LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
William Roscoe to Thomas Cadell and William Davies, [9 April 1808]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“A short time after Mr. Cromek had begun to print his volume of Burns, the proofs of the first sheets were sent to me, when I was equally surprised and sorry to see that the work opened with some poems, of the admission of which I very much doubt; but which, in that situation, would have given a very unfavourable idea of the work. I immediately wrote to Mr. Cromek, entreating him to stop the press till we had settled this point, as well as some others, which I had to remark to him. In consequence of this, he got into the mail, and came to Allerton, where we have gone over the whole work; and I am sorry to say that, in my opinion, the seven sheets now printed must be cancelled, and the work begun again, although it will undoubtedly be attended with a very considerable expense. This mistake has arisen from a misapprehension; it having been settled by Mr. Cromek and me,
when he was last here, that the letters should be printed in chronological order, and which I supposed would be done; but Mr. Cromek having these poems of earlier date, thought it would be proper to begin the book with them, and unluckily sent them to press before I knew of it.

“I am particularly anxious on this subject, as I consider it a matter of great importance not only to the character of the poet, but to the credit and interest of those concerned in the publication. Should any thing be admitted which may give just ground for censure, it will immediately be laid hold of, and the book will be condemned as containing only worthless and indecent fragments, which both the poet and Dr. Currie had rejected; and not only would this affect the sale of the work, but it would also injure the character of Burns; and, perhaps, depreciate, in a considerable degree, his other writings, for the property of which you have so liberally paid. In avoiding any imputation of this kind, the credit and interests of the author, the editor, and the publishers, all unite; and I am truly happy to say that, in my judgment, there is no danger of it whatever, if prudent precautions be taken, which Mr. Cromek is not only willing but anxious to do. The materials are, in fact, excellent, and the more I examine them the more I am convinced that they will make a most interesting volume. Every thing is
now arranged for its being immediately put to press, and the only circumstances to be regretted are the loss of time and the expense already incurred.”—“I have only to add that I have undertaken to arrange the materials for the preface, and shall have great pleasure in attending to the progress of the printing, as far as my distance from town will allow, or rendering any other service which you or Mr. Cromek may wish.”