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Memoir of John Murray
Benjamin Disraeli to John Murray, 30 March 1832

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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My dear Sir,

In further answer to your note received this evening, I think it proper to observe that I entirely agree with you that I “am bound to make as few alterations as possible,”
coming as they do from such a quarter; and I have acted throughout in such a spirit. All alterations and omissions of consequence are in this first sheet, and I have retained in the others many things of which I do not approve, merely on account of my respect for the source from whence they are derived.

While you remind me of what I observed to your son, let me also remind you of the condition with which my permission was accompanied, viz.: that everything was to be submitted to my approval, and subject to my satisfaction. On this condition I have placed the proofs in the hands of several persons not less distinguished than your friend,* and superior even in rank and recent office. Their papers are on my table, and I shall be happy to show them to you, I will mention one: the chapter on Belgium was originally written by the Plenipotentiary of the King of Holland to the Conference, Baron Van Zuylen. Scarcely a line of the original composition remains, although a very able one, because it did not accord with the main design of the book.

With regard to the omission, pp. 12, 13, I acknowledge its felicity; but it is totally at variance with every other notice of M. de Talleyrand in the work, and entirely dissonant with the elaborate mention of him in the last chapter. When the reviser introduced this pungent remark, he had never even read the work he was revising.

With regard to the authorship of this work, I should never be ashamed of being considered the author. I should be proud to be; but I am not. It is written by Legion, but I am one of them, and I bear the responsibility. If it be supposed to be written by a Frenchman, all its good effects must be marred, as it seeks to command attention and interest by its purely British spirit.

I have no desire to thrust my acquaintance on your critic. More than once, I have had an opportunity to form that acquaintance, and more than once I have declined it, but I am ready to bear the brunt of explanation, if you desire me. It is quite impossible that anything adverse to the general measure of Reform can issue from my pen or from anything to which I contribute. Within these four months

* Mr. Croker, with Mr. B. Disraeli’s knowledge, revised the proofs.

I have declined being returned for a Tory borough, and almost within these four hours, to mention slight affairs, I have refused to inscribe myself a member of “The Conservative Club.” I cannot believe that you will place your critic’s feelings for a few erased passages against my permanent interest.

But in fact these have nothing to do with the question. To convenience you, I have no objection to wash my hands of the whole business, and put you in direct communication with my coadjutors. I can assure you that it is from no regard for my situation that Reform was omitted, but because they are of opinion that its notice would be unwise and injurious. For myself, I am ready to do anything that you can desire, except entirely change my position in life.

I will see your critic, if you please, or you can give up the publication and be reimbursed, which shall make no difference in our other affairs. All I ask in this and all other affairs, are candour and decision.

The present business is most pressing. At present I am writing a chapter on Poland from intelligence just received, and it will be ready for the printer to-morrow morning, as I shall finish it before I retire. I await your answer with anxiety.

Yours truly,
B. D.