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Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Walter Scott, 26 October 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
October 26th, 1808.
Dear Sir,

Although the pressure of business since my return to London has prevented me writing to you sooner, yet my thoughts have, I assure you, been almost completely employed upon the important subjects of the conversation with which you honoured me during the time I was experiencing the obliging hospitality of Mrs. Scott and yourself at Ashestiel.

Mr. Murray then proceeded to discuss the question of the Novelists’ Library, described in the preceding chapter, and continued:—

This project is tolerably mechanical, and does not require in its production the mental energies of every kind which are indispensable in the other grand plan of a Review, which I perceive to be imperiously demanded. You have probably seen the advertisement of the New Review, which is to appear from the shop of the publisher of the Satirist, each critique to be signed by its author, and the whole phalanx to be headed by the notorious veteran Richard Cumberland, Esq. The miserable existence of such a Review cannot possibly linger beyond the third number; but it assists in showing practically how much a good Review is wanted in London by every class. I understand—indeed, I may say with certainty—that Marmion is to be the second article in the first number, after Fox, and it will probably bear the signature of your friend Cumberland himself. It happens very luckily, both for himself and the admirers of this gentleman, that he is about to publish a novel (now in the press), ‘John de Lancaster,’ in which he relies upon his talents as a writer, and his moral character as a man; for, having made two or three slips in former novels, he intends in this work to give his recantation, so that, whatever figure he may make in his own Review, he would certainly be a most admirable subject, and it will be hard if, upon this occasion, he does not receive that justice which his writings and character have so long merited. But I am diverging too much. I have seen Mr. William
Gifford, hinting distantly at a Review; he admitted the most imperious necessity for one, and that too in a way that leads me to think that he has had very important communications upon the subject. He has been so obliging as to give me a work by the learned Dr. Ireland to publish. This is one of those gentlemen whom you may remember to have been suggested by Mr. Heber as capable of contributing to our Review. I feel more than ever confident that the higher powers are exceedingly desirous for the establishment of some counteracting publication; and it will, I suspect, remain only for your appearance in London to urge some very formidable plan into activity. I will trouble you no further upon these subjects until I am favoured with your wishes, and I will only add, that you shall ever find me active and faithful. I trust that Mrs. Scott and the family have returned with you in perfect health, and that you are preparing for your journey to London. I beg leave to offer my most respectful compliments to Mrs. Scott, and to assure you that Dear Sir,

I remain, with the highest esteem,

Your obliged and obedient Servant,
John Murray.