LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
Maria Dundas (Graham) Callcott to John Murray, 2 November 1817

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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Produced by CATH
Broughty Ferry, 2nd November, 1817.
My dear Sir,

At length the plaid is woven and packed up, and only waits a fair wind to sail with my two brothers and sister to you. I hope you will like it as well as mine. I like it better, as it is both finer and softer. I also send Mr. Foscolo’s little book, which I had unintentionally purloined, and a book of Sir J. Mackintosh’s, which you may give him when you have an opportunity. If the five brace of grouse I send you arrive in good order, will you send one brace to him with the parcel, as I have forgotten his address; and I will send Mrs. Murray ptarmigan in about three weeks to make up for it.

I wish you would write me some news, for I have none here; and, to mend matters, I caught so bad a cold at Stormont, where I was paying a visit some weeks ago, that I have never been able to stir out of the house since, and therefore can’t work in the garden, or walk, or sail, or do anything agreeable out of doors—not even to go and see the famous attack made upon the whales by the inhabitants of Dundee, which was, I am told, ludicrous beyond the powers of description. We saw the shoal of fish go up
the river the day before, but little thought they were to afford such sport. Hector McIntyre’s combat with the Sealgh was nothing to that of a currier and a finner in the harbour. The currier ran up to his middle into the water with a dressing-knife, and manfully plunged it up to the hilt in the side of the finner. The whale turned sharp on the currier, and turned him head over heels in the water, but bearing off the knife of the half-drowning currier. Meanwhile a sailor leaped on the enraged animal’s back, and swam Arion-like round the harbour, holding by the back fin. I am half sorry to relate that the poor fish was at last mastered. The oil will probably illuminate the currier’s kitchen this very night. . . .

I am promised one of the first copies of ‘Rob Roy.’ What a mine the author possesses! I would rather have it than any of those in Peru. W. Scott, a short time ago, notified a visit to Sir James Colquhoun, near Loch Lomond. Sir James imagined that it must be for the purpose of obtaining certain MSS. which are in his family relative to ‘Rob Roy,’ and sent word that his house was full of plasterers and painters, and that he could receive nobody. W. S. therefore resolved to take him by surprise, and accordingly went unawares to the house, but when Sir James heard there was a gentleman at the front door he went out at the back, and so escaped, and also escaped contributing to the novel.*

Pray what is the 4th Canto of ‘Childe Harold’ doing? and where is Lord Byron? You know my admiration for his works, and my thoughts for the best, the very best, of the man. What is your friend the Laureate doing? Is he returned from the Continent? I have seen but one new book—a Danish account of the north of Africa, interesting and curious. Have any of your geographers got hold of it? It is straight from the Baltic, having been commissioned by my good friend, Dr. Ross, who has just received some chests full of German books, which he threatens me with a reading of. . . . My love to Mrs. Murray and the children, especially little Maria, and believe me ever,

Very truly and gratefully yours,
M. Graham.