LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Lord Byron, 2 February 1814

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
February 3rd, 1814.
My Lord,

I have been unwilling to write until I had something to say, an occasion to which I do not always restrict myself. I am most happy to tell you that your last poem is—what Mr. Southey’s is called—a Carmen Triumphale. Never, in my recollection, has any work, since the “Letter of Burke to the Duke of Bedford,” excited such a ferment—a ferment which I am happy to say will subside into lasting fame. I sold, on the day of publication,—a thing perfectly unprecedented—10,000 copies; and I suppose thirty people, who were purchasers (strangers), called to tell the people in the shop how much they had been delighted and satisfied. Mr. Moore says it is masterly,—a wonderful performance. Mr. Hammond, Mr. Heber, D’Israeli, every one who comes,—and too many call for me to enumerate—declare their unlimited approbation. Mr. Ward was here with Mr. Gifford yesterday, and mingled his admiration with the rest. Mr. Ward is much delighted with the unexpected charge of the Dervis—
“Up rose the Dervis, with that burst of light,”
and Gifford did what I never knew him do before—he
repeated several passages from memory, particularly the closing stanza,—
“His death yet dubious, deeds too widely known.”
Indeed, from what I have observed, from the very general and unvarying sentiment which I have now gathered, the suffrages are decidedly in favour of this poem in preference to the ‘
Bride of Abydos,’ and are even now balancing with ‘The Giaour.’ I have heard no one pass without noticing, and without expressing regret at, the idea thrown out by your Lordship of writing no more for a considerable time. I am really marking down, without suppression or extension, literally what I have heard. I was with Mr. Shee this morning, to whom I had presented the poem; and he declared himself to have been delighted, and swore he had long placed you far beyond any contemporary bard; and, indeed, your last poem does, in the opinion of almost all that I have conversed with. I have the highest encomiums in letters from Croker and Mr. Hay; but I rest most upon the warm feeling it has created in Gifford’s critical heart. The versification is thought highly of indeed. After printing the poems at the end of the first edition, I transplanted them to ‘Childe Harold,’ conceiving that you would have the goodness to pardon this ruse to give additional impetus to that poem, and to assist in making it a more respectable thickness. I sent, previous to publication, copies to all your friends, containing the poems at the end; and one of them has provoked a great deal of discussion, so much so, that I expect to sell off the whole edition of ‘Childe Harold’ merely to get at it. You have no notion of the sensation which the publication has occasioned; and my only regret is that you were not present to witness it

I earnestly trust that your Lordship is well: and with ardent compliments,

I remain, my Lord,
Your obliged and faithful Servant,
John Murray.

P.S.—I have very strong reasons to believe that the Bookseller at Newark continues to reprint—not altering the Edition—your early poems. Perhaps you would ascertain this fact.