LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Lord Byron, 6 August 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
August 6th, 1814.

I am really grateful for your obliging sufferance of my desire to publish ‘Lara;’ for I am sure you know that the respect I bear you in every way would not have allowed me to do this without your consent. I had anticipated this, and had done everything but actually deliver the copies of ‘Lara;’ and the moment I received your letter, for for it I waited, I cut the last cord of my aerial work, and at this instant six thousand copies are gone! I have sent copies, I believe, to every one of your friends; and, without an exception, they are delighted, and their praise is most particularly and rootedly confirmed on a second perusal, which proves to them that your researches into the human heart and character are at once wonderful and just. Mr. Frere likes the poem greatly, and particularly admires the first canto. I mentioned the passage in the second canto—descriptive of the morning after the battle, which delighted me so much, and indeed Mr. Wilmot and many other persons. His remark was that he thought it rather too shocking. This is perhaps a little fastidious. Sir Jno. Malcolm, whom I have not seen since, called to express his satisfaction; and by the way, I may add that Mr. Frere has been here this moment to take another copy with him to read again in his carriage. He told me that Mr. Canning liked it equally. Mr. Frere, and in his report, Mr. Canning, are the only persons who have spoken in praise of ‘Jacqueline’; but they say it is beautiful, and this is a host. There is an obvious tendency to disparage ‘Jacqueline,’ but I think it is unjust and will be overcome.

Against the formidable attack upon my advertisement, I feel “perfectly secure.” Imprimis, the words are Gifford’s. In the second place, Mr. Frere denies that they are not grammar, and in the third place no other person has noticed them, and those to whom I suggested the alleged incorrectness agree that they can be noticed only by fastidiousness and hypercriticism of friendship. Who, in such a poem, would stop for a moment at a word in the preface? Moreover, here is Johnson for you, and (thank God) for your publisher, who, now that his author is found
out to be
Dryden, is I suppose to be treated like Tonson, but to Johnson:

That (1) not this

(2) which; relating to an antecedent thing—
“The mark that is set before him.”—Perkins.
“The time that clogs me.”—Shakespeare.
“Bones that hasten to be so.”—Cowley.
“Judgment that is equal.”—Wilkins.
Are you answered?

Mr. Merivale is here, and subscribes to the opinion in favour of that.

I felt more about the publication of these lines than I could express, and therefore I said nothing. It was most shameful to print at all, but with the name it was villanous. I saw them only in the Chronicle, and I rejoice that they did not originate with our friend Perry—they spoil that tone of harmony towards your Lordship which had been so powerfully struck into the public mind by Jeffrey; everybody thinks highly of the talent of the article in the E. R., and is in accord with its sentiments throughout.

I must remain some days yet to watch the progress of the demand for ‘Lara;’ and therefore, as I could not attend my family to Scotland, I rather think of going to Paris first, and afterwards to the North. You do not tell me, and perhaps cannot, the time of your return. I have now deciphered the last part of your note, made obscure by the erasure of some valuable remarks, and rejoice that I shall have the pleasure of seeing you in town next week.

John Murray.