LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Memoir of John Murray
Benjamin Disraeli to John Murray, 21 September 1825

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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Royal Hotel, Edinburgh.
September 21st, 1825.
My dear Sir,

I arrived in Edinburgh yesterday night at 11 o’clock. I slept at Stamford, York, and Newcastle, and by so doing felt quite fresh at the end of my journey. I never preconceived a place better than Edinburgh. It is exactly what I fancied it, and certainly is the most beautiful town in the world. You can scarcely call it a city; at least, it has little of the roar of millions, and at this time is of course very empty. I could not enter Scotland by the route you pointed out, and therefore was unable to ascertain the fact of the Chevalier being at his Castellum. I should in that case have gone by Carlisle. I called on the gentleman to whom Wright [a solicitor] gave me a letter this morning. He is at his country house; he will get a letter from me this morning. You see, therefore, that I have lost little time.

I called at Oliver & Boyd’s this morning, thinking that you might have written. You had not, however. When you write to me, enclose to them, as they will forward, wherever I may be, and my stay at an hotel is always uncertain. Mr. Boyd was most particularly civil. Their establishment is one of the completest I have ever seen. They are booksellers, bookbinders, and printers, all under the same roof; everything but making paper. I intend to examine the whole minutely before I leave, as it may be
useful. I never thought of binding. Suppose you were to sew, &c., your own publications?

I arrived at York in the midst of the Grand [Musical] Festival. It was late at night when I arrived, but the streets were crowded, and continued so for hours. I never witnessed a city in such an extreme bustle, and so delightfully gay. It was a perfect carnival. I postponed my journey from five in the morning to eleven, and by so doing got an hour for the Minster, where I witnessed a scene which must have far surpassed, by all accounts, the celebrated commemoration in Westminster Abbey. York Minster baffles all conception. Westminster Abbey is a toy to it. I think it is impossible to conceive of what Gothic architecture is susceptible until you see York. I speak with cathedrals of the Netherlands and the Rhine fresh in my memory. I witnessed in York another splendid sight—the pouring in of all the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood and the neighbouring counties. The four-in-hands of the Yorkshire squires, the splendid rivalry in liveries and outriders, and the immense quantity of gorgeous equipages—numbers with four horses—formed a scene which you can only witness in the mighty and aristocratic county of York. It beat a Drawing Room hollow, as much as an oratorio in York Minster does a concert in the Opera House. This delightful stay at York quite refreshed me, and I am not the least fatigued by my journey.

As I have only been in Edinburgh a few hours, of course I have little to say. I shall write immediately that anything occurs. Kindest remembrances to Mrs. Murray and all.

Ever yours,
B. D.

I find Froissart a most entertaining companion, just the fellow for a traveller’s evening; and just the work too, for it needs neither books of reference nor accumulations of MS.