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Memoir of John Murray
Chap. XXII.

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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It was in 1817 that Mr. Hallam applied to Mr. Murray to become the publisher of his ‘View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages;’ but it cannot now be ascertained whether he was originally introduced to the publisher by any one of their common friends. The early negotiations respecting the work—which was immediately accepted, and published in two volumes quarto in 1818—were conducted chiefly by means of personal interviews, and the correspondence of this period is confined to matters of no general interest; but the acquaintance thus formed led to a close friendship, which lasted unbroken till Mr. Murray’s death.

Towards the end of 1817, Mr. Murray received a letter from a new correspondent respecting the publication of his ‘Voyage to the West Coast of Corea and the Loo-choo Islands.’ This was from Captain Basil Hall, son of Sir James Hall of Dunglas, whose work on ‘Gothic Architecture’ Mr. Murray had published some years before. Captain Hall was a popular writer, and kept the public amused as well as instructed by his descriptions of life at sea and on land, in his numerous ‘Fragments of Voyages and Travels.’ He first wrote to Mr. Murray from Portsmouth, immediately on landing from the East.
He had unfortunately lost his notes about his interview with
Napoleon at St. Helena:—

Captain Basil Hall to John Murray.
Nov. 16th, 1817.

“It is a serious annoyance to lose such a document, and I am half tempted to advertise for it. Your note of the 11th gave me very great pleasure indeed, and I have now no more anxiety on the subject. The personal regard which you express towards me is not, I fully trust, thrown away on a man who will trifle with it. As to terms about the book, I will see you upon this subject when I come up—probably on Tuesday morning. I do want some ready money, certainly, to pay off a plaguey debt, but I have a strong desire to keep up some kind of interest in this ‘Cruize’—not, as you may believe, from any avaricious motive, but from a feeling that I could act along with you pleasantly and disinterestedly, and that the purposes of both would be better answered than by our cutting the connection. But you must be the best judge, and, as I have no concealment at any time, I shall not use any ceremony with you on this occasion. My heart is quite broken about the poor Princess!* I cry like a child still any moment over the papers.

“Yours very sincerely,
Basil Hall.”

A year later he wrote:—

Captain Basil Hall to John Murray.
November, 1818.

“I wish you joy of your Three Voyages of Discovery.† Happy ‘Loo-choo,’ to have come a year before! I don’t know how to thank you for your very kind and interesting letter. It gave me exactly the sort of information I valued most, and happened at that moment to be in want of. If you could snatch a spare moment to let me know about this affair of Ellis’s, it would be a great favour.”

* Princess Charlotte, who died on November 6.

Captain Tuckey’sVoyage to the Congo,’ Dr. Macleod’sVoyage of the Alceste,’ William Mariner’sVoyage to the Tonga Islands.’


Mr. Murray having sent some works to the Marquess of Abercorn—amongst them Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Ellis’sProceedings of Lord Amherst’s Embassy to China,’* which is alluded to in the previous extract—the Marchioness, at her husband’s request, wrote to the publisher as follows:—

Marchioness of Abercorn to John Murray.
December 4th, 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,’† but is pleased with Macleod’s‡ 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’sAfrica.’ Leyden was a friend of his, and desired leave to dedicate to him while he lived.”

* ‘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.

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 (19th October, 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.

‡ ‘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 Malcolm, surgeon of the Alceste.


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.”

Lady Abercorn having asked Mr. Murray to send her ‘Rob Roy’ and the Fourth Canto of ‘Childe Harold,’ he quietly asked her:—

“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 would have added more, did I not flatter myself that you are aware that my business is to buy, and publish, and scatter books by the thousand among the retail dealers, and that it is rather as an amusement and a pleasure that I send them to those individuals only whom I know to be lovers of and encouragers of literature; and so I entreat you to send back all those you do not like. I have not received the Fourth Canto. Mr. Hobhouse is to be the bearer of it, and proposes to arrive some time this month. I am printing two short but very clever novels by poor Miss Austen, the author of ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ I send Leyden’sAfrica’ 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 very entertaining answer to her letter, and said:—

Proposed ‘Monthly Register.’ 65
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, &c.

“Believe me to be yours, with great regard,
A. J. Abercorn.”

From many communications addressed to Mr. Murray about the beginning of 1818, it appears that he had proposed to start a Monthly Register,† and he set up in

* Cf. allusion in Mrs. Graham’s letter, p. 38.

† 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

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 Mr. Thomas Murdoch, both of whom sent him such sweeping condemnations that he proceeded no further with the intended periodical.

Mr. Croker to John Murray.
January 11th, 1818.
My Dear Murray,

Our friend Sepping* 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 before-hand 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

human knowledge. To be printed uniformly with the Quarterly Review. The price by the year will be £2 2s.”

* A Naval surveyor.

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.

J. W. C.

The letter from Thomas Murdoch was equally severe. He observed:—

Mr. T. Murdoch to John Murray.

“I return the Journal, but I cannot regret that it is a still-born bantling. Had it come into the world alone, it has such incurable constitutional defects as must have hurried it to an early grave, after occasioning an infinity of trouble and sorrow to its parents and relations.
‘Not Barrow’s prose, nor Croker’s verses,
Could save it from that worst of curses,
The curse (unread, unsold, each number)
Of being left your shelves to cumber.’

“Yet there are many good articles—nay, some that are excellent in it; but there is, even in this first number, a portion of ‘such reading as is never read’—heavy rubbish, which would soon overcome the buoyancy of the better materials, and sink the journal down to the level of a common gossipy magazine. . . . The admirable article on the ‘Polar Ice’ ought to be published in some publication whose character is respectable, and whose circulation is
extensive; such a publication is the
Quarterly Review. . . . There is so much good sense and good feeling in the ‘Vision of Royalty,’ that it might also be preserved in the same work, and I should lament to see it go to the ‘tomb of all the Capulets,’ amongst old musty magazines or old catchpenny pamphlets.”

After a good deal more satire on the proposed monthly, Murdoch concludes: “I have written—read who can.” 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 Quarterly.

Murray’s faithful friend Mr. Isaac D’Israeli had now finished his ‘Literary Character, illustrated by the History of Men of Genius.’ Shortly after the publication of the work, in August 1818, he went to Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire, and remained there for about three months.

Mr. D’Israeli to John Murray.
August 4th, 1818.
Dear Murray,

Although we are agreeably enough buried alive at this place, perhaps you may expect me to give some signs of life. We are, it is said, not above twenty-three miles from London, but, to all intents and purposes, if you add one or two hundred more, you will be nearer the fact. My hairdresser makes a circuit of eight miles every day to smooth my chin, and sometimes we are in danger of wanting a dinner. It was with your usual kindness that you sent us the ‘Heart of Midlothian,’ which we return with our best thanks. All that concerns the Deans family, David and Jeanie, is the masterly production of the same genius, and I like the broad and natural humour of many of the characters. Character-painting is his forte, and he is both pathetic and humorous. With all these excellences there is too much alloy of modern romance-writing in the fourth volume, where the incidents are heaped together with little more ability than in Lane’s circulators. But the first of
our novel-writers likes to have make-weights, and must have, for so many thousand pounds.

Mr. Stewart [Mr. Murray’s clerk] has been so attentive as to send me down the Observer, without which I should scarcely know that such a place as the Metropolis existed. We have here most elegant pleasure-grounds, with a good imitation of Lord Grenville’s Dropmore, which is not above two miles and a half from us, and our out-gardens and orchards; but, in consequence of the heavens refusing us a drop of water for three months, our two cows will give us no butter, and our vegetable gardens will not furnish us with a meal. So that the country has its disappointments as well as the town. . . .

Ever yours,
I. D’Israeli.

P.S.—The most remarkable thing here is Mr. Penn’s house at Stoke. It has an air of magnificence in its architectural appearance, its library, and its ornamental grounds. He has raised a fine monument to the poet Gray, with a very fortunate inscription, for it stands in the midst of the scenery which is identified with his poetry. Gray resided at Stoke, and the churchyard, in the midst of Mr. Penn’s grounds, is the one which inspired the ‘Elegy.’ In the churchyard is the tombstone raised by the poet to his aunt and his mother—and there he lies, the spot unmarked by a stone! The yew-tree and the mouldering heaps, &c., are all before you.

Mr. Murray, however, was too busy to make many country visits. He was asked at the same time by Lady Mackintosh to visit her at Murdocks, near Ware, Herts. “Do come,” she said, “and visit us in our solitude. Malthus will meet you if you come.” He was also urgently invited to visit Lady Caroline Lamb at Brockett Hall. She held out the great inducement that he should see the loveliest woman in England. Mr. W. S. Rose, whose ‘Letters from the North of Italy’ Murray had published, invited him to “come down and visit him at Gundimore, near Christ Church, Hants, where he would be
made heartily welcome if he could bear with the smell of garlic and tobacco. In return for this tolerance, however,” said Rose, “I can promise you fresh salmon, strong coffee, and good claret.” But a multiplicity of business, and especially a visit which he was compelled to pay to Edinburgh in connection with his Scottish agency, prevented his acceptance.

The next letter he received from Isaac D’Israeli referred to his Northern visit:—

Mr. I. D’Israeli to John Murray.
Farnham Royal, September 28th, 1818.
Dear Murray,

On Saturday we were greatly surprised by a letter from Mrs. Murray, dated at London, and with an account of your return from your Northern expedition. Yesterday we passed anxiously in expectation of your appearance; and this day is beautiful—so you have lost a day. We wish much to see you, and whenever you come you can be always certain of an excellent bedroom.

I long to hear how your new enterprise [Blackwood’s Magazine] is unfolding itself. On their side they have sent forth their note of gratulation, in their whimsical poet, on “this league with Mr. Murray.” Some young men of great promise they have got, and some I think do rather promise than perform. Three months are now closing on me, in which I am innocent of having once dipped into ink, and I believe I may promise I shall not again. But though engaging in no glorious adventures with a ship of my own any more, I’ll be glad to be useful to you, as a pilot about the narrow coast in which I have foolishly spent my days.

Farnham Royal, October, 1818.

I congratulate you on your absence from the place this day; a storm of wind and rain is playing about my ears, which may hinder me from sending off this letter, as we are above a mile from the village. But I can find no subject for congratulation in regard to next week. We are very reluctantly obliged to deny ourselves the pleasure of receiving Mrs. Murray and yourself on next Sunday; for
we break up here at that time, and on Monday or Tuesday shall have returned ourselves home. I am mortified in not having seen you here, where with fine weather we might have contrived a few days’ amusement.

I am gratified to hear of any honourable mention of myself, but I have long been expecting others of a different cast. Pray, has any notice whatever been taken in the Reviews of ‘The Literary Character’? Here I am quite out of the reach of anything of this sort. My Verse will never give you any trouble, and I think my Prose will end as has my Verse. It is true, I have some things respecting Books and Authors which are new to the lovers of books, and I might give them with propriety, could I hit upon some plan; but the days of enterprise are closed. It is true that I have not dipped my pen here for literary purposes; but I have passed three months in pretty close reading of some of the best divinity which I found at my hands in Mr. Slingsby’s library. Blackwood’s was always a favourite work of mine; but a little too much personality; too much firing at small birds. Believe me, with warm attachment,

Your sincere Friend,
I. D’Israeli.

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 £3000 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 (6th December) 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
£3000 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 £1000 for the new work and the copyright of the old poems—that is, only one-third of what Murray had offered.*

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 £3000, 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’ (ii. 332), says, “Even if the whole of the edition (3000) were sold, Murray would still be £1900 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 2426 copies, was handed over by Hatchard

* ‘Memoirs, Journals, Correspondence, of Thomas Moore,’ by Lord John Russell, ii. 237.

Colburn to Mr. Murray, and nothing more was heard of this controversy between them and the poet.

Among the novels published by Mr. Murray in 1819, were Mrs. Brunton’sEmmeline,’ and Mr. Hope’sAnastasius.’ Mrs. Brunton was the daughter of Colonel Balfour, of Barra, in Orkney, and the wife of the Rev. Dr. Brunton, minister of Bolton, in Haddingtonshire. She had published her novel ‘Self-Control’ anonymously in 1811, and it proved successful. Her next work was ‘Discipline,’ in 1814, which was also successful. Her third was ‘Emmeline,’ which she did not live to finish, but which was published in 1819 by Mr. Murray, with an introductory memoir by her husband. Dr. Brunton’s letter to Mr. Murray was full of gratitude:—

Dr. Brunton to John Murray.
Edinburgh, 24th April, 1819.
My dear Sir,

I know not how to thank you for the real kindness towards me which your letters to Messrs. Manners and Miller express. My brother-in-law, Capt. Balfour, who is to spend a few days with his uncle in Curzon Street, will present this note to you. I am quite sure that I can count upon your exertions to befriend my poor little orphan volume. But you have little leisure to inform me of its success. I may be able to do it more easily through Capt. Balfour. The vanity of authorship is wellnigh dead in me, but I have a very strong wish that this book should prosper for its subject’s sake. . . . With respectful compliments to Mrs. Murray, and very grateful recollections of her and your kindness to one who was deeply sensible of it, and who often dwells on the remembrance with pleasure, I am, my dear Sir,

Your obliged and obedient Servant,
Alex. Brunton.

The letter of the Edinburgh publishers, acknowledging receipt of the then balance of profit for ‘Emmeline,’ was equally satisfactory. It was from Manners and Miller:—

Manners and Miller to John Murray.
February 7th, 1820.
Dear Sir,

We had this morning the pleasure to receive your very polite letter of the 4th inst., enclosing statement of the sales of ‘Emmeline,’ and your promissory note at six months from 20th January for £305 14s. 6d. being the balance due on this work. We cannot sufficiently express the high sense we entertain of the very handsome manner in which you have settled this account, and we feel it to be the more gratifying as it was entirely unsolicited on our part. We beg you will accept of our best thanks for the kind interest you have taken in the success of ‘Emmeline,’ in which we are cordially joined by our friend Dr. Brunton, who has just been with us, and who desires to be particularly remembered to you.

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. It displayed great ability, vivid imagination, remarkable powers of graphic description, and a cultivated classical taste. When it was stated to be by Mr. Thomas Hope, of Deepdene—a gentleman of great accomplishments, who had published some books on Art designs, household furniture, and internal decorations—a writer in Blackwood ridiculed the idea of such work proceeding from such a gentleman. “Mr. Hope,” the reviewer said, “is a very respectable and decorous gentleman—he can write, with some endeavour, passably about chests of drawers, paper-hangings, and cushions as soft as his own or any other brains; but that he has either the courage or the power to compile such a work as ‘Anastasius,’ I utterly and entirely deny.” Mr. Hope, however, in the next number of the magazine, claimed the sole authorship
of the work.
Sydney Smith, too, in the Edinburgh Review, asked, “Is this Mr. Thomas Hope? Is this the man of chairs and tables—the gentleman of sofas—the Œdipus of coal-boxes—he who meditated on muffineers and planned pokers? Where has he hidden all this eloquence and poetry up to this hour? How is it that he has all of a sudden burst out into descriptions which would not disgrace the pen of Tacitus, and displayed a depth of feeling and a vigour of imagination which Lord Byron could not excel? We do not shrink from one syllable of this eulogium. The work now before us places him at once in the highest list of eloquent writers and of superior men.”

It does not appear that Mr. Murray expected much from ‘Anastasius,’ judging from the slowness with which the work was printed and published. He received a letter from Mr. Hope, in which he wrote:—

Mr. Hope to John Murray.
The Deepdene, 12th January, 1819.
My dear Sir,

I have been intending for some time to write to you, and always put it off, in hopes of having the pleasure of seeing you in Town; but as Mrs. Hope’s health leaves it very uncertain when I shall be able to go, I do not wish any longer to delay stating how very slowly the printing of ‘Anastasius’ goes on. I have always made it a rule to return the sheets sent to me to correct or to revise the same day, or perhaps the next, by the coach; and yet there is scarce one-fourth of the work printed off thus far, and, at this rate of proceeding, it certainly cannot be published under a twelvemonth. I am far from saying there has been any unnecessary delay, for I do not understand anything of the business of printing; but I should think that by not waiting to send me a new sheet to correct until after the preceding one has been revised, and perhaps printed off, some more despatch might be obtained. I have thus far only revised twelve chapters; and there are
in all forty-eight, or sixteen per volume. The origin of knight-errantry has long been a matter of doubt. It is now clearly pointed out in ‘
Antar.’ *

I remain, dear Sir, yours faithfully,
Thomas Hope.

When the book was published, Mr. Murray sent a copy to Mr. Hobhouse, and another to Mr. Croker. The former said, “Anastasius, then, is a Greek in London. If so, I know him. It must be Schinas.” Murray informed Croker of the name of the author. He replied:—

Mr. Croker to John Murray.
Dear Murray,

I have read just twenty pages of ‘Anastasius,’ and thank you for the information you gave me as to the author. Of course you know best, and what you volunteered to tell must be the truth, but then also I must believe in the ‘Metempsychosis,’ and that Tom Hope’s late body is now the tabernacle of Lord Byron’s soul.

The Countess of Blessington, in her ‘Conversations with Lord Byron,’ says: “Byron spoke to-day in terms of high commendation of Hope’sAnastasius;’ 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.

* ‘Life and Adventures of Antar, a celebrated Bedowen chief warrior, and poet, who flourished a few years previous to the Mahommedan Era,’ translated by Terrick Hamilton, Esq.

’Rejected Addresses.’ 77

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 of supposed ‘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.

Mr. Turner to John Murray.
December 1st, 1819.
Dear Murray,

Macirone’s case may come on next Monday. We must therefore now seriously prepare. I have just left Mr. Gurney. He thinks it very important that I should have an interview with Captain Bastard, to learn from him the facts he can speak to as to Macirone’s conduct towards him, that counsel may know what questions to put to him that will benefit us, and not injure. The same reason, he says, makes it expedient, if it can be done, that I should have an interview with his Grace [the Duke of Wellington], otherwise, counsel will not know what questions to put, and will be afraid of putting any, lest they should prejudice your case instead of assisting it. As the damages that are claimed are £10,000, and it will be quite in the breast of the jury what they will give, no precaution ought to be omitted. It is quite in course to ask witnesses what they know of the case in question. If you can procure any appointment to be made, I will attend at any hour between eight morning and six evening, on any day, excepting to-morrow at twelve, when I am to see the Solicitor-General.

I am, dear Murray,
Yours most faithfully,
Shr. Turner.

It appeared that Colonel Macirone had published an account of himself and his adventures* through the Ridgways, and that the counsel for the defence desired to introduce this volume as evidence in support of their case. On this subject Mr. Turner’s son addressed Mr. Murray:—

* ‘Memoirs of the Life and Adventures of Colonel Macirone.’ 2 vols. London, 1818.

Mr. A. Turner to John Murray.

Counsel are of opinion that Macirone must produce his book himself; but if he does not, we must; and my father, who wishes to provide against every possible accident, thinks it would perhaps be as well to subpœna one of the Ridgways to prove the publication and the identity of the copy we produce, should we require it. Can you inform us of the Christian names of the Ridgways, and when it would be the best time to meet them at home to subpœna them. Let us have an early answer, as it must be done to-morrow. I am, dear Sir,

Yours very truly,
Alfred Turner.
Mr. Turner to John Murray.
Dear Murray,

As you have not sent me Capt. B.’s address, I have not been able to call upon him, but I think he ought to be at Westminster Hall by ten. Will you write to him to request it? or shall my clerk leave him a subpoena? He brings one with him. He will tell you whether he has seen Ridgway; if not, assist him how to subpœna him. All is arranged for to-morrow. There is no occasion for you to attend, unless you like it. If you do, I shall be there by half-past nine, though it may not be on until eleven, twelve, one, or two.

Another letter from Mr. Croker as to the Duke of Wellington’s evidence:—

Mr. Croker to John Murray.
My Dear Murray,

I certainly should most strongly recommend you to call the Duke, if Macirone does not, if it were only to prove that the letter quoted by Macirone of the Duke’s was not the real one, for the Duke had the original, which he promised to send for. The reason the Duke does not wish to see your counsel is that it appears like collusion, and it would appear singular to a jury that he should have so far
interested himself in a subject which appears so little to concern him. With respect to what the Duke will think it proper to answer, we should leave it to him. I do not think it necessary, therefore, to show the enclosed to the Duke, as his time is at this moment much taken up. Above all, let us have good notice of the day, and whether on second thoughts your counsel will not call him on the point I have mentioned, as well as on all those in the brief which have been marked. In haste,

Yours truly,
J. W. C.

The case came on, and on the Bench were seated the Duke of Wellington, Lord Liverpool, and other leading statesmen, who had been subpœnaed 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.

Mr. Turner, when sending Murray a copy of the names of the jury, in the midst of the trial, said:—

Mr. Sharon Turner to John Murray.
December 11th, 1819.
Dear Murray,

I send you below the names of your Jury. Your danger was rather more than usual yesterday, because from the non-attendance of enough to the Special Jury, there were eight of the Common Westminster Jury among them. This made us at first anxious to have the Duke and Capt. B. ready to give evidence if wanted, till from the plaintiffs counsel leading the cause towards our strong point of defence, we felt that they would not be necessary, and that it was better to avoid calling them, that we might preclude another speech in reply. The attacking speech
was bitter, and especially on your
Review. One of the flowers you did not hear—“The Quarterly Review is the Bible of a faction. There is a faction in this country as ready to swear by it as the Mahommedans by their Koran.” If you wish to have any of the shorthand notes copied out, I think the two speeches, without the passages from the book, would be sufficient. The Solicitor-General paid a high compliment both to you and to the Review.

Yours most sincerely,
Sharon Turner.

The defence of Serjeant Copley was admirable. He substantiated the facts stated in the Quarterly article by passages quoted by 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.* 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 defendant.

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, 22nd May, 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.”

At No. 50, Albemarle Street, his drawing-room was the daily resort of visitors of distinction, while his dinner parties became highly popular from the pains which he took and the tact which he displayed in assorting and drawing out

* Given in Sir Theodore Martin’sLife of Lord Lyndhurst,’ p. 170.

his guests, among whom were such men as
Thomas Moore, Walter Scott, Theodore Hook, Henry Hallam, J. W. Croker, John Barrow, Thomas Campbell, William Gifford. His hospitality never relaxed. Most of the distinguished Americans who visited England came to him with letters of introduction. Mr. Everett, then Secretary of Legation to the Netherlands, visited Mr. Murray when passing through London, and obtained from him an introduction to Walter Scott, which, as Mr. Everett afterwards said, had “secured for him so kind a reception.” With respect to his entertainments, Mrs. Bray, the novelist, relates in her ‘Autobiography,’ that in the autumn of 1819, she made a visit to Mr. Murray, with her then husband, Charles Stothard, son of the well-known artist, for the purpose of showing him the illustrations of his ‘Letters from Normandy and Brittany.’

“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.”*

Such was the first introduction of Mrs. Bray to Mr. Murray, who afterwards published for her the well-known work on ‘The Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy.’

* ‘Mrs. Bray’s Autobiography,’ pp. 145-7.