LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Editor of the Conversations
Lord Byron and Mr. Murray.
Morning Chronicle  No. 17,341  (15 November 1824)
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No. 17,341. LONDON, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1824. Price Sevenpence.



Sir—In the absence of Mr. Medwin, who is on the Continent, and who will doubtless eventually substantiate, by original letters or other documents in his possession, the general authenticity of his work, I beg leave to observe, the extracts of letters published by Mr. Murray, in answer to certain statements affecting that Gentleman, contrary to the first impression produced by them, tend, on a mature consideration, to corroborate the truth and authenticity of the Conversations, except in the single instance of the deed; and even on this point the letters are not very conclusive.

Captain Medwin says, p. 170.
When he purchased Cain, The two Foscari, and Sardanapalus, he sent me a deed, which you may remember witnessing. Well; after its return to England, it was discovered that it contained a clause which had been introduced without my knowledge, a clause by which I bound myself to offer Mr. Murray all my future compositions. But I shall take no notice of it.”
Mr. Murray answers this by referring to the deed for the Two Foscari, Cain, &c. in which no such clause is to be found, and which is signed in London by Mr. Kinnaird and witnessed by Mr. Williams. Now, it is to be observed, that it does not appear very conclusive that this is the identical deed referred to by Mr. Medwin; it might have been a deed relative to some former purchase, which the party had taken this opportunity of sending for Lord B’s signature, for it is well known, that although that respecting the Two Foscari was not signed in London, yet others were sent to Italy to be executed by Lord Byron himself. If Captain Medwin had desired to practise any deception (which is quite improbable), is it at all likely he would have committed himself in so unguarded a manner? Certainly not. And I have no doubt, if Mr. Murray had chosen to refer to the other deeds, he would have found one witnessed by Mr. Medwin, and containing a clause of the nature alluded to.

Another statement attempted to be refuted by Mr. Murray is at page 167:—

Captain Medwin says:
Murray offered me, of his own accord, 1000l. a Canto for Don Juan, and afterwards reduced it to 500l. on the plea of piracy, and complained of my dividing one canto into two, because I happened to say something at the end of the third canto of having done so.
Mr. Murray, in answer, quotes a letter, in which Lord Byron says, “I have copied and cut the Third Canto of Don Juan into two, because it was too long.” and adds, “that these two are to go for one.”
Here we see the mention actually made of dividing the Third Canto into two, as alluded to in the Conversations, and on referring to the price given by Mr. Murray, it does appear that he only gave 500 guineas for the Fifth Canto. Now, as Mr. Murray does not state the reason of the diminution of price, is it not reasonable to conclude that it was, as stated in The Conversations, on the plea of piracy?
Again at page 168 of Captain Medwin, Lord Byron says, “I have altered my mind considerably upon that subject (booksellers and the sale of his works), as I once hinted to Mr. Murray, I see no reason why a man should not profit by the sweat of his brain as well as that of his brow.” This passage is corroborated by an extract of a letter, which appeared in The Literary Gazette of the 6th of November, in which Lord Byron writes to Mr. Murray, that Mr. Rogers and —— have convinced him that he ought not to be so generous to booksellers.
John and Leigh Hunt, in The Examiner

In addition to these remarks, Mr. Editor, I beg you will, in justice to Mr. Medwin, who is not present to defend himself, give place to the following extracts from The Examiner, which, among others, completely falsify the statement so unblushingly set forth by Mr. Murray, that nothing had occurred to subvert Lord Byron’s friendly sentiments towards him.

I am, Sir, your very obedient Servant,