LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 12 March 1814

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“March 12th, 1814.

“I have not time to read the whole MS.†, but what I have seen seems very well written (both prose and verse), and though I am and can be no judge (at least a fair one on this subject), containing nothing which you ought to hesitate publishing upon my account. If the author is not Dr. Busby himself, I think it a pity, on his own account, that he should dedicate it to his subscribers; nor can I perceive what Dr. Busby has to do with the matter, except as a translator of Lucretius, for whose doctrines he is surely not responsible. I tell you openly, and really most

* He was not yet aware, it appears, that the anonymous manuscript sent to him by his publisher was from the pen of Mr. Knight.

† The manuscript of a long grave satire, entitled “Anti-Byron,” which had been sent to Mr. Murray, and by him forwarded to Lord Byron, with a request—not meant, I believe, seriously—that he would give his opinion us to the propriety of publishing it.

A. D. 1814. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 539
sincerely, that, if published at all, there is no earthly reason why you should not; on the contrary, I should receive it as the greatest compliment you could pay to your good opinion of my candour, to print and circulate that, or any other work, attacking me in a manly manner, and without any malicious intention, from which, as far as I have seen, I must exonerate this writer.

“He is wrong in one thing,—I am no atheist; but if he thinks I have published principles tending to such opinions, he has a perfect right to controvert them. Pray publish it; I shall never forgive myself if I think that I have prevented you.

“Make my compliments to the author, and tell him I wish him success; his verse is very deserving of it; and I shall be the last person to suspect his motives. Yours, &c.

“P.S. If you do not publish it, some one else will. You cannot suppose me so narrow-minded as to shrink from discussion. I repeat once for all, that I think it a good Poem (as far as I have redde); and that is the only point you should consider. How odd that eight lines should have given birth, I really think, to eight thousand, including all that has been said, and will be, on the subject!”