LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Lord Byron, 8 February 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

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Produced by CATH
February, 1814.
My Lord,

I have allowed myself to indulge in the pleasure I derived from the expression of your satisfaction, because I have anticipated the point upon which there was likely to be some uneasiness. As soon as I perceived the fuss that was made about certain lines, I caused them to be immediately reinstated; and I wrote on Saturday to inform you that I had done so. A conviction of duty made me do this. I can assure you, with the most unreserved sincerity, that ‘Childe Harold’ did not require the insertion of the lines which have made so much noise to assist its sale; but they made it still more attractive, and my sordid propensities got the better of me. I sold at once nearly a thousand copies of this new edition; and I am convinced, by the collected and unshaken opinions of the best critics, that it is just as certain of becoming a Classic, as Thomson or Dryden. What delights me is, that amidst the most decided applause, there is a constant difference as to which is the best of your poems. Gifford declared to me again, the other day, that you would last far beyond any poet of the present day. I tried him particularly as to Campbell, but he had not a doubt about the certainty of your passing him. Although, therefore, I may concur with you in feeling; some little surprise at such unprecedented triumph over people’s prejudices, yet I can differ, upon very solid reasons, from your notion of “temporary reputation.” I declare that I have not heard one expression of disappointment or doubtful satisfaction upon reading ‘The Corsair,’ which bids fair to be the most popular of your poems. You cannot meet a man in the street who has not read or heard read ‘The Corsair.’


The facsimile is restored to ‘Childe Harold,’ only 200 copies having been sent out without it. The poem on the ‘Skull Cup’ is introduced. I long to have the pleasure of congratulating your Lordship personally. Your noble conduct to a schoolfellow does not lessen the admiration with which I remain, &c.,