The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt: With Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries - Vol. 2

By Walter Scott | Go to book overview

wards if you like; but come and see it! If not, I must come and see you.

Ever yours, very truly and affectionately, BYRON.

P.S.--Not a word from Moore for these two months. Pray let me have the rest of Rimini. You have two excellent points in that poem --originality and Italianism. I will back you as a bard against half the fellows on whom you have thrown away much good criticism and eulogy: but don't let your bookseller publish in quarto; it is the worst size possible for circulation. I say this on bibliopolical authority.

Again, yours ever, B

-----


LETTER X.
[Story of Rimini--Murray--House of Lods--Lord Byron's Politics.]

January 29th, 1816.

DEAR HUNT--I return your extract with thanks for the perusal, and hope you are by this time on the verge of publication. My pencil-marks on the margin of your former MSS. I never thought worth the trouble of deciphering, but I had no such meaning as you imagine for their being withheld from Murray, from whom I differ entirely as to the terms of your agreement; nor do I think you asked a piastre too much for the poem. However, I doubt not he will deal fairly by you on the whole: he is really a very good fellow, and his faults are merely the leaven of his "trade"--"the trade!" the slavetrade of many an unlucky writer.

The. said Murray and I are just at present in no good humor with each other; but he is not the worse for that. I feel sure that he will give your work as fair or a fairer chance in every way than your late publishers; and what he can't do for it, it will do for itself.

Continual laziness and occasional indisposition have been the causes of my negligence (for I deny neglect) in not writing to you immediately. These are excuses: I wish they may be more satisfactory to you than they are to me. I opened my eyes yesterday morning on your compliment of Sunday. If you knew what a hopeless and lethargic den of dullness and drawling our hospital is* during a debate, and what a mass of corruption in its patients, you would wonder, not that I very seldom speak, but that I ever attempted it, feeling, as I trust I do, independently. However, when a proper spirit is manifested "without doors," I will endeavor not to be idle within. Do you think such a time is coming? Methinks there are

____________________
*
The House of Lords.

-117-

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