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Memoir of John Murray
Walter Scott to John Murray, 25 February 1809

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
Edinburgh, Feb. 25th, 1809.
Dear Sir,

I see with pleasure that you will be out on the first. Yet I wish I could have seen my articles in proof, for I seldom read over my things in manuscript, and always find infinite room for improvement at the printer’s expense. I hope our hurry will not be such another time as to deprive me of the chance of doing the best I can, which depends greatly on my seeing the proofs. Pray have the goodness to attend to this.

I have made for the Ballantynes a little selection of poetry, to be entitled ‘English Minstrelsy;’ I also intend to arrange for them a first volume of English Memoirs, to be entitled—

Secret History of the Court of James I.

To consist of

Osborne’sTraditional Memoirs.’
Sir Anthony Welldon’sCourt and Character of James I.
Heylin’sAulicus Coquinariae.’
Sir Edward Peyton’sRise and Fall of the House of Stewart.’

I will add a few explanatory notes to these curious memoirs, and hope to continue the collection, as (thanks to my constant labour on ‘Somers’) it costs me no expense, and shall cost the proprietors none. You may advertise the publications, and Ballantyne, equally agreeable to his own wish and mine, will let you choose your own share in them. I have a commission for you in the way of art. I have published many unauthenticated books, as you know, and may probably bring forward many more. Now I wish to have it in my power to place on a few copies of each a decisive mark of appropriation. I have chosen for this purpose a device borne by a champion of my name in a tournament at Stirling! It was a gate and portcullis, with the motto clausus tutus ero. I have it engraved on a seal, as you may remark on the enclosure, but it is done in a most blackguard style. Now what I want is to have this same gateway and this same portcullis and this same motto of clausus tutus era, which is an anagram of Walterus Scotus (taking two single U’s for the W), cut upon wood in the most elegant manner, so as to make a small vignette capable of being applied to a few copies of every work which I either write or publish. This fancy of making portcullis copies I have much at heart, and trust to you to get it accomplished for me in the most elegant manner. I don’t mind the expense, and perhaps Mr. Westall might be disposed to make a sketch for me.

I am most anxious to see the Review. God grant we may lose no ground; I tremble when I think of my own articles, of two of which I have but an indefinite recollection.

What would you think of an edition of the ‘Old English Froissart,’ say 500 in the small antique quarto, a beautiful size of book; the spelling must be brought to an uniformity, the work copied (as I could not promise my beautiful copy to go to press), notes added and illustrations, &c., and inaccuracies corrected. I think Johnes would be
driven into most deserved disgrace, and I can get the use of a most curious MS. of the French Froissart in the Newbattle Library, probably the finest in existence after that of Berlin. I am an enthusiast about
Berners’ Froissart, and though I could not undertake the drudgery of preparing the whole for the press, yet Weber* would do it under my eye upon the most reasonable terms. I would revise every part relating to English history.

I have several other literary schemes, but defer mentioning them till I come to London, which I sincerely hope will be in the course of a month or six weeks. I hear Mr. Canning is anxious about our Review. Constable says it is a Scotch job. I could not help quizzing Mr. Robert Miller, who asked me in an odd sort of way, as I thought, why it was not out? I said very indifferently I knew nothing about it, but heard a vague report that the Edition was to be much enlarged on account of the expected demand. I also inclose a few lines to my brother, and am, dear Sir,

Very truly yours,
W. Scott.

It is universally agreed here that Cumberland is five hundred degrees beneath contempt.