LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Memoir of John Murray
Samuel Taylor Coleridge to John Murray, 4 July 1816

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
Highgate, July 4th, 1816.

I have often thought that there might be set on foot a review of old books, i.e., of all works important or remarkable, the authors of which are deceased, with a probability of a tolerable sale, if only the original plan were a good one, and if no articles were admitted but from men who understood and recognized the Principles and Rules of Criticism, which should form the first number. I would not take the works chronologically, but according to the likeness or contrast of the kind of genius—ex. gr. Jeremy Taylor, Milton (his prose works), and BurkeDante and Milton (poetry)—Scaliger and Dr. Johnson. Secondly, if especial attention were paid to all men who had produced, or aided in producing, any great revolution in the Taste or opinion of an age, as Petrarch, Ulrich von Hutten, &c. (here I will dare risk the self-conceit of referring to my own parallel of Voltaire and Erasmus, of Luther and Rousseau in the seventh number of ‘The Friend’). Lastly, if proper care was taken that in every number of the Review there should be a fair proportion of amusing matter, such as a review of Paracelsus, Cardan, Old Fuller; a review of Jest Books, tracing the various metempsychosis of the same joke through all ages and countries; a History of Court Fools, for which a laborious German has furnished ample and
highly interesting materials; foreign writers, though alive, not to be excluded, if only their works are of established character in their own country, and scarcely heard of, much less translated, in English literature.
Jean Paul Richter would supply two or three delightful articles.

Any works which should fall in your way respecting the Jews since the destruction of the Temple, I should of course be glad to look through. Above all, Mezeray’s (no! that is not the name, I think) ‘History of the Jews,’ that I must have.

I shall be impatient for the rest of Mr. Frere’s sheets. Most unfeignedly can I declare that I am unable to decide whether the admiration which the excellence inspires, or the wonder which the knowledge of the countless difficulties so happily overcome, never ceases to excite in my mind during the re-perusal and collation of them with the original Greek, be the greater. I have not a moment’s hesitation in fixing on Mr. Frere as the man of the correctest and most genial taste among all our contemporaries whom I have ever met with, personally or in their works. Should choice or chance lead you to sun and air yourself on Highgate Hill during any of your holiday excursions, my worthy friend and his amiable and accomplished wife will be happy to see you. We dine at four, and drink tea at six.

Yours ever respectfully,
S. T. Coleridge.