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JOHN MURRAY, Esq., F. S. A.-June 27. In Albemarle-street, in his 65th year, John Murray, Esq., the distinguished publisher.
"Quarterly" was the celebrated W. Gifford, the translator of Juvenal, and his successful conduct of the journal has been most ably continued by Mr. Lockhart.
"Childe Harold" was a poem of his own seeking, for he had been one of the first to foresee the budding genius of Lord Byron. He was a proud man, we have heard him say, when Dallas put the MS. of "Childe Harold" into his hands. He had been a poet's publisher before, for he had a share in Marmion."
He was the only son, by a second marriage, of Mr. John McMurray, a native of Edinburgh, who was originally an officer of marines, and in 1768, succeeded Mr. Sandby, the bookseller, opposite St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet-street, on that gentleman entering into partnership with the well-known firm" of Snow and Co., the bankers in the Strand.
The Athenæum observes, "The readers of Lord Byron's Life and Works will recollect the friendly tone in which he writes to Mr. Murray; and the exquisite rhyming letter of excuse, which the poet wrote in the name of his publisher to Dr. Polidori, politely declining the proposed publication of his Nor can they have forgotten the many bagatelles in verse which the poet addressed to his enterprising friend,' the avag of publishers,' as he calls him, and the Anak of stationers.'
Mr. McMurray was desirous that Mr. Falconer, the ingenious author of "The Shipwreck," should become his partner; and an interesting letter from Mr. McMurray to Falconer on this occasion, is printed in Nichols's "Literary Anecdotes," iii. 729. The Poet would probably have entered into part-play. nership with him, but was unfortunately lost in the Aurora frigate. A ship figures in full sail on the bill-heads of Mr. Murray's old accounts, allusive to his original destination in the marines.
On settling in Fleet-street as a bookseller, Mr. McMurray (afterwards known as Mr. Murray) was ushered immediately into notice by publishing a new edition of Lord Lyttleton's "Dialogues," and also an edition of his "History ;" and under his auspices many useful works were offered to the learned world. Langhorne's Plutarch, Dalrymple's Annals, and Mitford's Greece, are three of Mr. Murray's surviving publications. He also published several pamphlets connected with his trade, and was an author in various shapes.
"Mr. Murray's career as a publisher is one continued history of princely payments. His copyrights were secured at the most extravagant pricesfor he never higgled about the sum if he wanted the work. To call him the
Strachan, Tonson, Lintot of the timesis awarding him but a portion of his praise. Contrast his liberal dealings with Lord Byron with old Jacob Tonson's hard bargains with John Dryden,John Murray's hard cash with Jacob's clipped coin. But he did more very often than abide by his agreeMr. Murray's father died Nov. 6, 1793, whenment. To Campbell he doubled the price agreed John was in his fifteenth year, an age too young to upon for his Specimens of the Poets,' by paying conduct the business unaided. He was, however, the stipulated £500 and adding £500 more. joined by Mr. Samuel Highley, the assistant and gave £50 per volume additional to Allan Cunningshopman of old Mr. Murray, and the father of the ham for his Lives of the British Artists,' and made present Mr. Highley, the bookseller, of Fleet street. the payment retrospective. Another anecdote of When Mr. Murray was of age, he entered into part- his liberality of spirit we shall allow him to relate nership with Highley, but this was not of long con- in his own words. tinuance, as the deed of separation is dated 25th of March, 1803. They drew lots for the house, and Murray had the good fortune to remain at No. 32; Highley setting up for himself at No. 24, and taking away with him, by agreement, the large medical connection of the firm, a connection enjoyed by his son to this day.
"To Sir Walter Scott.
"Albemarle Street, June 8, 1829. "My dear Sir,-Mr. Lockhart has this moment communicated your letter respecting my fourth share of the copy-right of Marmion. I have already been applied to, by Messrs. Constable and by Messrs. LongMr. Murray now started on his own account, and man, to know what sum I would sell this share for; began a career of publication unrivalled in the his-but so highly do I estimate the honor of being, even tory of letters. In 1807 he added "The Art of Cookery," by Mrs. Rundell, to his list; in 1809 the Quarterly Review; and in 1811 "Childe Harold."
One of his earliest friends and advisers was Mr. D'Israeli, the author of the "Curiosities of Literature." His connection with Sir W. Scott began in 1808 with his publication of Strutt's "Queen Hoo Hall," edited by Scott.
His early connection as the publisher and friend of Lord Byron established him at once as one of the most spirited and successful publishers of the day; and the reputation he thus early acquired, led to the establishment of the Quarterly Review. The great success of the "Edinburgh Review natarally led the Supporters of Church and State to wish for as powerful an organ to express their sentiments. The Quarterly was suggested by Murray himself, and his letter to Canning on the subject is still in existence. Sir Walter Scott, in 1808, or 1809, in his letters to bis literary associates, passes many eulogies on the young London bookseller who was to conduct the publication of the work,—and speaks of his talents, spirit, and judgment, in terms which Mr. Murray's subsequent management of that great journal fully confirmed. The first editor of the
in so small a degree, the publisher of the author of the poem, that no pecuniary consideration whatever can induce me to part with it.
"But there is a consideration of another kind, which until now I was not aware of, which would make it painful for me if I were to retain it a moment longer. I mean the knowledge of its being required by the author, into whose hands it was spontaneously resigned in the same instant that I read his request.
"This share has been profitable to me fifty-fold beyond what either publisher or author could have anticipated; and, therefore, my returning it on such an occasion you will, I trust, do me the favor to consider in no other light than as a mere act of grateful acknowledgment for benefits already received by, my dear sir, your obliged and faithful servant,
"Five hundred anecdotes of the great spirits of his time have died with Mr. Murray-enough to make a second Spence, or another Boswell. His conversation was always entertaining, for he had a quiet vein of humor that gave his stories a palatable
flavor, adding largely to their excellence, without destroying the race of their originality. His little back parlor in Albemarle Street, was a sort of Will's, or Button's; his four-o'clock visitors' embracing the men of wit and repute in London. Few men distinguished in literature, in art, or in science, but have partaken of the hospitalities of Mr. Murray's table. If Tonson had a gallery of portraits,
With here a Garth and there an Addison, so had Mr. Murray; but Tonson's Kit-Kat Club pictures were all presents-Mr. Murray's kit-kats were all commissions; commissions to men like Lawrence, Phillips, Hoppner, Newton, Pickersgill, and Wilkie; and portraits, too, of Byron and Scott, Moore and Campbell, Southey and Gifford, Hallam and Lockhart, Washington Irving, and Mrs. Somerville-a little gallery in itself of British genius. Scott and Byron were made personally known to one another through the friendly mediation of Murray, as were Southey, and Crabbe, and Scott, and
"Mr. Murray let few good things in literature escape him, and his two last works, the Journals of Lieut. Eyre and Lady Sale, were each, in the language of the trade, a lucky hit. He might have had, it is true, The Bridgewater Treatises,' and he made a mistake with The Rejected Addresses.' 'I could have had The Rejected Addresses" for ten pounds,' he said to the writer of this notice, but I let them go by as the kite of the moment. See the result! I was determined to pay for my neglect, and I bought the remainder of the copyright for 150 guineas. The Navy List' and other publications are thus referred to by Lord Byron :
Along thy sprucest book-shelves shine
He said once, to the present writer: Lord Byron
"Let us illustrate his sagacity in business, by an anecdote which will be new to many of our readers. Constable published a little History of England in one small volume, which, as it were, fell stillborn from the press. Murray perceived its merits, bought Constable's share, and baptized his little purchase by the name of Mrs. Markham's History of England, a name it still enjoys. The work flourished in his hands, and is, to this day, realizing large annual profit."
Another great undertaking of Mr. Murray's was the "Family Library." This series, which undoubtedly contains many works of much excellence and value, was not so advantageous to Mr. Murray as might have been anticipated.
In 182-, Mr. Murray attempted to establish a daily newspaper, called "The Representative," but, to the surprise of all who were aware of Mr. Murray's general ability in literary speculations, it proved a failure, and was soon dropped.
To enumerate the authors with whom Mr. Murray was associated, is to recall his most celebrated literary contemporaries. By Byron, Scott, Crabbe, Bowles, Southey, Washington Irving, Milman, Wilson Croker, Barrow, Lockhart, and an innumerable list of eminent travellers and others, he was regarded as a fit associate and a valued and respected friend; and their sentiments of him are recorded in their writings. Of Byron he was a constant correspondent; and it is to him that many of the Poet's most brilliant as well as famous and confidential letters are addressed. And it may here be added, that of all the numerous circle with whom he was connected, no one had cause to regret having reposed in him the most entire confidence; for his whole transactions were equally just and liberal. In private society he was much beloved. His disposition was benevolent and kindly, his manner polished, and his habits hospitable and social. His departure will leave a blank not easily filled, in the hearts of the many friends who lament his loss. The Literary Gazette thus speaks of Mr. Murray :
"His situation in the literary world has long been most prominent; and there is hardly an author of high reputation, either now living or dead within the last quarter of a century, who has not enjoyed his intimacy and regard. With the majority his social intercourse was most gratifying, and his liberality towards their public undertakings such as merited their esteem and gratitude. That he was warm-hearted and generous will be allowed by all who ever knew him; whilst those who had the pleasure of a more genial acquaintance with him, will long remember his lively conversation, and the ready humor which often set the table in a roar. He was, indeed, on such occasions, a very agreeable companion, and his ready wit was only an indication of the acuteness and judgment which he carried into his professional concerns. His clear mind in this respect led him to enterprises of great pith and moment; and we owe to it some of the most celebrated works in our language.
He was a true friend to the arts, which he largely employed."
In 1812, he bought the good will and house of Mr. W. Miller, No. 50, Albemarle Street, removing thither from No. 32 Fleet Street.
In 1806, Mr. Murray married Miss Elliot, the daughter of a bookseller at Edinburgh. This amiable lady is left his widow; with three daughters, and a son and successor, Mr. John Murray, the editor of the Continental Hand-books, who we hope will emulate the friendly and liberal traits of his father's character.-Gents. Magazine.
A Copenhagen journal announces the death of Dr. JACOBSEN, physician to the Royal Family, aged 61. Dr. Jacobsen was a Jew by birth, and throughout his life remained steadfast in that faith; notwithstanding which he was elected Professor of Anatomy at the University, and at the College of Surgeons of Copenhagen; although the charter expressly forbids the admission of any person to that office, unless subscribing to the Protestant religion. Dr. Jacobsen was the author of several valuable works on Anatomy. In 1833, he was chosen corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, in place of Sir Everard Home, and the same year he obtained from the same learned body a gold medal worth 4000 franes, for the invention of an important surgical instru
1.-The New Punctiuncula Stenographic System of Embossing. By G. A. Hughes.
characters, thereby enabling those who can read by
"To accomplish his great undertaking, the Inventor makes this appeal to his friends and the public, in the full confidence that it will be responded to, in a country abounding with so much Christian charity as is found in England, and especially in a cause which has for its object, the happiness, education, and improvement of the Blind. Several Friends, well-wishers to his system, and 'enlighteners of darkness,' have come forward to aid him in the accomplishment of his plans, to furnish the Blind with progressive and scriptural lessons, and he doubts not but that many others will be found ready to lend a helping hand towards lessening the expensive burthen, which has fallen so heavily upon himself and his parents, by whose assistance he has already accomplished so much."
Mr. Hughes is totally blind, having been deprived of sight in 1837. Previous to that calamity he had been in the scholastic profession, and he particularly mentions that he was thoroughly acquainted with stenography. His stenographic taste and expertness, no doubt, together with the necessity which his bereavement imposed, drove his inventive powers into the channel which he has followed out to what he considers a perfect and most satisfactory issue. He feels most confident not only that a person who has lost his vision is better qualified to devise a plan for instructing those who are blind, than an individual who is blessed with sight, for the blind alone, he observes, can really judge what is easy or difficult for all such, but that his method is by far the most simple that has ever Such are some of the interesting particulars conbeen laid before the public, and vastly superior to cerning this new system of embossing, and its inany in which embossed type is used. Mr. Hughes genious inventor. We can hardly doubt of its suchesitates not to assert that by his plan and means cess, which success must be identified with the the blind of all nations will be able to emboss for worldly prosperity of Mr. Hughes, who is about, themselves, on any paper, without the use of type, we believe, to open apartments for the purpose of and to attain a perfect knowledge in reading, arith-taking in pupils at his residence in the Strand. His metic, &c., with unprecedented facility.
The system consists of two dots, one smooth and the other rough, together with the aid of a sign line; the different arrangements and positions to which these may be subjected giving the person who can make a dexterous use of them, an extraordinary command upon paper. Besides paper and the little embossing instrument, a cushion, and a little framework having many small square divisions, called by Mr. H. the formula, are necessary.
The system may be understood by a person having sight in a very short space of time, but its ready practice will come to hand with something of the kind of slowness which attends the aquisition of stenography. In fact, in Mr. Hughes's system the characters are applied stenographically. Still, we do not conceive that there can be any very formidable difficulty in the way of the blind becoming expert in the practice of the system; but on the other hand, we feel assured that the process of acquiring this system would afford an enviable species of amusing occupation, not to speak of the incalculable satisfaction that would accompany and follow the daily use of its helping hand for the purposes of in
The present is no ordinary case, whether one looks to its literary importance, or individually to the case of the inventor; and therefore let him be heard for a moment:
"George A. Hughes, of Ramsgate, in the county of Kent, aged 34, and totally blind, formerly in the scholastic profession, in the Isle of Thanet, begs leave to call the attention of his friends and the Public to the New System of Embossing, which he has invented for the Blind, and which will enable them to emboss, and record their thoughts without the use of type, with an instrument, occupying no more space than a common pencil-case, and in every way as simple in its construction. Likewise every individual who can read, including the deaf and dumb, will be able to correspond with the blind by post, by only studying the alphabet, and if two leaves of paper are placed on the cushion instead of one, the copy of any letter, &c., will be obtained while embossing the original.
"To illustrate the system, the author has been at considerable expense in publishing a work in which he has embodied the letter-press with the embossed
book, together with the other articles essential to the study and practice of the method, we can have no doubt, requires merely to be advertised to attract extensive notice, and to establish for the inventor the character of an enlightened philanthropist.Monthly Review.
2.-The Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. With an Essay on his Language and Versification, and introductory Discourse, with Notes and Glossary, by Thomas Tyrwhitt. 8vo, double cols., pp. 502. London: E. Moxon.
In this, as in the new edition of Beaumont and Fletcher, Mr. Moxon has done spirited and good service to English literature; and we sincerely trust that he will meet the reward his efforts so truly deserve. The glorious father of our poetry, in a noble single volume, is a library of itself-a mine of mental treasures and poetical beauties, solid veins of gold and silver, and innumerable clusters of diamonds and precious gems. How delightful it is to dig into the depths of the former, and dabble with the sparkling sands where the latter are so abundantly found! The reading of Chaucer is enough to make a poet almost equal in power to the poeta nascitur. Let all who can enjoy this recreation.
3.-A Short Treatise on Life Assurance, with the Rates of all the Offices in London, Mutual, Mixed, and Proprietary. Alphabetically arranged. By Frederick Lawrence, Esq., Serretary to a Life Office.
By far the most intelligible and interesting treatise that we have ever met with on the subject of Life Assurance. The work is as remarkable in respect to brevity, as it is of simplicity and plainness; and, a thing that one would never think of looking for in such a quarter, there is information in it sufficiently entertaining and popular, to keep you reading page after page at one sitting, till the end is reached; by which time, to a certainty, a strong anxiety will have been created to secure in some form or another, the benefits of Life Assurance. The treatise begins with a history of the rise and progress of such institutions; and in due course shows the great good that may thus be effected for
the assured whilst living, and for friends and rela- SELECT LIST OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS. tions after his decease-the applicability of the benefits to every contingency which can possibly occur in mercantile operations; and, in short, explaining the whole subject in a manner that is singularly
clear and instructive.
The little book has assuredly not been written for the sake of pecuniary gain, its price being only one shilling. Neither has it a particle of the character of a puff, for Mr. Lawrence does not advocate the interest of any one particular office; not even mentioning the name of the establishment of which he is secretary. His object evidently has been to increase the number of policy-holders, and to circulate such an accurate knowledge of the science of Life Assurance as will be sufficient to induce people to enrol themselves amongst those already assured. -Monthly Review.
The Iodated Waters of Heilbrunn in Bavaria, &c., as a Cure of Scrofulous, Cutaneous, and other Diseases. By Sir A. M. Downie, M. D. &c. Pp. 92. Frankfort, C. Jugel; Paris, Galignani; London, J. Churchill.
THE author of this brochure is, it appears from the fly-leaf, the author of another on The Spas of Homburg, and of a volume, entitled A Practical Treatise on the Efficacy of Mineral Waters. He was formerly physician to our princess the Landgravine of Hesse Homburg, and has had much experience in the use and abuse of mineral waters during an extensive practice and pretty long resi dence at Frankfort. We say abuse: for Sir A. Downie, though powerfully advocating mineral waters in a variety of complaints, is far from believing in their universal applicability, or that chronic gout and rheumatism is to be miraculously cured by quaffing a certain quantity of water for three or four weeks; as many German doctors, and some recent writers nearer home, have promulgated.
In the third chapter it is pretty distinctly shown, indeed, that patients need not go to Heilbrunn, where there is no suitable accommodation; as this
water, called the Adelheid's Quelle, and others equally efficacious, may be imported and drunk at a distance from their native spas with the same effects. For this purpose they must, however, be bottled in glass according to the method, and then they will keep for a very long time. Fifty thousand bottles are thus annually sent off for consump tion in various parts of the continent,-Munich, Petersburg, Paris, Frankfort, &c. Whilst drinking it, strict attention to diet is strongly recommended, differing according to the maladies of the patients. Much of the efficacy of the waters is ascribed to iodine, for the detection of which a simple test is given, viz., to "take two table-spoonfuls of the water and a small piece of starch and mix them, then drop in about 20 or 30 drops of nitric acid; the liquid will immediately assume a purple color, which, on adding more acid, or being allowed to remain some time in the glass, will gradually change to a deep blue. Iodine (adds Sir Alexander) in large doses is a very energetic irritative
poison; in smaller ones, it exercises a general stimulating influence, especially on the mucous membranes. It has also been found to exert a very decided effect on the glandular system; a fact which ought to be borne in mind by those who prescribe the drug, since experience has proved that the excessive use of it may be attended by the most untoward results."
Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America; effected by the Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, during the years 1836-39. By Thomas Simpson, Esq.
A Guide to Greek for Beginners, or Initia Græca. By Rev. W. Cross.
Pathological and Philosophical Essay on Hereditary Diseases. By. J. H. Steinau,
FOREIGN LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.
DECEMBER, 1 8 4 3.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE.
From the Edinburgh Review.
1. Biographia Britannica Literaria; or, the Biography of Literary Characters of Great Britain and Ireland, arranged in Chronological Order. Anglo-Saxon Period. By Thomas Wright, M. A. Published under the Superintendence of the Royal Society of
Literature.. 8vo. London: 1842.
II. Transactions of the Royal Society of
sketch of this royal foundation, which, though singular, as having emanated spontaneously from the Sovereign, yet presents in its formation, all the features of analagous associations, whether springing from private individuals or learned bodies pursuing similar objects. The original steps taken, the difficulties encountered, the gradual progress, and finally, the maturity of plans resulting in operations and effects which endure for many generations, and have an influence on them all, present details of curious interest, well deserving of literary record.
The Royal Society of Literature" So wide is the realm, and so densely peo- originated in an accidental conversation pled with a noisy multitude is the Republic between the late learned and worthy Bishop of Letters, that we dare say there are many of St. David's (Dr. Burgess, afterwards of our readers who know very little about Bishop of Salisbury,) and an eminent perthe Society whose publications invite this son of the royal household, in October, notice. Yet it has been a number of years in 1820, respecting the various institutions existence, and was right royally founded which adorn the British name and nation. and munificently endowed by George the It was agreed that there seemed to be one Fourth. Among the literary institutions wanting for the encouragement and promoof the present century it holds a prominent tion of General Literature; and that if a place; and among its members and sup- society, somewhat resembling the French porters are many individuals of the highest Academy of Belles Lettres, could be estabrank in society, and the highest fame in lished, it might be productive of great adliterature and science. Thus, standing vantage to the cause of knowledge. This apart from the numerous private associa- suggestion was communicated to Sir Bentions formed for the cultivation and promo- jamin Bloomfield, and by him mentioned tion of particular classes of learning, a brief to the King; and his Majesty having exaccount of its origin and progress may not pressed his approbation, a general outline be unacceptable. Having all the necessary of the institution was, by command, subinformation at our command, we shall mitted to the royal perusal. From seed therefore commence with a historical thus fortuitously scattered, sometimes arise VOL. III. No. IV. 28