on _Q.R._
  opinion of "Childe Harold"
  on Crabbe's poems
Romilly, Sir S.
Royal Society of Literature
Rundell, Mrs., "Domestic Cookery"
  history of the book and injunction obtained by Murray
Russell, Lord John, "Memoirs, Journals, and
  Correspondence of T. Moore"
  "The Affairs of Europe"

Sandby, William
Scott, Sir Walter
  "Sir Tristram," and "Lay of the Last Minstrel"
  "Border Minstrelsy"
  partnership with Ballantyne
  proposed edition of "British Novelists"
  asks Southey to contribute to _Edin. Rev._
  severs his connection with Constable and _Edin. Rev._
  visit from Murray
  correspondence with Murray about _Q.R._
  letter to George Ellis on Murray, etc.
  views as to management of _Q.R._
  advice to Gifford
  friendship with George Ellis
  "Life of Swift"
  a principal contributor to first number of _Q.R._
  proposed "Secret History of the Court of James I."
  "Portcullis Copies"
  "English Minstrelsy"
  "Lady of the Lake"
  Prince Regent's opinion of his poems, etc.
  opinion of "Calamities of Authors"
  new edition of "Lord Somers's Tracts"
  Ballantyne's recklessness
  at Abbotsford
  fresh alliance with Constable
  his writing-desk; "Waverley" (Great Unknown)
  "The Lord of the Isles"
  additions to Abbotsford
  "Don Roderick"
  meets Byron at Murray's house
  portrait by Newton
  trip to Belgium
  proposed letters from the Continent
  visit from Murray
  opinion of "Cain"
  "Tales of my Landlord," "The Black Dwarf"
  cicerone to George IV. in Edinburgh
  serious illness
  assists Hogg
  "Heart of Midlothian," "Rob Roy"
  assists Washington Irving
  nicknamed "The Chevalier" by B. Disraeli
  bankruptcy of his publishers
  on Lockhart's fitness for the _Q.R._ editorship
  at Brighton with Lockhart; illness of his grandson
  "History of Scotland"
  Cadell appointed his publisher; purchases, jointly with
   Cadell, all principal copyrights of his works
  Murray's transfer of his share of "Marmion"
  last letter to Murray
  rapid decline
  account of his acknowledgment of the authorship of
   "Waverley Novels" at the Theatrical Fund dinner
  opinion of "Murray, the Emperor of the West"
  advises Lockhart to undertake "Life of Napoleon"
  opinion of Moore's "Life of Byron"
  some of the articles he wrote for _Q.R._: Carr's
   "Tour in Scotland"; "Curse of Kehama"
   "Daemonology"; Miss Austen's "Emma"
   "Culloden Papers"; Campbell's "Gertrude of
   Wyoming"; "Childe Harold" Canto III.;
   "Tales of my Grandfather"; "Lord Orford's
   Letters"; "Pepys' Memoirs"; "Works
   of John Home," "Planting Waste Lands," "Plantation
   and Landscape Gardening," Sir Humphry Davy's
   "Salmonia"; "Hajji Baba," "Ancient History
   of Scotland," Southey's "Life of John Bunyan"
   Pitcairn's "Criminal Trials of Scotland"
Scott, Thomas
  reported to be author of "Tales of my Landlord"
Senior, Nassau,
Sewell, Rev. W.,
  his articles in _Q.R._ on Gladstone's "Church and State,"
Shadwell, Vice-Chancellor,
  on copyright of "Don Juan,"
  on copyright of "Cain,"
Sharpe, Charles K.,
Sheffield, Lord,
Shelley, Mrs.,
  opinion of Croker's "Boswell's Johnson,"
  on Moore's "Life of Byron,"
Shelley's "Revolt of Islam,"
  Southey's attack on,
Sigourney, Mrs. L.H.,
  on Murray's death,
Smart, Theophilus,
Smith, Horace and James,
  "Rejected Addresses,"
Smith, Sydney,
  "Visitation Sermon,"
Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge,
Somerville, Mrs.,
  her portrait,
  opinion of Moore's "Life of Byron,"
Somerville, Dr.,
Sotheby, Wm.,
Soult, Marshal,
Southey, Robert
  Jeffrey's boast about his "Excursion,"
  asked by Scott to write for _Edin. Rev_.,
  opinion of Jeffrey,
  asked to contribute to the _Q.R._,
  "Life of Nelson,"
  "Madoc," "Thalaba," and "Curse of Kehama,"
  constant contributor to _Q.R._,
  his income diminished by failure of _Edinburgh Annual Register_,
  opinion of "Calamities of Authors,"
  intention about his own Memoirs,
  portrait by Phillips,
  asks Murray to employ Coleridge to translate Goethe's "Faust,"
  "Wat Tyler" ruled by Chancellor to be seditious,
  "History of Peninsular War,"
  extracts from his letters to Murray,
  "Book of the Church,"
  literary work,
  advice as to Gifford's successor,
  "Life of John Bunyan,"
  returned M.P. for Downton,
  his _Q.R._ articles his chief means of support,
  receives pension from Government,
  his intellect failing,
  his death,
  had written ninety-four articles for _Q.R._, some of which are:
    "Missionary Enterprise,"
    "Life of Nelson,"
    "Life and Achievements of Lord Wellington,"
    "Parliamentary Reform,"
    "Thomas Telford,"
Southey, Mrs. (Southey's second wife),
  on her husband's state,
Spanish Colonies,
  emancipation of,
  effect on English money market,
Staël, Madame de, _see_ De Staël.
Starke, Mrs.,
Stationers' Co. in 18th century,
Sterling, John,
  opinion of Mill's "Logic,"
Stothard, Charles,
Suffolk, Countess of,
  "The Suffolk Papers,"
Suliotes, the,

Taylor, Henry,
  "Isaac Comnenus,"
  proposes to divide loss on his drama with Murray,
  "Philip van Artevelde,"
Talfourd, Serjeant,
Teignmouth, Lord,
Thackeray, W.M.,
  his opinion of the "Suffolk Papers,"
Thomson, Dr. Thomas,
  article on Kidd's "Outlines of Mineralogy,"
Thorwaldsen's bust of Byron,
  statue of Byron,
Ticknor, George,
  impressions of Gifford,
Tita (Byron's Gondolier),
Tomline, Bishop,
  "Life of William Pitt,"
Townsend, Dr. George,
"Trade Books" of 18th century,
Turner, Dawson,
Turner, Sharon,
  retained by Longman,
  Murray's staunch friend,
  criticises _Q.R._ No. 1,
  on "Austrian State Papers,"
  opinion of Byron's "Sketch from Private Life,"
  copyright of "Don Juan,"
  poems declined by Murray,
  on Macirone's libel suit,
  an injunction in the case of Mrs. Rundell's "Domestic Cookery,"
  consulted by Isaac D'Israeli as to pamphlet on quarrel with Murray,
  expostulates with Murray about Milman's "History of Jews,"
  expression of his affection for Murray,
Turner, Mrs. Sharon,
Twiss, Horace,
  "Life of the Earl of Eldon,"
Tytler's "History of Scotland,"

Underwood, T. and G.,

Van Zuylen, Baron,
Vere, Lady,
  Review of, in Hyde Park--Murray an Ensign in 3rd Regiment of Royal
London Volunteers,

Waldegrave Memoirs,
Waldie, Miss Jane (Mrs. Eaton),
  "Letters from Italy,"
Walker, C.E.,
  "Wallace: a Historical Tragedy,"
Walpole Memoirs,
Walpole, Rev. R.,
Walpole's "Castle of Otranto,"
Weber, Henry,
  Scott's amanuensis,
  "Tales of the East,"
Wellington, Duke of,
  witness in Macirone's libel suit,
  interest in the _Q.R._,
  connection with Napier's "History of Peninsular War,"
Whistlecraft, by J.H. Frere,
Whitaker, Rev. John,
White, Rev. J. Blanco,
Wilkie, Sir David,
  his journey to the East; paints the Sultan at Constantinople,
  death off Gibraltar;
  Turner's picture of his funeral at sea,
Wilmot, Mrs. _see_ Dacre, Lady.
Wilson, John (Christopher North)
  connection with _Blackwood's Magazine_,
  article on "Childe Harold," Canto IV.,
  a principal writer in _Blackwood's Magazine_,
  challenges anonymous author of "Hypocrisy Unveiled, etc.,"
  "An Hour's Tête-a-Tête with the Public" in _Blackwood's Magazine_,
Wool, Rev. J.,
  "Life of Joseph Wharton,"
Wordsworth, William,
Wright, Mr.,
  his connection with the _Representative_,

Young, Dr. Thomas,
  his theory of light.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Publisher and His Friends - Memoir and Correspondence of John Murray; with an - Account of the Origin and Progress of the House, 1768-1843" ***

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