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Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
Thomas Campbell to John Murray, 29 January 1814

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 29th, 1814.
Dear Murray,

I will finish your work, and never more trouble you on the subject of money. What I sought was not as a matter of right, but of pure favour. I am sorry it has annoyed you. You are bound to forgive me, I think, when I say that I regret the application. You have a right to refuse me on the score of a legal claim, but you do me some injustice in stating the grounds of your right of refusal. It is because my work is unfinished that this just denial must be admitted by me, but you should not found it on a circumstance which never existed—that of my having used your library for the purpose of other undertakings. Brewster, whose articles* I agreed to write by your express sanction before beginning our work, gave me a full order upon his bookseller, Richardson, for all books necessary for his biographies. They were, from the nature of the articles,

* For the ‘Edinburgh Encyclopædia.’

very few and of slight importance. Again, out of eleven lectures delivered at the Royal Institution, only two were upon the subjects of our ‘Criticisms’: the other nine were upon the philosophy of poetry, the Spanish, French, and Greek drama, and even upon our own dramatic writers, respecting whom I had not a single volume to assist me among your books.

The lengthened delay of the work has been occasioned by the nature of its materials, which lie so diversely scattered, that with all your zeal and liberality, and my own exertions, it has been physically impossible to collect them into one mass at one time. The other things on which I have been engaged have been resorted to as the mere supports of my family at certain intervals when I saw my finances near a close, and found that by the utmost progress I could make in our work, I could not have a just claim on you in time enough for my necessities. I wrote, not to ask from you or to annoy you, but to vindicate myself for past delays. Believe me, they have not been voluntary. Even now I believe I shall be obliged to cast about for some scheme of lecturing to make money wherewith to finish the ‘Criticisms,’ or at least to stand out the time when I shall be engaged in correcting the proofs, which I should not wish to be put too hastily off. I do not by this mean to insinuate the slightest wish again to trouble you. I feel that your refusal is perfectly just.

I thank you for expressing a wish that we should continue friends. I meet it cordially. I trust that the entire MSS. will convince you that instead of the Lectures starving the ‘Criticisms,’ they have enriched them much. The tone of our future intercourse will depend on your reception of this letter.

I remain, disposed as ever,
To be sincerely, &c., yours,
T. Campbell.