LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of John Murray
Archibald Constable to John Murray, 29 December 1826

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
December 29th, 1826.

Between old friends like you and myself it would be needless, at least I feel it so, in a communication like the present, to go back on the recent events, in which you know I have had a deep and an unfortunate interest, and of which I little dreamt when we last met. I shall therefore enter at once into the chief business of this letter, which, in the first place, is to tell you that, after many months of very poor health, I am again, though leaving a sick-bed, about to embark in some of the world’s cares; but I shall do so with greatly abridged anxieties, I trust, compared to those in which it was my lot to be so long involved. I hope your health, my dear sir, has stood its ground. Without that blessing, there are but few of us who could boast of much happiness in this world of change and uncertainty.

I believe you thought well of my ‘Miscellany.’ I am just about to enter on a new career, making it for the present my sole and only object. The times, I am aware are wonderfully changed since my undertaking was first announced; and I am looking forward to nothing but moderate doings, and these I think I can say are likely to be realized. I have made considerable changes in the list of publications, as you will see if you have leisure to glance over the copy of it enclosed. I take the liberty of sending you our friend Captain Hall’s Voyages, which from his uncommon kindness still holds the first place in my undertaking.

I heard some time ago with astonishment (and it is not everything nowadays, that does so) that a proposition had been made to you to purchase your literary property. Ambition and folly often go together; and perhaps in the present instance you will say so of myself, though the scale be a small one. I ask whether, as a great favour, you will grant me the right of printing Southey’sLife of Nelson’ in the ‘Miscellany’? In making this proposition, I know I am doing it to a friend of most liberal feelings, and,
whether the favour is granted me or not, you will not take any offence at the question being put, which is done entirely under the impression that in a matter of merchandize, in which only the present application can be treated, there is no offence intended, or likely to be taken. It is entirely impossible for me to estimate the value of what I am now wishing to treat about. The sale of Mr. Southey’s work, taken by itself, could not fail to be great, and the effect upon my publication would be considerable. I shall therefore be prepared to meet you in regard to terms, whatever they may be; on the understanding that it is for the ‘Miscellany’ alone, and in no other shape that it will be used. This is the only favour of the kind which I have asked for my work, and you will excuse my adding that you are the only individual in the trade from whom I would ask it; or, to say a little more, anything else.