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'gentlemen of the Champion, and Perry, have got 'hold (I know not how) of the condolatory address 'to Lady J. on the picture-abduction by our R***, ' and have published them-with my name, too, smack '--without even asking leave, or inquiring whether 'or no! D-n their impudence, and d-n everything. It has put me out of patience, and so, I shall say no ( more about it.
'You shall have Lara and Jacque (both with some ' additions) when out; but I am still demurring and delaying, and in a fuss, and so is R. in his way.
Newstead is to be mine again. Claughton forfeits twenty-five thousand pounds; but that don't prevent me from being very prettily ruined. I mean to bury 'myself there-and let my beard grow-and hate you 'all.
'Oh! I have had the most amusing letter from Hogg, 'the Ettrick minstrel and shepherd. He wants me to ' recommend him to Murray; and, speaking of his present bookseller, whose "bills" are never "lifted," ' he adds, totidem verbis, "God d--n him and them 'both." I laughed, and so would you too, at the way ' in which this execration is introduced. The said Hogg is a strange being, but of great, though un'couth, powers. I think very highly of him, as a
poet; but he, and half of these Scotch and Lake troubadours, are spoilt by living in little circles and
petty societies. London and the world is the only
place to take the conceit out of a man-in the milling phrase. Scott, he says, is gone to the Orkneys in a gale of wind; during which wind, he affirms, the 'said Scott," he is sure, is not at his ease,-to say
the best of it." Lord, Lord, if these homekeeping 'minstrels had crossed your Atlantic or my Mediterra
nean, and tasted a little open boating in a white squall-or a gale in "the Gut" or the "Bay of Biscay," with no gale at all-how it would enliven and introduce them to a few of the sensations!-to say nothing of an illicit amour or two upon shore, in the way of essay upon the Passions, beginning with simple adultery, and compounding it as they went along.
I have forwarded your letter to Murray,-by the way, you had addressed it to Miller. Pray write to me, and say what art thou doing? "Not finished!" -Oons! how is this?-these "flaws and starts 'must be "authorised by your grandam," and are unbecoming of any other author. I was sorry to 'hear of your discrepancy with the **s, or rather, your abjuration of agreement. I don't want to be impertinent, or buffoon on a serious subject, and am 'therefore at a loss what to say.
'I hope nothing will induce you to abate from the proper price of your poem, as long as there is a prospect of getting it. For my own part, I have seriously, and not whiningly (for that is not my way-at least, it used not to be), neither hopes, nor prospects, and 'scarcely even wishes. I am, in some respects, happy,
but not in a manner that can or ought to last,-but ' enough of that. The worst of it is, I feel quite ener
vated and indifferent. I really do not know, if Jupiter
'were to offer me my choice of the contents of his benevolent cask, what I would pick out of it. If I 'was born, as the nurses say, with a "silver spoon in 'my mouth," it has stuck in my throat, and spoiled my
palate, so that nothing put into it is swallowed with
'much relish,—unless it be cayenne. However, I
have grievances enough to occupy me that way too;
'-but for fear of adding to yours by this pestilent long
' diatribe, I postpone the reading of them, sine die. Ever, dear M., yours, &c.
'P. S. Don't forget my godson. You could not ' have fixed on a fitter porter for his sins than me, being used to carry double without inconvenience.'
'August 4th, 1814. 'Not having received the slightest answer to my 'last three letters, nor the book (the last number of 'the Edinburgh Review) which they requested, I presume that you were the unfortunate person who perished in the pagoda on Monday last, and address 'this rather to your executors than yourself, regretting 'that you should have had the ill luck to be the sole 'victim on that joyous occasion.
'I beg leave, then, to inform these gentlemen (whoever they may be) that I am a little surprised at the
previous neglect of the deceased, and also at ob'serving an advertisement of an approaching publica'tion on Saturday next, against the which I protested, and do protest, for the present.
'Yours (or theirs), &c.
TO MR. MURRAY.
August 5th, 1814. 'The Edinburgh Review is arrived-thanks. I 'enclose Mr. Hobhouse's letter, from which you will perceive the work you have made. However, I have
'done you must send my rhymes to the devil your
( own way. It seems, also, that the "faithful and
spirited likeness" is another of your publications. I
'wish you joy of it; but it is no likeness-that is the point. Seriously, if I have delayed your journey to 'Scotland, I am sorry that you carried your complai'sance so far; particularly as upon trifles you have a
more summary method;-witness the grammar of "Hobhouse's "bit of prose," which has put him and 'me into a fever.
Hogg must translate his own words: "lifting" is 'a quotation from his letter, together with "God 'd-n," &c., which I suppose requires no translation.
'I was unaware of the contents of Mr. Moore's 'letter; I think your offer very handsome, but of that you and he must judge. If he can get more, you ' won't wonder that he should accept it.
'Out with Lara, since it must be.
The tome looks
pretty enough-on the outside. I shall be in town 'next week, and in the meantime wish you a pleasant
'August 12th, 1814.
I was not alone, nor will be while I can help it. 'Newstead is not yet decided. Claughton is to make a grand effort by Saturday week to complete,-if 'not, he must give up twenty-five thousand pounds, ' and the estate, with expenses, &c. &c. If I resume 'the Abbacy, you shall have due notice, and a cell 'set apart for your reception, with a pious welcome. 'Rogers I have not seen, but Larry and Jacky came out 'a few days ago. Of their effect I know nothing.
TO MR. MOORE.
There is something very amusing in your being an Edinburgh Reviewer. You know, I suppose, that T✶✶ is none of the placidest, and may possibly enact
some tragedy on being told that he is only a fool. If, now, Jeffrey were to be slain on account of an article of yours, there would be a fine conclusion. For my part, as Mrs. Winifred Jenkins says, "he has done the handsome thing by me," particularly in
his last number; so, he is the best of men and the ' ablest of critics, and I won't have him killed,-though 'I dare say many wish he were, for being so good'humoured.
Before I left Hastings I got in a passion with an 'ink-bottle, which I flung out of the window one night 'with a vengeance;-and what then? Why, next morning I was horrified by seeing that it had struck, and split upon, the petticoat of Euterpe's graven image in the garden, and grimed her as if it were on purpose*. Only think of my distress,-and the epigrams that might be engendered on the Muse and 'her misadventure.
'I had an adventure, almost as ridiculous, at some 'private theatricals near Cambridge-though of a dif'ferent description-since I saw you last. last. I I quar'relled with a man in the dark for asking me who I was (insolently enough, to be sure), and followed ' him into the green-room (a stable) in a rage, amongst ' a set of people I never saw before. He turned out
to be a low comedian, engaged to act with the ama'teurs, and to be a civil-spoken man enough, when he found out that nothing very pleasant was to be got
* His servant had brought him up a large jar of ink, into which, not supposing it to be full, he had thrust his pen down to the very bottom. Enraged, on finding it come out all smeared with ink, he flung the bottle out of the window into the garden, where it lighted, as here described, upon one of eight leaden Muses, that had been imported, some time before, from Holland,-the ninth having been, by some accident, left behind.