LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
Scrope Davies to John Murray, 17 May 1837

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
May 17th, 1837.
My dear Sir,

Nimrod* informs me that it is your wish and intention to present me with a copy of Byron’s works. I need not remark how much flattered I am by this mark of your recollection of one who has been so long and so entirely secluded from the world. The pleasure I feel too is not a little enhanced by hearing that, like the Thane of Cawdor, you are a “prosperous gentleman,” and I pray that good fortune may long attend you and yours. You deserve it; your conduct towards Byron when, in the autumn of 1816, I put the third canto of ‘Childe Harold’ and the ‘Prisoner of Chillon’ into your hands, was noble, as your previous conduct during his difficulties was beyond all praise. Does he still look down with a temperate scorn on the dissecting-table of your Inquisition Chamber? Of him and many others I have some notices which I much wish you to see. They are original, and I think interesting, nor am I willing that they should die with me. There was

* Mr. C. Apperly, author of the ‘Turf, the Chase, and the Road.’

scarcely a man of any celebrity during my time that I had not the good fortune some time or other to meet. With some of these beings of a finer mould I was on terms of friendship, with many familiar, and more or less acquainted with nearly all. Barring the ‘
Bubbles’ (which I read because you recommended it to Nimrod) and Washington Irving’s works, I know but little of modern publications, and that little causes no regret at not knowing more. I was seduced into reading Washington Irving by accidentally stumbling on his ‘Stout Gentleman.’ The Lady Morgans, Bulwers and Trollopes of the day, have no charms for me. What is good in them is a réchauffé from others—what is their own is bad. “C’est un bonheur pour la plupart des écrivains d’aujourd’hui d’avoir la mémoire, comme c’est un malheur pour leur lecteurs.” Swift says it is a great art in writing to know when to leave off, as I am sure it is to know what to leave out—to sink the offal, as the carcase butchers say. But these writers give you the offal and sink the carcase. As you desire me to mention where you may send this splendid present of yours, I beg that it may be deposited at 47, Great Ormond Street, the mansion of my good and esteemed friend Mr. John Hibbert; and if I can be of any service to you on any occasion and in any way, you may command me. I shall quit Paris in a few days for my little residence at Dunkirk, where I intend to pass the summer. Should you visit this part of the world it would afford me much pleasure to see you, chez M. Crepin, Rue de l’Eglise, Dunkirk. Believe me,

Yours most truly,
Scrope Davies.