LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
William Cobbett to William Gifford, 29 October 1797

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
Philadelphia, October 29th, 1797.

I am this day honoured with your valuable present, the ‘Baviad’ and ‘Mæviad,’ and lose not a moment to make you my acknowledgments for it. By a pile of papers, which I shall do myself the honour to forward you by the first vessel going from here to London, you will perceive that two of your small pieces had graced my Gazette previous to the receipt of the ‘Baviad’ and ‘Mæviad’; and, after the high opinion which they had given me of the genius and taste of the author, nothing could have pleased me more than to learn that my honest endeavours had met with his approbation.

As Merry appears to be one of your favourite heroes, it may, perhaps, be agreeable to you to be informed of his fate in this country. I believe you know that he came hither all in a flame of patriotism. This was soon cooled. This
is a very fine country for cooling a British patriot. But before the heat had quite gone off him, he published his ‘
Pains of Memory,’ which, though well larded with yawning interpolations about the “God-like Washington,” and “free Columbia,” and “land of promise rising beyond the Western Main,” and many other republican abominations, notwithstanding all this, and as much puffing as would serve to drive a Flanders windmill, the ‘Pains of Memory’ are to this day severely experienced by several of my brother booksellers, unfortunately for whom there are here no pastrycook shops, as there are in London.

Anna Matilda went on the stage;* but this is so poor a trade here now, that I am assured it is with the utmost difficulty they can live. The players are a set of strollers; and Merry is the Ragotin of the company. He is now as completely unknown here as if he lived under Matilda’s petticoats.

The only production of the Della Cruscan’s pen, since his emigration, you will receive enclosed; and from it you will see his genius is not on the rise. It must, however, be confessed that this is no climate for poetry. The bathos is so entirely adapted to the bias and the powers of the American mind, that no one ever aspires even to what you call doggerel. The first vessel that sails direct from here to London shall carry you some proofs of what I have been here asserting.

Mr. Wright tells me he is about to publish your translation of Juvenal. May I venture to beg a copy at your hands, Sir; and also of such other works as you have published? Be assured, that I think myself highly honoured by your present, and particularly when I look upon it as a testimony of my having merited the applause of a gentleman of genius and a true Englishman.

I am, Sir, your very devoted Servant,
Wm. Cobbett.†