Letter from Hogg to Murray, 21 Jan 1815

Author(s): Hogg, James



Janr. 21st 1815
My dear Sir

I wrote to you a few days ago terribly
chagrined about the advertisement you have now
explained it and above all things in this world I
love a man who tells me the whole simple truth
of his heart as you have done and I truly forgive
you for if I had thought the same way I would have
acted the same way. But I cannot help smiling at
your London critics — they must read it over again
I had the best advice in the three kingdoms of the poem men
whose opinions, even given in a dream, I would
not exchange for all the critics in England before
I even proposed it for publication. I will risk my
fame on it to all eternity — I had a note from Mr.
Jeffery on the very day after it was published who
is not going to review it till he get another to join
with it which makes me think it is no peculiar
favourite with him, I copy his own words

his own words from the note he sent which was
an invitation to sup “I have run slightly over your
new published poem — It unquestionably shows
great powers of imagination and composition but
I am afraid it is too stretchy and desultory — the
public estimation of your powers will lose nothing by it of
your judgement it may but of this we shall have a
long crack” — You may be mistaken and you
may be misled my dear Murray but as long as
you tell me the simple truth as freely, you and I
will be friends — Tho' a few of the London critics
have either shown their malice or their stupidity do not
you be too frank in pledging it, in case of what
may hap. My risk is high compared with yours
and I am quite at my ease; perfectly secure.
I have another poem ready whenever you like
to put it to the press it is not nearly equal to
the Pilgrims, but more congenial to human
feelings and all in one kind of verse. My

literary confessors who have ever been so, and
whom I never will change, concieve the pilgrims
to be as far superior to any thing in the Wake
as Milton is above Mr. Crabbe — What do your
London bucks think of Superstition?.

I am still confined to my bed but I am able
this day to sit up and write with a pen. I forgot
entirely whether I wrote you about Scott's poem the
other day or not. it, is not very popular at all
here. Mr. Jeffery and his brother-in-law called on
me yesterday and talked a while. I think from
what he said he is going to give it a lift but I
suspect more on Constable's account than his own
approbation he spoke very [poorly] of it. I know how little
time you have but I am always happy to hear
from you especially as I have not a correspondent
in London at present save yourself never mind the
postage when you have a leisure ten minutes. Will you
soon need an edition of the Wake. I think you should
will our repository not go on? I have at least a vol. of very
superior poetry

Yours very truly

James Hogg

Mr John Murray
Albemarle Street

1814 Janr 21
Hogg James


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Letter from Hogg to Murray, 21 Jan 1815

Document Information

Document ID 211
Title Letter from Hogg to Murray, 21 Jan 1815
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1815
Place of publication Edinburgh
Wordcount 576

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