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Memoir of John Murray
Walter Scott to John Murray, 14 December 1808

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, December 14th, 1808.
Dear Sir,

I am glad to see you are all activity. I will soon forward you reviews of Burns’ fifth volume and of the ‘Cid,’ and hope they will not disgrace my coadjutors. Bruce’s ‘Life’
is undertaken by
Josiah Walker, who, I think, may do it well, as he knew the Abyssinian personally.

I know a young friend who, I think, will do Holmes’America’ well, but I cannot find the book in Edinburgh, and must trouble you to get a copy forwarded. My friend Mr. Erskine talks of reviewing Curran’sSpeeches’ and McNeil’s new poem, which hath just come forth from the shop of Mr. Constable. I have sent to my brother Lewis’sRomances’ and the American tale by Mrs. Grant. Any of these contributions which may be unnecessary for the first number may be laid aside till wanted. Our friend Ballantyne has been requested* by a number of literary gentlemen here to edit an Annual Register. The Mackenzies, father and son, Lord Meadowbank, William Erskine, I myself (quoth the wren), and several other persons of good literary reputation are concerned. We mean for certain reasons to keep a considerable number of shares ourselves, but Ballantyne has been empowered to offer some to the London trade. As the thing promises extremely well, I shall be glad to find that you engage in it, for I assure you every nerve will be strained to render it worthy of public acceptance. Ballantyne’s own share in this concern is not very great, but I think it will lead to his acting as Scottish publisher in other instances. Indeed, Mr. Constable’s favours being a good deal withdrawn from him, and a very large proportion both of the literary and political world being desirous to have an Edinburgh publisher of activity and judgment, as well as constitutional principles, I have no doubt of his succeeding in an eminent degree, and being of the greatest service to his friends, in London, as they may be to him reciprocally. This, however, is as yet barely in prospect, and therefore I beg you will take no notice to Ballantyne that I hinted at such a matter, as I know whenever his resolution is fixed you will be the first to whom he will communicate it. From what I have learned, he will neither want funds nor friends, and Constable’s migration of a part of his stock to London seems favourable to the success of such an undertaking.

* According to Mr. Lockhart, Ballantyne informed Murray at their interview at Ferrybridge that the “author of ‘Marmion’ had chalked out the design of an Edinburgh Annual Register, to be conducted in opposition to the politics and criticism of Constable’s Review.”

I will certainly give it all the aid in my power, having the greatest reason to complain of
Mr. Hunter’s behaviour towards me, although I retain great good-will to Constable as an individual.

I beg my compliments to Mr. Gifford, and believe me, my dear Sir,

Your faithful servant,
Walter Scott.