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circumstance renders me more con- understand that Murray was "offident in soliciting your further atten
ten very glad to get rid of him." tion. There are
some expressions Then followed that splendid concerning Spain and Portugal which, burst of song, beginning with “The however just at the time they were conceived, yet as they do not har- Giaour,” “The Bride of Abydos," monise with the now prevalent feeling, “The Corsair,” and “Lara,” in I am persuaded would so greatly startling rapidity, which Byron interfere with the popularity which continued to pour out with little the poem is, in other respects, cer- intermission during the rest of his tainly calculated to excite, that in life, ranging over all the fields of compassion to your publisher, who does not presume to reason upon the poetry, lyrical, dramatic, and sasubject, otherwise than as a mere
tirical. The correspondence marks matter of business, I hope your the ripening intimacy; and when goodness will induce you to remove Byron finally left England, Murray them; and with them perhaps some remained his faithful corresponreligious sentiments which may de- dent, and the chief link between prive me of some customers amangst him and the world which he had the orthodox. Could I flatter myself that these suggestions were not ob- abandoned. Flattering as the contrusive, I would hazard another, — nection was, we can easily underthat you would add the two promised stand that it had an alloy of anxiety cantos, and complete the poem. It and doubt. It was impossible for were cruel indeed not to perfect a the publisher of the Quarterly,' a work which contains so much that chief censor morum and guardian of is excellent. Your fame, my lord, the literary proprieties of the day, demands it. You are raising a monument that will outlive your present
not to have grave misgivings when feelings, and it should therefore be he read the MSS. of “Cain,” and constructed in such a manner as to of the successive cantos of “ Don excite no other association than that Juan,” how these works were to of respect and admiration for your affect his own reputation as well character and genius. I trust that
as the public mind.
It is not an you will pardon the warmth of this address, when I assure you that it agreeable situation for a publisher arises in the greatest degree from a
to be called upon to consider sincere regard for your best reputa- whether a work is moral enough tion ; with, however, some view to to carry copyright; and we find that portion of it which must attend some indication of these perplexithe publisher of so beautiful a poem ties in Dr Smiles's work, and a as you are capable of rendering in the
still clearer reflection of the pubRomaunt of Childe Harold.''
lisher's scruples in Byron's own We have an amusing sketch of letters. It took a stout heart Byron at this time as he was wont to stem the torrent of literary to call at Fleet Street on his way abuse—not all unmerited—that from Jackson's boxing lessons, centred round the name of Byron, walking up and down the room and Murray deserves all honour delivering carte and tierce at the for his stout courage, while posbook-shelves, while his admiring terity has wholly justified his publisher was venting his raptures fidelity. The case was altogether poem.
6. You think that an exceptional one. Byron's genius a good idea, do you, Murray?' Then was sufliciently powerful to impose he would fence ar lunge with his
his poetry upon the world—a feat walking-stick at some special book that has been predicable before or which he had picked out on the since of no other poet. shelves before him.” We can easily Moore, on his visit to Byron at
it. It was for Murray to “bell of Dr Smiles's volumes that they the cat,” and the project of a have at last done something like Quarterly of equal critical weight, justice to Gifford, whose sharpness and of more patriotic political and acidity of utterance have been principles, was conceived by Mur- remembered, while his more brilray. He took Canning into his liant services to literature have confidence, who sent his brother been overlooked. Whether in the Stratford to consult with the pub- ‘Anti-Jacobin' or the 'Quarterly lisher. Murray had a formidable Review,' no man in his generation array of able contributors to pit did more for the conservation of a against the talent of the · Edin- true and manly tone in English burgh.' Through Canning he was literature, or to put down the able to muster all the wits of the shallowness, affectation, and false defunct 'Anti-Jacobin.' His aid sentiment that was threatening to to a number of Eton youths who pervert English taste in the tranhad got entangled with the con- sition period between the two duct of the Miniature,' a volume centuries. of essays, had given him a claim The “Quarterly' did not create upon the friendship of Stratford any great impression on its first Canning, Gally Knight, the Mar- appearance, and Murray's friends quis Wellesley's sons, and other were somewhat of the nature of clever young men, whose assist- Job's comforters. Every one natance could be counted on. But it urally had some fault to find with was on Walter Scott that Murray some article or other, although placed his chief reliance; and Scott, Ellis, and Canning were Scott, who had long patriotically among the most active of the earborne with much patience the on- lier contributors. Murray became slaughts of the Edinburgh' on anxious and Gifford pettish ; and his poems, eagerly entered into the with No. 8 the circulation fell from enterprise, and was indefatigable 5000 to 4000, a decline with which in beating up for recruits. Scott the dilatory appearance of the brought in Southey, whose name, number had probably something more than any other save Croker, to do. With No. 9 Southey bemost associated with
came a steady contributor, “and Quarterly,' which afforded him there was scarcely a number withthe very outlet he needed for his out one, and sometimes two and marvellous range of reading, and even three articles from his pen.” for the opinions of his maturer In whatever measure the change years.
Gifford was selected for was due to Southey's pen, from the the editorship, and in many re- date of his accession the prospects spects a more fortunate choice of the Quarterly' improved, and could not have been made. It is its circulation increased. No doubt true he suffered from bad health, much of the credit of the success and he · lacked the punctuality belongs to Gifford, for we are told necessary for securing the regular that “the interest and variety of appearance of a periodical; but no its contents, and the skill of the man of his day could so readily editor in the arrangement of his detect the false amid the true coin materials, made up
shortof literature, or with more skill comings.” Other recruits began to harmonise and co-ordinate the drop in : Barrow and Croker, both materials which came to his hand. from the Admiralty, the latter to It is not the least valuable feature become one of Murray's most ac