Letter of James Hogg to John Murray, 26 December 1814

Although Hogg was a successful author, he never made a great amount of money from his writings and regualarly wrote to his publishers asking for more money. While writing, he would often ask about others in Murray's circle, inlcuding Lord Byron.

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Copyright National Library of Scotland

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Grieve & Scotts Edin.

Decr written26th 1814
But delivered Jany 12 1815 (as post mark)

Dear Murray


What the deuce have you made of
my excellent poem that you are never publishing it
while I am starving for want of money and cannot
even afford a Christmass goose to my friends? I think I
may say of you as the countryman said to his friend
who asked him when his wife had her accouchement
“ man said he she's aye gawn about yet I think
she be gawn to keep this one till hersel athegither” However
I daresay that like the said wife you have your reasons for it
but of all things a bookseller's reasons suit worst with a ports
board — I should be glad to know if you got safely across
the Tweed and what number of the little family group
you lost by the way betwixt Edin. and London and
how every thing in the literary world is going on
with you since that time — Why do you never write
to me? — Have you ever seen Moore or talked to him about
our projected reporting — What in the wold is become
of that unlucky perverse callan Lord Byron? I have
not heard from him these two months and more. I
have really been afraid for sometime past that he
was dead or perhaps even married and was truly
very concerned about the lad — But I was informed
the other day by a gentleman of the utmost respectability