LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of John Murray
Walter Scott to John Murray, 19 March 1809

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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Edinburgh, March 19th, 1809.
My dear Sir,

I have your long and interesting letter. To me, who am acquainted with bookselling phrase, it is needless to say that a steady and respectable sale is just better than no sale at all. Here we have been more fortunate. Ballantyne has only about 30 left out of the last 200 received by sea, and thinks he could easily have sold double the number forwarded. Many announced themselves as steady customers, and I have no doubt you may sell 1000 in Scotland quarterly. B. has never had his parcel two days on his hands.

I have written a long and most pressing letter to Mr. Gifford, which I hope may have some effect. I see the faults you point out, but hardly know how to prevent them at this distance. I think you had better call on the Lord Advocate as from yourself, and state the necessity of my coming to town. I mention this because it is in his power to hasten my journey thither on some public business which may otherwise lie over for months; this, however, you need not hint to him, but barely state your regret that I have written to you dubiously on the subject of coming up, and the advantage my doing so would be to the Review. To me it is quite the same thing whether I come up now, or later in the summer, but to you it may be very different, for I see matters are between the winning and losing. And, to say truth, it would be an inconvenient crusade for me to come up this month on my own expense when I am sure to be called up the next on that of the public.

I have found means to get at Mr. G., and have procured a letter to be written to him, which may possibly produce

* The letter here referred to has unfortunately not been preserved.

one to you signed Rutherford or Richardson, or some such name, and dated from the North of England; or, if he does not write to you, enquiry is to be made whether he would choose you should address him. The secrecy to be observed in this business must be most profound, even to
Ballantyne and all the world. If you get articles from him (which will and must draw attention) you must throw out a false scent for enquirers. I believe this unfortunate man will soon be in London.

It is very ill proposed to give Sydney Smith’s sermons to Ireland, and the thing must not be. I intend to write to Mr. Gifford by post, begging them for Mr. Erskine. He and I know the man, and surely will manage the affair best.

Ballantyne gets possession of his shop in a few days. I mean he gets the workmen out of it, and enters business with the fairest auspices; prudence and firmness on his part cannot fail to establish him in the first rate in this place. His making a stand is most essential to the Review, and all our other plans for every other bookseller here has sunk under the predominating influence of Constable’s house, and they literally dare not call their souls their own.

Walter Scott.