LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
John Murray to Lord Byron, 26 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.
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Produced by CATH
February 26th, 1814.
My Lord,

You appeared to be so satisfactorily convinced that silence would be most becoming, that I wrote the note to Mr. Dallas late on Saturday evening, with the hope of preventing the publication of his letter. The meaning of the “expressions” pointed out by you in my note is, that having formerly told Mr. Gifford, Mr. Hammond, Mr. Frere, Mr. Ward, Mr. Canning, and many other of my friends, that you had given me the copyright of ‘The Giaour,’ and having had occasion subsequently to unsay this, it would be placing my assertions in a very doubtful light, if I allow it to be insinuated publicly that I am to pay nothing for this poem, or for ‘The Bride of Abydos.’ You do not seem to be aware that I feel as much bound by my promise to pay you a thousand guineas for the copyright of ‘The Giaour’ and ‘Bride of Abydos’ in May next, as I am by my bond to give Lord Sheffield £1000 for ‘Gibbon.’

My expression to Madame de Staël was, not that I had actually “paid,” but that I had “given” you 1000 guineas for these two poems, because it is as much as the 500 guineas for ‘The Corsair,’ which I am to pay in two, four, and six months; and I must confess that at the time I stated this circumstance to Madame de Staël, I was not aware of your liberal intentions with regard to this sum; for I did not then conceive it possible that you would have resumed your gift of ‘The Giaour’ to me, to bestow it on another; and, therefore, the explanation of that part of Mr. Dallas’s letter which refers to me is, that although Lord Byron has not actually received anything for ‘The
Giaour’ and ‘Bride,’ yet I am under an engagement to pay him a thousand guineas for them in May.

But, as Mr. Dallas’s letter was published, and as your Lordship appeared to approve of it, I said nothing; nor should I have said anything further if you had not commanded this explanation. I declare I think these things are very unworthy a place in your mind. Why allow “a blight on our blade” to prevent you from reaping and revelling in the rich and superabundant harvest of Fame, which your inspired labours have created? I am sure, my Lord, if you will give the matter reflection, my conduct towards you has uniformly been that of a very humble, but very faithful friend.

I have the honour to be,
Your Lordship’s obliged and obedient Servant,
John Murray.