Letter from Hogg to Murray, 19 Jan 1815

Author(s): Hogg, James


Edin Janr 19th 1814
1815 (on postmark)
Dear Sir

I wrote to you a good while ago but I have
heard nothing from you since and believe me I write
in as high chagrin to day as can well be — I thought
I was too much delighted with you at [first] to [lie] long so and
in that I judged [aright] — After waiting impatiently for 7 weeks
the advertisement of my new poem and the Wake first met
my eyes yesterday and nothing could have displeased
me worse — Blackwood is the publisher (his name being
first) — not you — this was not generous to a poor shepherd.
I considered your name of greater importance to the
success of the work than mine — What do you mean
by A New Edition ? If I understand right it means
neither more nor less than the Second edition. Now as
two editions had been fairly sold off and 600 of the 3d
before I bought up the remainder it was very degrading to
bring it back to a 2d edition again — It is the 3d edi.
which is reviewed by Jeffery as you will see and sold by
Goldie and Collins so that this must be the fourth
Edition am I to lose the credit of two fair all future times editions [¿] in
your d—d [New Edition] — When do I receive my
pittance of £50 it has been due these six weeks — By
the by I should have made an apology for this pencil
writing. The truth is I have been confined to my bed these many
days by an inflamatory fever and am obliged to write

this without lifting my head from the pillow. This
will haply account for more things in the letter
than the pencil writing — I have indeed been very ill
and shall not be very soon well I fear if ever.

Why wont you write to me and tell me the literary
news of London and in particular what is thought of the
Lord of the isles — I confess I was pleased with it save the plot
and augured good of it but I have heard very different breathings
of late and some of those from head quarters but the Scots are
chagrined at the fear he has shown of giving offence to the
English in his description of the final battle and they maintain
that he is himself the English bard who was taken captive
and compelled to celebrate the Scotish victory
[right] strong effort is not made to support Scott at
this time
Like the snow on the mountain
Like the foam on the river
Like the bubble on the fountain
He is gone! and for ever!

A friend brought me in the last Quarterly last night
which I looked at tho' but slightly as yet not being able
There are by far too little variety in it though I think
some of the articles good — I have always been afraid
your Review would lose all character of independance
by the system of one friend reviewing another but I never
before thought you would suffer a poet to review himself

I would not do it if you were to request me you
have again neglected me — I am extremely astonished
at the late neglect of Lord Byron I am afraid I have offended
him by these cursed dedications I suppose his lordship knows
that I am a being that knows nothing about punctilios
in life and save a few of the blues who will always be taking
a poet as he ought to be not as he is no body expects
them of me. Lord Byron surely has more sense than to
take any thing ill where the contrary was intended the
man who would do so ought to be kicked out of
society I should be almost mad to hear that he was offended
at me though not for my own sake I know
I am a blundering fellow and constantly [running]
out of one mistake into another but mine are
always errors of judgement never of the heart

I never look over a letter after I have written it
I know there is something very ill natured in this — I wish
you would ascribe it to the [true cause] great dibility and
indisposition if however you feel inclined to do otherwise
it is of no great consequence — I have not seen Blackwood
I have forgot how long — he has never sent to ask for me
while some of his brethren have sent every day

Let me hear from you soon it will please me to
hear from London in any wise and believe me
your highly obliged and
very hum servt
James Hogg

Mr. John Murray
Albemarle Street



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Letter from Hogg to Murray, 19 Jan 1815. 2024. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

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The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Letter from Hogg to Murray, 19 Jan 1815

Document Information

Document ID 215
Title Letter from Hogg to Murray, 19 Jan 1815
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1815
Place of publication Edinburgh
Wordcount 797

Author information: Hogg, James

Author ID 234
Forenames James
Surname Hogg
AKA The Ettrick Shepherd
Gender Male
Year of birth 1770
Place of birth Ettrick, Selkirkshire, Scotland
Occupation Author, farmer, journalist
Father's occupation Farmer
Education Little formal schooling
Locations where resident Ettrick, Edinburgh