LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Lord Byron, [29 August] 1817

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.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
September 9th, 1817.

Mr. Gifford, after consulting me, omitted your close of the drama from no other motive than because he thought that the words you allude to lessened the effect; and I was convinced of this myself, and the omission to send a copy to you earlier was merely that, having no direct opportunity, it did not before occur to me to send it by post; and, upon my honour, the alteration was so trivial in my mind that I forgot the importance which it might have in the eye of an author. I have written up this day to have the page cancelled and your reading restored. In future I propose to send you every proof by post, with any suggestions of Mr. G. upon them for your approbation. The slight errors of the press which you point out in the fifth volume have been corrected against a new edition. I
assure you that I take no umbrage at irritability which will occasionally burst from a mind like yours; but I sometimes feel a deep regret that in our pretty long intercourse I appear to have failed to show that a man in my situation may possess the feelings and principles of a gentleman; most certainly I do think that, from personal attachment, I could venture as much in any shape for your service as any of those who have the good fortune to be ranked amongst your friends.

How I have omitted to tell you what I have heard of ‘Manfred,’ I cannot conceive, but so it appears to be. All the higher critics, such as Frere, are in ecstasy with it, averring that it places you far above all your former efforts; but it is not so popular with the general reader, because they go through it at once, expecting to find their pleasure in the intricacy and interest of the plot, and being therein disappointed, they do not recur to the beauties which they had hastily passed over; to conclude, it is less popular, but more praised. Mr. Crabbe did not think ‘Tasso’ equal to yourself; but, he added, who could have written it but Lord Byron?

By the way, I asked Gifford and some others how Scott would like to be called the Scottish Ariosto, and no one can tell why you should call him so, except, perhaps, on account of his adopting the same measure.