Letter from Hogg to Byron, 30 Jul

Author(s): Hogg, James


Grieve & Scott's Edin July 30th
My lord

I have this moment received your letter
and as far as it regards Lara I am considerably vexed but it
is what I feared from a hint that was in your first letter
as well as an intimation that appeared in the papers the other
day — I deemed that you supposd my publication to be
earlier than it was and that the tale was likely to appear
in some shape before the time I proposed — However I will
still depend on your generosity for less or more — so much
indeed that till I get it or am assured of it I will not
venture the work to the press for I have excused
Mr. Scott for the first half year from a conviction that
we both had that your name in particular fairly
ensured the sale of the first No and that there would
be more occassion for some exertion afterward to sustain
the original character of the work. We sailed from
Leith yesterday on a tour thro' the Orkney Shetland
and western Islands in company with his friend

Wm and a Mr Duff. It blows a terrible
gale for the pa[¿] to day and I am sure he is not
quite at his ease to say the least of it. He denys Waverly
which it behoves him to do for while at least; indeed
I do not think he will ever acknowledge it; but with
regard to the author there is not and cannot be a
doubt remaining — the internal evidence is of itself
sufficient — it may be practical enough to imitate
either your lordship or him for a few verses but
that the same turn of thought character and expression
in a word that the whole structure of mind should so
exactly coincide in two distinct individuals is not
in nature. By the by this seems to have brought a
curious fact to light. I heard Ballantyne with my
own ears attest when Waverly went first to the
press which is now a long while ago that it was
by the author of The Bridal of Triermain who
in all the su[rmiz]es had never yet been named
What are we to think here My Lord?

However I like Waverly exceedingly and never was more
diverted than by some pictures there of Scottish manners
and I am much pleased to hear you commend it and
more to find that you are half a Scotsman I m[¿]d as
much from the nerve and freedom of your verse I beg pardon
of the Saxon blood that is in you my lord But as I hope
to be obliged to you I would avoid by all means the
smallest appearance of flattery it is for that reason
that I have never mentioned your poems. All that
may appear in future I will give you my private
opinions about them but only in a comparative
point of view. You are now I understand to appear in
the firm of Rogers & Co. the discounts in his favour will
be prodigous — He is a fine writer but no great poet
— he is classical and elegant but wants originality
almost in toto. I have a poem 2000 lines The Pilgrims
of the Sun which I want to publish instantly in
onevolume price 7/6. I have an abominable shabby
Bookseller here who never keeps his word with me

nor ever lifts his bills when they become due
they come back on me and distress me more than
I had never seen them. G—d d—m him and them both
I wish you could procure me some feasible conditions
with yours I would give him the publication of the
Repository too and likewise the fourth edition of the
Wake which will be required as soon as the next
Edin. Review appears. I am so perfectly a[ssure]d of the
sale of this little poem that I would run any risk on
that score. Now my good Lord pray do not forget
me, an hour of your time once a half year is a
small boon and that hour might be of high value to
me I have blotted the if out of your letter with my
own pen it has nothing to do there and as to your
poetical days being at an end God forbid I hope you [¿]
to business more serious — At all events to hear from you
occassionally in the same free manly [¿] stil[e] I will always
account one of the chiefest blessings under heaven

Yours most truly

James Hogg


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Letter from Hogg to Byron, 30 Jul

Document Information

Document ID 241
Title Letter from Hogg to Byron, 30 Jul
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1814
Place of publication Edinburgh
Wordcount 770

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