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Memoir of John Murray
John Wilson Croker to John Murray, 11 January 1818

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
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.