LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Walter Scott, 27 June 1812

Vol. 1 Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Chapter XI.
Chapter XII.
Chapter XIII.
Chapter XIV.
Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.
Chapter XVII.
Chapter XVIII.
Chapter XIX.
Vol. 2 Contents
Chap. XX.
Chap. XXI.
Chap. XXII.
Chap. XXIII.
Chap. XXIV.
Chap. XXV.
Chap. XXVI.
Chap. XXVII.
Chap. XXIX.
Chap. XXX.
Chap. XXXI.
Chap. XXXII.
Chap. XXXIV.
Chap. XXXV.
Chap. XXXVI.
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Produced by CATH
June 27th, 1812.
Dear Sir,

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. It is remarkable that the Prince never mentioned Campbell. I inquired
particularly about this, as I was anxious to ascertain the Prince’s opinion of both, as Lord Byron is rather partial to Campbell. The Prince is really worthy of a dedication, which, for many reasons, he would receive not only graciously, but gratefully. I sent you, some time ago, the ‘
Calamities of Authors,’ a work by D’Israeli. It is much liked here. If the book suit your taste, and if the office accord with your leisure, I hope you may be tempted to favour me with a Review of it.* I trust that your kindness may excuse the tittle-tattle which has occasioned this note; but I could not persuade myself that it would be uninteresting to you to know that you are equally esteemed by the Prince as I know you to be by the Princess.

Yours very faithfully,
John Murray.