Called at three places—read, and got ready to leave town to-morrow. Murray has had a letter from his brother bibliopole of Edinburgh, who says, “he is lucky in having such a poet”—something as if one was a packhorse, or “ass, or any thing that is his;” or, like Mrs. Packwood, who replied to some inquiry after the Odes on Razors,—”Laws, sir, we keeps a poet.” The same illustrious Edinburgh bookseller once sent an order for books, poesy, and cookery, with this agreeable postscript—”The Harold and Cookery are much wanted.” Such is fame, and, after all, quite as good as any other “life in others’ breath.” ‘Tis much the same to divide purchasers with Hannah Glasse or Hannah More.
Some editor of some magazine has announced to Murray his intention of abusing the thing “without reading it.” So much the better; if he redde it first, he would abuse it more.
Allen (Lord Holland’s Allen—the best informed and one of the ablest men I know—a perfect Magliabecchi—a devourer, a Helluo of books, and an observer of men,) has lent me a quantity of Burns’s unpublished and never-to-be-published Letters. They are full of oaths and obscene songs. What an antithetical mind!—tenderness, roughness—delicacy, coarseness—sentiment, sensuality—soaring and grovelling, dirt and deity—all mixed up in that one compound of inspired clay!
It seems strange; a true voluptuary will never abandon his mind to the grossness of reality. It is by exalting the earthly, the material, the physique of our pleasures, by veiling these ideas, by forgetting them altogether, or, at least, never naming them hardly to one’s self, that we alone can prevent them from disgusting.
— Lord Byron writes in his Journal, December 13 1813