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Title: Life of Lord Byron, With His Letters And Journals, Vol. 5
Author: Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron, 1788-1824
Language: English
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October, 1820, to November, 1822.





     "Ravenna, October 17. 1820.

     "You owe me two letters--pay them. I want to know what you are
     about. The summer is over, and you will be back to Paris. Apropos
     of Paris, it was not Sophia _Gail_, but Sophia _Gay_--the English
     word _Gay_--who was my correspondent.[1] Can you tell who she is,
     as you did of the defunct * *?

     "Have you gone on with your Poem? I have received the French of
     mine. Only think of being _traduced_ into a foreign language in
     such an abominable travesty! It is useless to rail, but one can't
     help it.

     "Have you got my Memoir copied? I have begun a continuation. Shall
     I send it you, as far as it is gone?

     "I can't say any thing to you about Italy, for the Government here
     look upon me with a suspicious eye, as I am well informed. Pretty
     fellows!--as if I, a solitary stranger, could do any mischief. It
     is because I am fond of rifle and pistol shooting, I believe; for
     they took the alarm at the quantity of cartridges I consumed,--the

     "You don't deserve a long letter--nor a letter at all--for your
     silence. You have got a new Bourbon, it seems, whom they have
     christened 'Dieu-donné;'--perhaps the honour of the present may be
     disputed. Did you write the good lines on ----, the Laker? * *

     "The Queen has made a pretty theme for the journals. Was there ever
     such evidence published? Why, it is worse than 'Little's Poems' or
     'Don Juan.' If you don't write soon, I will 'make you a speech.'
     Yours," &c.

[Footnote 1: I had mistaken the name of the lady he enquired after, and
reported her to him as dead. But, on the receipt of the above letter, I
discovered that his correspondent was Madame Sophie Gay, mother of the
celebrated poetess and beauty, Mademoiselle Delphine Gay.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, 8bre 25°, 1820.

     "Pray forward the enclosed to Lady Byron. It is on business.

     "In thanking you for the Abbot, I made four grand mistakes, Sir
     John Gordon was not of Gight, but of Bogagicht, and a son of
     Huntley's. He suffered _not_ for his loyalty, but in an
     insurrection. He had _nothing_ to do with Loch Leven, having been
     dead some time at the period of the Queen's confinement: and,
     fourthly, I am not sure that he was the Queen's paramour or no, for
     Robertson does not allude to this, though _Walter Scott does_, in
     the list he gives of her admirers (as unfortunate) at the close of
     'The Abbot.'

     "I must have made all these mistakes in recollecting my mother's
     account of the matter, although she was more accurate than I am,
     being precise upon points of genealogy, like all the aristocratical
     Scotch. She had a long list of ancestors, like Sir Lucius
     O'Trigger's, most of whom are to be found in the old Scotch
     Chronicles, Spalding, &c. in arms and doing mischief. I remember
     well passing Loch Leven, as well as the Queen's Ferry: we were on
     our way to England in 1798.


     "You had better not publish Blackwood and the Roberts' prose,
     except what regards Pope;--you have let the time slip by."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Pamphlet in answer to Blackwood's Magazine, here mentioned, was
occasioned by an article in that work, entitled "Remarks on Don Juan,"
and though put to press by Mr. Murray, was never published. The writer
in the Magazine having, in reference to certain passages in Don Juan,
taken occasion to pass some severe strictures on the author's
matrimonial conduct, Lord Byron, in his reply, enters at some length
into that painful subject; and the following extracts from his
defence,--if defence it can be called, where there has never yet been
any definite charge,--will be perused with strong interest:--

     "My learned brother proceeds to observe, that 'it is in vain for
     Lord B. to attempt in any way to justify his own behaviour in that
     affair: and now that he has so _openly_ and _audaciously_ invited
     enquiry and reproach, we do not see any good reason why he should
     not be plainly told so by the voice of his countrymen.' How far the
     'openness' of an anonymous poem, and the 'audacity' of an imaginary
     character, which the writer supposes to be meant for Lady B. may be
     deemed to merit this formidable denunciation from their 'most sweet
     voices,' I neither know nor care; but when he tells me that I
     cannot 'in any way _justify_ my own behaviour in that affair,' I
     acquiesce, because no man can '_justify_' himself until he knows of
     what he is accused; and I have never had--and, God knows, my whole
     desire has ever been to obtain it--any specific charge, in a
     tangible shape, submitted to me by the adversary, nor by others,
     unless the atrocities of public rumour and the mysterious silence
     of the lady's legal advisers may be deemed such.[2] But is not the
     writer content with what has been already said and done? Has not
     'the general voice of his countrymen' long ago pronounced upon the
     subject--sentence without trial, and condemnation without a
     charge? Have I not been exiled by ostracism, except that the shells
     which proscribed me were anonymous? Is the writer ignorant of the
     public opinion and the public conduct upon that occasion? If he is,
     I am not: the public will forget both long before I shall cease to
     remember either.

     "The man who is exiled by a faction has the consolation of thinking
     that he is a martyr; he is upheld by hope and the dignity of his
     cause, real or imaginary: he who withdraws from the pressure of
     debt may indulge in the thought that time and prudence will
     retrieve his circumstances: he who is condemned by the law has a
     term to his banishment, or a dream of its abbreviation; or, it may
     be, the knowledge or the belief of some injustice of the law or of
     its administration in his own particular: but he who is outlawed by
     general opinion, without the intervention of hostile politics,
     illegal judgment, or embarrassed circumstances, whether he be
     innocent or guilty, must undergo all the bitterness of exile,
     without hope, without pride, without alleviation. This case was
     mine. Upon what grounds the public founded their opinion, I am not
     aware; but it was general, and it was decisive. Of me or of mine
     they knew little, except that I had written what is called poetry,
     was a nobleman, had married, became a father, and was involved in
     differences with my wife and her relatives, no one knew why,
     because the persons complaining refused to state their grievances.
     The fashionable world was divided into parties, mine consisting of
     a very small minority; the reasonable world was naturally on the
     stronger side, which happened to be the lady's, as was most proper
     and polite. The press was active and scurrilous; and such was the
     rage of the day, that the unfortunate publication of two copies of
     verses rather complimentary than otherwise to the subjects, of
     both, was tortured into a species of crime, or constructive petty
     treason. I was accused of every monstrous vice by public rumour and
     private rancour: my name, which had been a knightly or a noble one
     since my fathers helped to conquer the kingdom for William the
     Norman, was tainted. I felt that, if what was whispered, and
     muttered, and murmured, was true, I was unfit for England; if
     false, England was unfit for me. I withdrew: but this was not
     enough. In other countries, in Switzerland, in the shadow of the
     Alps, and by the blue depth of the lakes, I was pursued and
     breathed upon by the same blight. I crossed the mountains, but it
     was the same; so I went a little farther, and settled myself by the
     waves of the Adriatic, like the stag at bay, who betakes him to the

     "If I may judge by the statements of the few friends who gathered
     round me, the outcry of the period to which I allude was beyond all
     precedent, all parallel, even in those cases where political
     motives have sharpened slander and doubled enmity. I was advised
     not to go to the theatres, lest I should be hissed, nor to my duty
     in parliament, lest I should be insulted by the way; even on the
     day of my departure, my most intimate friend told me afterwards
     that he was under apprehensions of violence from the people who
     might be assembled at the door of the carriage. However, I was not
     deterred by these counsels from seeing Kean in his best characters,
     nor from voting according to my principles; and, with regard to the
     third and last apprehensions of my friends, I could not share in
     them, not being made acquainted with their extent till some time
     after I had crossed the Channel. Even if I had been so, I am not of
     a nature to be much affected by men's anger, though I may feel hurt
     by their aversion. Against all individual outrage, I could protect
     or redress myself; and against that of a crowd, I should probably
     have been enabled to defend myself, with the assistance of others,
     as has been done on similar occasions.

     "I retired from the country, perceiving that I was the object of
     general obloquy; I did not indeed imagine, like Jean Jacques
     Rousseau, that all mankind was in a conspiracy against me, though I
     had perhaps as good grounds for such a chimera as ever he had; but
     I perceived that I had to a great extent become personally
     obnoxious in England, perhaps through my own fault, but the fact
     was indisputable; the public in general would hardly have been so
     much excited against a more popular character, without at least an
     accusation or a charge of some kind actually expressed or
     substantiated; for I can hardly conceive that the common and
     every-day occurrence of a separation between man and wife could in
     itself produce so great a ferment. I shall say nothing of the usual
     complaints of 'being prejudged,' 'condemned unheard,' 'unfairness,'
     'partiality,' and so forth, the usual changes rung by parties who
     have had, or are to have, a trial; but I was a little surprised to
     find myself condemned without being favoured with the act of
     accusation, and to perceive in the absence of this portentous
     charge or charges, whatever it or they were to be, that every
     possible or impossible crime was rumoured to supply its place, and
     taken for granted. This could only occur in the case of a person
     very much disliked, and I knew no remedy, having already used to
     their extent whatever little powers I might possess of pleasing in
     society. I had no party in fashion, though I was afterwards told
     that there was one--but it was not of my formation, nor did I then
     know of its existence--none in literature; and in politics I had
     voted with the Whigs, with precisely that importance which a Whig
     vote possesses in these Tory days, and with such personal
     acquaintance with the leaders in both houses as the society in
     which I lived sanctioned, but without claim or expectation of
     anything like friendship from any one, except a few young men of my
     own age and standing, and a few others more advanced in life, which
     last it had been my fortune to serve in circumstances of
     difficulty. This was, in fact, to stand alone: and I recollect,
     some time after, Madame de Staël said to me in Switzerland, 'You
     should not have warred with the world--it will not do--it is too
     strong always for any individual: I myself once tried it in early
     life, but it will not do.' I perfectly acquiesce in the truth of
     this remark; but the world had done me the honour to begin the war;
     and, assuredly, if peace is only to be obtained by courting and
     paying tribute to it, I am not qualified to obtain its countenance.
     I thought, in the words of Campbell,

        "'Then wed thee to an exil'd lot,
        And if the world hath loved thee not,
          Its absence may be borne.'

     "I have heard of, and believe, that there are human beings so
     constituted as to be insensible to injuries; but I believe that the
     best mode to avoid taking vengeance is to get out of the way of
     temptation. I hope that I may never have the opportunity, for I am
     not quite sure that I could resist it, having derived from my
     mother something of the '_perfervidum ingenium Scotorum_.' I have
     not sought, and shall not seek it, and perhaps it may never come in
     my path. I do not in this allude to the party, who might be right
     or wrong; but to many who made her cause the pretext of their own
     bitterness. She, indeed, must have long avenged me in her own
     feelings, for whatever her reasons may have been (and she never
     adduced them to me at least), she probably neither contemplated nor
     conceived to what she became the means of conducting the father of
     her child, and the husband of her choice.

     "So much for 'the general voice of his countrymen:' I will now
     speak of some in particular.

     "In the beginning of the year 1817, an article appeared in the
     Quarterly Review, written, I believe, by Walter Scott, doing great
     honour to him, and no disgrace to me, though both poetically and
     personally more than sufficiently favourable to the work and the
     author of whom it treated. It was written at a time when a selfish
     man would not, and a timid one dared not, have said a word in
     favour of either; it was written by one to whom temporary public
     opinion had elevated me to the rank of a rival--a proud
     distinction, and unmerited; but which has not prevented me from
     feeling as a friend, nor him from more than corresponding to that
     sentiment. The article in question was written upon the third Canto
     of Childe Harold, and after many observations, which it would as
     ill become me to repeat as to forget, concluded with 'a hope that I
     might yet return to England.' How this expression was received in
     England itself I am not acquainted, but it gave great offence at
     Rome to the respectable ten or twenty thousand English travellers
     then and there assembled. I did not visit Rome till some time
     after, so that I had no opportunity of knowing the fact; but I was
     informed, long afterwards, that the greatest indignation had been
     manifested in the enlightened Anglo-circle of that year, which
     happened to comprise within it--amidst a considerable leaven of
     Welbeck Street and Devonshire Place, broken loose upon their
     travels--several really well-born and well-bred families, who did
     not the less participate in the feeling of the hour. 'Why should he
     return to England?' was the general exclamation--I answer _why_? It
     is a question I have occasionally asked myself, and I never yet
     could give it a satisfactory reply. I had then no thoughts of
     returning, and if I have any now, they are of business, and not of
     pleasure. Amidst the ties that have been dashed to pieces, there
     are links yet entire, though the chain itself be broken. There are
     duties, and connections, which may one day require my presence--and
     I am a father. I have still some friends whom I wish to meet again,
     and, it may be, an enemy. These things, and those minuter details
     of business, which time accumulates during absence, in every man's
     affairs and property, may, and probably will, recall me to England;
     but I shall return with the same feelings with which I left it, in
     respect to itself, though altered with regard to individuals, as I
     have been more or less informed of their conduct since my
     departure; for it was only a considerable time after it that I was
     made acquainted with the real facts and full extent of some of
     their proceedings and language. My friends, like other friends,
     from conciliatory motives, withheld from me much that they could,
     and some things which they _should_ have unfolded; however, that
     which is deferred is not lost--but it has been no fault of mine
     that it has been deferred at all.

     "I have alluded to what is said to have passed at Rome merely to
     show that the sentiment which I have described was not confined to
     the English in England, and as forming part of my answer to the
     reproach cast upon what has been called my 'selfish exile,' and my
     'voluntary exile.' 'Voluntary' it has been; for who would dwell
     among a people entertaining strong hostility against him? How far
     it has been 'selfish' has been already explained."

[Footnote 2: While these sheets are passing through the press, a printed
statement has been transmitted to me by Lady Noel Byron, which the
reader will find inserted in the Appendix to this volume. (_First

       *       *       *       *       *

The following passages from the same unpublished pamphlet will be found,
in a literary point of view, not less curious.

     "And here I wish to say a few words on the present state of English
     poetry. That this is the age of the decline of English poetry will
     be doubted by few who have calmly considered the subject. That
     there are men of genius among the present poets makes little
     against the fact, because it has been well said, that 'next to him
     who forms the taste of his country, the greatest genius is he who
     corrupts it.' No one has ever denied genius to Marino, who
     corrupted not merely the taste of Italy, but that of all Europe for
     nearly a century. The great cause of the present deplorable state
     of English poetry is to be attributed to that absurd and systematic
     depreciation of Pope, in which, for the last few years, there has
     been a kind of epidemical concurrence. Men of the most opposite
     opinions have united upon this topic. Warton and Churchill began
     it, having borrowed the hint probably from the heroes of the
     Dunciad, and their own internal conviction that their proper
     reputation can be as nothing till the most perfect and harmonious
     of poets--he who, having no fault, has had REASON made his
     reproach--was reduced to what they conceived to be his level; but
     even they dared not degrade him below Dryden. Goldsmith, and
     Rogers, and Campbell, his most successful disciples; and Hayley,
     who, however feeble, has left one poem 'that will not be willingly
     let die' (the Triumphs of Temper), kept up the reputation of that
     pure and perfect style; and Crabbe, the first of living poets, has
     almost equalled the master. Then came Darwin, who was put down by a
     single poem in the Antijacobin; and the Cruscans, from Merry to
     Jerningham, who were annihilated (if _Nothing_ can be said to be
     annihilated) by Gifford, the last of the wholesome English
     satirists. * * *

     "These three personages, S * *, W * *, and C * *, had all of them a
     very natural antipathy to Pope, and I respect them for it, as the
     only original feeling or principle which they have contrived to
     preserve. But they have been joined in it by those who have joined
     them in nothing else: by the Edinburgh Reviewers, by the whole
     heterogeneous mass of living English poets, excepting Crabbe,
     Rogers, Gifford, and Campbell, who, both by precept and practice,
     have proved their adherence; and by me, who have shamefully
     deviated in practice, but have ever loved and honoured Pope's
     poetry with my whole soul, and hope to do so till my dying day. I
     would rather see all I have ever written lining the same trunk in
     which I actually read the eleventh book of a modern Epic poem at
     Malta in 1811, (I opened it to take out a change after the paroxysm
     of a tertian, in the absence of my servant, and found it lined with
     the name of the maker, Eyre, Cockspur-street, and with the Epic
     poetry alluded to,) than sacrifice what I firmly believe in as the
     Christianity of English poetry, the poetry of Pope.

     "Nevertheless, I will not go so far as * * in his postscript, who
     pretends that no great poet ever had immediate fame, which, being
     interpreted, means that * * is not quite so much read by his
     contemporaries as might be desirable. This assertion is as false
     as it is foolish. Homer's glory depended upon his present
     popularity: he recited,--and without the strongest impression of
     the moment, who would have gotten the Iliad by heart, and given it
     to tradition? Ennius, Terence, Plautus, Lucretius, Horace, Virgil,
     Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Sappho, Anacreon, Theocritus, all
     the great poets of antiquity, were the delight of their
     contemporaries.[3] The very existence of a poet, previous to the
     invention of printing, depended upon his present popularity; and
     how often has it impaired his future fame? Hardly ever. History
     informs us, that the best have come down to us. The reason is
     evident: the most popular found the greatest number of transcribers
     for their MSS.; and that the taste of their contemporaries was
     corrupt can hardly be avouched by the moderns, the mightiest of
     whom have but barely approached them. Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, and
     Tasso, were all the darlings of the contemporary reader. Dante's
     poem was celebrated long before his death; and, not long after it,
     States negotiated for his ashes, and disputed for the sites of the
     composition of the Divina Commedia. Petrarch was crowned in the
     Capitol. Ariosto was permitted to pass free by the public robber
     who had read the Orlando Furioso. I would not recommend Mr. * * to
     try the same experiment with his Smugglers. Tasso, notwithstanding
     the criticisms of the Cruscanti, would have been crowned in the
     Capitol, but for his death.

     "It is easy to prove the immediate popularity of the chief poets of
     the only modern nation in Europe that has a poetical language, the
     Italian. In our own, Shakspeare, Spenser, Jonson, Waller, Dryden,
     Congreve, Pope, Young, Shenstone, Thomson, Johnson, Goldsmith,
     Gray, were all as popular in their lives as since. Gray's Elegy
     pleased instantly, and eternally. His Odes did not, nor yet do they
     please like his Elegy. Milton's politics kept him down; but the
     Epigram of Dryden, and the very sale of his work, in proportion to
     the less reading time of its publication, prove him to have been
     honoured by his contemporaries. I will venture to assert, that the
     sale of the Paradise Lost was greater in the first four years after
     its publication than that of 'The Excursion,' in the same number,
     with the difference of nearly a century and a half between them of
     time, and of thousands in point of general readers.

     "It may be asked, why, having this opinion of the present state of
     poetry in England, and having had it long, as my friends and others
     well know--possessing, or having possessed too, as a writer, the
     ear of the public for the time being--I have not adopted a
     different plan in my own compositions, and endeavoured to correct
     rather than encourage the taste of the day. To this I would answer,
     that it is easier to perceive the wrong than to pursue the right,
     and that I have never contemplated the prospect 'of filling (with
     Peter Bell, see its Preface,) permanently a station in the
     literature of the country.' Those who know me best, know this, and
     that I have been considerably astonished at the temporary success
     of my works, having flattered no person and no party, and expressed
     opinions which are not those of the general reader. Could I have
     anticipated the degree of attention which has been accorded,
     assuredly I would have studied more to deserve it. But I have lived
     in far countries abroad, or in the agitating world at home, which
     was not favourable to study or reflection; so that almost all I
     have written has been mere passion,--passion, it is true, of
     different kinds, but always passion: for in me (if it be not an
     Irishism to say so) my _indifference_ was a kind of passion, the
     result of experience, and not the philosophy of nature. Writing
     grows a habit, like a woman's gallantry: there are women who have
     had no intrigue, but few who have had but one only; so there are
     millions of men who have never written a book, but few who have
     written only one. And thus, having written once, I wrote on;
     encouraged no doubt by the success of the moment, yet by no means
     anticipating its duration, and I will venture to say, scarcely even
     wishing it. But then I did other things besides write, which by no
     means contributed either to improve my writings or my prosperity.

     "I have thus expressed publicly upon the poetry of the day the
     opinion I have long entertained and expressed of it to all who have
     asked it, and to some who would rather not have heard it; as I told
     Moore not very long ago, 'we are all wrong except Rogers, Crabbe,
     and Campbell.'[4] Without being old in years, I am in days, and do
     not feel the adequate spirit within me to attempt a work which
     should show what I think right in poetry, and must content myself
     with having denounced what is wrong. There are, I trust, younger
     spirits rising up in England, who, escaping the contagion which has
     swept away poetry from our literature, will recall it to their
     country, such as it once was and may still be.

     "In the mean time, the best sign of amendment will be repentance,
     and new and frequent editions of Pope and Dryden.

     "There will be found as comfortable metaphysics and ten times more
     poetry in the 'Essay on Man,' than in the 'Excursion.' If you
     search for passion, where is it to be found stronger than in the
     epistle from Eloisa to Abelard, or in Palamon and Arcite? Do you
     wish for invention, imagination, sublimity, character? seek them in
     the Rape of the Lock, the Fables of Dryden, the Ode on Saint
     Cecilia's Day, and Absalom and Achitophel: you will discover in
     these two poets only, _all_ for which you must ransack innumerable
     metres, and God only knows how many _writers_ of the day, without
     finding a tittle of the same qualities,--with the addition, too, of
     wit, of which the latter have none. I have not, however, forgotten
     Thomas Brown the Younger, nor the Fudge Family, nor Whistlecraft;
     but that is not wit--it is humour. I will say nothing of the
     harmony of Pope and Dryden in comparison, for there is not a living
     poet (except Rogers, Gifford, Campbell, and Crabbe) who can write
     an heroic couplet. The fact is, that the exquisite beauty of their
     versification has withdrawn the public attention from their other
     excellences, as the vulgar eye will rest more upon the splendour of
     the uniform than the quality of the troops. It is this very
     harmony, particularly in Pope, which has raised the vulgar and
     atrocious cant against him:--because his versification is perfect,
     it is assumed that it is his only perfection; because his truths
     are so clear, it is asserted that he has no invention; and because
     he is always intelligible, it is taken for granted that he has no
     genius. We are sneeringly told that he is the 'Poet of Reason,' as
     if this was a reason for his being no poet. Taking passage for
     passage, I will undertake to cite more lines teeming with
     _imagination_ from Pope than from any two living poets, be they who
     they may. To take an instance at random from a species of
     composition not very favourable to imagination--Satire: set down
     the character of Sporus, with all the wonderful play of fancy which
     is scattered over it, and place by its side an equal number of
     verses, from any two existing poets, of the same power and the same
     variety--where will you find them?

     "I merely mention one instance of many in reply to the injustice
     done to the memory of him who harmonised our poetical language. The
     attorneys clerks, and other self-educated genii, found it easier to
     distort themselves to the new models than to toil after the
     symmetry of him who had enchanted their fathers. They were besides
     smitten by being told that the new school were to revive the
     language of Queen Elizabeth, the true English; as every body in the
     reign of Queen Anne wrote no better than French, by a species of
     literary treason.

     "Blank verse, which, unless in the drama, no one except Milton ever
     wrote who could rhyme, became the order of the day,--or else such
     rhyme as looked still blanker than the verse without it. I am aware
     that Johnson has said, after some hesitation, that he could not
     'prevail upon himself to wish that Milton had been a rhymer.' The
     opinions of that truly great man, whom it is also the present
     fashion to decry, will ever be received by me with that deference
     which time will restore to him from all; but, with all humility, I
     am not persuaded that the Paradise Lost would not have been more
     nobly conveyed to posterity, not perhaps in heroic couplets,
     although even _they_ could sustain the subject if well balanced,
     but in the stanza of Spenser, or of Tasso, or in the terza rima of
     Dante, which the powers of Milton could easily have grafted on our
     language. The Seasons of Thomson would have been better in rhyme,
     although still inferior to his Castle of Indolence; and Mr.
     Southey's Joan of Arc no worse, although it might have taken up six
     months instead of weeks in the composition. I recommend also to the
     lovers of lyrics the perusal of the present laureate's odes by the
     side of Dryden's on Saint Cecilia, but let him be sure to read
     _first_ those of Mr. Southey.

     "To the heaven-born genii and inspired young scriveners of the day
     much of this will appear paradox; it will appear so even to the
     higher order of our critics; but it was a truism twenty years ago,
     and it will be a re-acknowledged truth in ten more. In the mean
     time, I will conclude with two quotations, both intended for some
     of my old classical friends who have still enough of Cambridge
     about them to think themselves honoured by having had John Dryden
     as a predecessor in their college, and to recollect that their
     earliest English poetical pleasures were drawn from the 'little
     nightingale' of Twickenham.

     "The first is from the notes to a Poem of the 'Friends[5],' pages
     181, 182.

     "'It is only within the last twenty or thirty years that those
     notable discoveries in criticism have been made which have taught
     our recent versifiers to undervalue this energetic, melodious, and
     moral poet. The consequences of this want of due esteem for a
     writer whom the good sense of our predecessors had raised to his
     proper station have been NUMEROUS AND DEGRADING ENOUGH. This is not
     the place to enter into the subject, even as far as it _affects our
     poetical numbers alone_, and there is matter of more importance
     that requires present reflection.'

     "The second is from the volume of a young person learning to write
     poetry, and beginning by teaching the art. Hear him[6]:

                        "'But ye were dead
        To things ye knew not of--were closely wed
        To musty laws lined out with wretched rule
        And compass vile; so that ye taught a school[7]
        Of _dolts_ to _smooth_, _inlay_, and _chip_, and _fit_,
        Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit,
        _Their verses tallied. Easy was the task:_
        A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask
        Of poesy. Ill-fated, impious race,
        That blasphemed the bright lyrist to his face,
        And did not know it; no, they went about
        Holding a poor _decrepit_ standard out
        Mark'd with most flimsy mottos, and in large
        The name of _one_ Boileau.'

     "A little before the manner of Pope is termed

                        "'A _scism_[8],
        Nurtured by _foppery_ and barbarism,
        Made great Apollo blush for this his land.'

     "I thought '_foppery_' was a consequence of _refinement_; but

     "The above will suffice to show the notions entertained by the new
     performers on the English lyre of him who made it most tunable,
     and the great improvements of their own _variazioni_.

     "The writer of this is a tadpole of the Lakes, a young disciple of
     the six or seven new schools, in which he has learnt to write such
     lines and such sentiments as the above. He says, 'easy was the
     task' of imitating Pope, or it may be of equalling him, I presume.
     I recommend him to try before he is so positive on the subject, and
     then compare what he will have _then_ written and what he has _now_
     written with the humblest and earliest compositions of Pope,
     produced in years still more youthful than those of Mr. K. when he
     invented his new 'Essay on Criticism,' entitled 'Sleep and Poetry'
     (an ominous title), from whence the above canons are taken. Pope's
     was written at nineteen, and published at twenty-two.

     "Such are the triumphs of the new schools, and such their scholars.
     The disciples of Pope were Johnson, Goldsmith, Rogers, Campbell,
     Crabbe, Gifford, Matthias, Hayley, and the author of the Paradise
     of Coquettes; to whom may be added Richards, Heber, Wrangham,
     Bland, Hodgson, Merivale, and others who have not had their full
     fame, because 'the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle
     to the strong,' and because there is a fortune in fame as in all
     other things. Now of all the new schools--I say _all_, for, 'like
     Legion, they are many'--has there appeared a single scholar who has
     not made his master ashamed of him? unless it be * *, who has
     imitated every body, and occasionally surpassed his models. Scott
     found peculiar favour and imitation among the fair sex: there was
     Miss Holford, and Miss Mitford, and Miss Francis; but with the
     greatest respect be it spoken, none of his imitators did much
     honour to the original except Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd, until the
     appearance of 'The Bridal of Triermain,' and 'Harold the
     Dauntless,' which in the opinion of some equalled if not surpassed
     him; and lo! after three or four years they turned out to be the
     Master's own compositions. Have Southey, or Coleridge, or
     Wordsworth, made a follower of renown? Wilson never did well till
     he set up for himself in the 'City of the Plague.' Has Moore, or
     any other living writer of reputation, had a tolerable imitator, or
     rather disciple? Now it is remarkable that almost all the followers
     of Pope, whom I have named, have produced beautiful and standard
     works, and it was not the number of his imitators who finally hurt
     his fame, but the despair of imitation, and the _ease_ of _not_
     imitating him sufficiently. This, and the same reason which induced
     the Athenian burgher to vote for the banishment of Aristides,
     'because he was tired of always hearing him called _the Just_,'
     have produced the temporary exile of Pope from the State of
     Literature. But the term of his ostracism will expire, and the
     sooner the better; not for him, but for those who banished him, and
     for the coming generation, who

        "Will blush to find their fathers were his foes."

[Footnote 3: As far as regards the poets of ancient times, this
assertion is, perhaps, right; though, if there be any truth in what
Ælian and Seneca have left on record, of the obscurity, during their
lifetime, of such men as Socrates and Epicurus, it would seem to prove
that, among the ancients, contemporary fame was a far more rare reward
of literary or philosophical eminence than among us moderns. When the
"Clouds" of Aristophanes was exhibited before the assembled deputies of
the towns of Attica, these personages, as Ælian tells us, were
unanimously of opinion, that the character of an unknown person, called
Socrates, was uninteresting upon the stage; and Seneca has given the
substance of an authentic letter of Epicurus, in which that philosopher
declares that nothing hurt him so much, in the midst of all his
happiness, as to think that Greece,--"illa nobilis Græcia,"--so far
from knowing him, had scarcely even heard of his existence.--Epist. 79.]

[Footnote 4: I certainly ventured to differ from the judgment of my
noble friend, no less in his attempts to depreciate that peculiar walk
of the art in which he himself so grandly trod, than in the
inconsistency of which I thought him guilty, in condemning all those who
stood up for particular "schools" of poetry, and yet, at the same time,
maintaining so exclusive a theory of the art himself. How little,
however, he attended to either the grounds or degrees of my dissent from
him, will appear by the following wholesale report of my opinion, in his
"Detached Thoughts:"

"One of my notions different from those of my contemporaries, is, that
the present is not a high age of English poetry. There are _more_ poets
(soi-disant) than ever there were, and proportionally _less_ poetry.

"This _thesis_ I have maintained for some years, but, strange to say, it
meeteth not with favour from my brethren of the shell. Even Moore shakes
his head, and firmly believes that it is the grand age of British

[Footnote 5: Written by Lord Byron's early friend, the Rev. Francis

[Footnote 6: The strange verses that follow are from a poem by
Keats.--In a manuscript note on this passage of the pamphlet, dated
November 12. 1821, Lord Byron says, "Mr. Keats died at Rome about a year
after this was written, of a decline produced by his having burst a
blood-vessel on reading the article on his 'Endymion' in the Quarterly
Review. I have read the article before and since; and, although it is
bitter, I do not think that a man should permit himself to be killed by
it. But a young man little dreams what he must inevitably encounter in
the course of a life ambitious of public notice. My indignation at Mr.
Keats's depreciation of Pope has hardly permitted me to do justice to
his own genius, which, malgrè all the fantastic fopperies of his style,
was undoubtedly of great promise. His fragment of 'Hyperion' seems
actually inspired by the Titans, and is as sublime as Æschylus. He is a
loss to our literature; and the more so, as he himself, before his
death, is said to have been persuaded that he had not taken the right
line, and was reforming his style upon the more classical models of the

[Footnote 7: "It was at least a _grammar_ 'school.'"]

[Footnote 8: "So spelt by the author."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, 9bre 4. 1820.

     "I have received from Mr. Galignani the enclosed letters,
     duplicates and receipts, which will explain themselves.[9] As the
     poems are your property by purchase, right, and justice, _all
     matters of publication, &c. &c. are for you to decide upon_. I know
     not how far my compliance with Mr. Galignani's request might be
     legal, and I doubt that it would not be honest. In case you choose
     to arrange with him, I enclose the permits to you, and in so doing
     I wash my hands of the business altogether. I sign them merely to
     enable you to exert the power you justly possess more properly. I
     will have nothing to do with it farther, except, in my answer to
     Mr. Galignani, to state that the letters, &c. &c. are sent to you,
     and the causes thereof.

     "If you can check these foreign pirates, do; if not, put the
     permissive papers in the fire. I can have no view nor object
     whatever, but to secure to you your property.

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. I have read part of the Quarterly just arrived: Mr. Bowles
     shall be answered:--he is not quite correct in his statement about
     English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. They support Pope, I see, in
     the Quarterly; let them continue to do so: it is a sin, and a
     shame, and a _damnation_ to think that _Pope!!_ should require
     it--but he does. Those miserable mountebanks of the day, the poets,
     disgrace themselves and deny God in running down Pope, the most
     _faultless_ of poets, and almost of men."

[Footnote 9: Mr. Galignani had applied to Lord Byron with the view of
procuring from him such legal right over those works of his Lordship of
which he had hitherto been the sole publisher in France, as would enable
him to prevent others, in future, from usurping the same privilege.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, November 5. 1820.

     "Thanks for your letter, which hath come somewhat costively; but
     better late than never. Of it anon. Mr. Galignani, of the Press,
     hath, it seems, been sup-planted and sub-pirated by another
     Parisian publisher, who has audaciously printed an edition of
     L.B.'s Works, at the ultra-liberal price of ten francs, and (as
     Galignani piteously observes) eight francs only for booksellers!
     'horresco referens.' Think of a man's _whole_ works producing so

     "Galignani sends me, post haste, a permission _for him, from me,_
     to publish, &c. &c. which _permit_ I have signed and sent to Mr.
     Murray of Albemarle Street. Will you explain to G. _that I_ have no
     right to dispose of Murray's works without his leave? and therefore
     I must refer him to M. to get the permit out of his claws--no easy
     matter, I suspect. I have written to G. to say as much; but a word
     of mouth from a 'great brother author' would convince him that I
     could not honestly have complied with his wish, though I might
     legally. What I could do, I have done, viz. signed the warrant and
     sent it to Murray. Let the dogs divide the carcass, if it is
     killed to their liking.

     "I am glad of your epigram. It is odd that we should both let our
     wits run away with our sentiments; for I am sure that we are both
     Queen's men at bottom. But there is no resisting a clinch--it is so
     clever! Apropos of that--we have a 'diphthong' also in this part of
     the world--not a _Greek_, but a _Spanish_ one--do you understand
     me?--which is about to blow up the whole alphabet. It was first
     pronounced at Naples, and is spreading; but we are nearer the
     Barbarians; who are in great force on the Po, and will pass it,
     with the first legitimate pretext.

     "There will be the devil to pay, and there is no saying who will or
     who will not be set down in his bill. If 'honour should come
     unlooked for' to any of your acquaintance, make a Melody of it,
     that his ghost, like poor Yorick's, may have the satisfaction of
     being plaintively pitied--or still more nobly commemorated, like
     'Oh breathe not his name.' In case you should not think him worth
     it, here is a Chant for you instead--

        "When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,
          Let him combat for that of his neighbours;
        Let him think of the glories of Greece and of Rome,
          And get knock'd on the head for his labours.

        "To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan,
          And is always as nobly requited;
        Then battle for freedom wherever you can,
          And, if not shot or hang'd, you'll get knighted.

     "So you have gotten the letter of 'Epigrams'--I am glad of it. You
     will not be so, for I shall send you more. Here is one I wrote for
     the endorsement of 'the Deed of Separation' in 1816; but the
     lawyers objected to it, as superfluous. It was written as we were
     getting up the signing and sealing. * * has the original.

     "_Endorsement to the Deed of Separation, in the April of 1816._

        "A year ago you swore, fond she!
          'To love, to honour, and so forth:
        Such was the vow you pledged to me,
          And here's exactly what 'tis worth.

     "For the anniversary of January 2. 1821, I have a small grateful
     anticipation, which, in case of accident, I add--

     "_To Penelope, January 2. 1821._

        "This day, of all our days, has done
          The worst for me and you:--
        'Tis just _six_ years since we were _one_,
          And _five_ since we were _two_.

     "Pray excuse all this nonsense; for I must talk nonsense just now,
     for fear of wandering to more serious topics, which, in the present
     state of things, is not safe by a foreign post.

     "I told you in my last, that I had been going on with the
     'Memoirs,' and have got as far as twelve more sheets. But I suspect
     they will be interrupted. In that case I will send them on by post,
     though I feel remorse at making a friend pay so much for postage,
     for we can't frank here beyond the frontier.

     "I shall be glad to hear of the event of the Queen's concern. As
     to the ultimate effect, the most inevitable one to you and me (if
     they and we live so long) will be that the Miss Moores and Miss
     Byrons will present us with a great variety of grandchildren by
     different fathers.

     "Pray, where did you get hold of Goethe's Florentine
     husband-killing story? Upon such matters, in general, I may say,
     with Beau Clincher, in reply to Errand's wife--

     "'Oh the villain, he hath murdered my poor Timothy!'

     "'_Clincher_. Damn your Timothy!--I tell you, woman, your husband
     has _murdered me_--he has carried away my fine jubilee clothes.'

     "So Bowles has been telling a story, too ('tis in the Quarterly),
     about the woods of 'Madeira,' and so forth. I shall be at Bowles
     again, if he is not quiet. He mis-states, or mistakes, in a point
     or two. The paper is finished, and so is the letter.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, 9bre 9°, 1820.

     "The talent you approve of is an amiable one, and might prove a
     'national service,' but unfortunately I must be angry with a man
     before I draw his real portrait; and I can't deal in '_generals_,'
     so that I trust never to have provocation enough to make a
     _Gallery_. If '_the_ parson' had not by many little dirty sneaking
     traits provoked it, I should have been silent, though I _had
     observed_ him. Here follows an alteration: put--

        Devil with _such_ delight in damning,
        That if at the resurrection
        Unto him the free election
        Of his future could be given,
        'Twould be rather Hell than Heaven;

     that is to say, if these two new lines do not too much lengthen out
     and weaken the amiability of the original thought and expression.
     You have a discretionary power about showing. I should think that
     Croker would not disrelish a sight of these light little humorous
     things, and may be indulged now and then.

     "Why, I do like one or two vices, to be sure; but I can back a
     horse and fire a pistol 'without thinking or blinking' like Major
     Sturgeon; I have fed at times for two months together on sheer
     biscuit and water (without metaphor); I can get over seventy or
     eighty miles a day _riding_ post, and _swim five_ at a stretch, as
     at Venice, in 1818, or at least I _could do_, and have done it

     "I know Henry Matthews: he is the image, to the very voice, of his
     brother Charles, only darker--his laugh his in particular. The
     first time I ever met him was in Scrope Davies's rooms after his
     brother's death, and I nearly dropped, thinking that it was his
     ghost. I have also dined with him in his rooms at King's College.
     Hobhouse once purposed a similar Memoir; but I am afraid that the
     letters of Charles's correspondence with me (which are at Whitton
     with my other papers) would hardly do for the public: for our
     lives were not over strict, and our letters somewhat lax upon most

     "Last week I sent you a correspondence with Galignani, and some
     documents on your property. You have now, I think, an opportunity
     of _checking_, or at least _limiting_, those _French
     republications_. You may let all your authors publish what they
     please _against me_ and _mine_. A publisher is not, and cannot be,
     responsible for all the works that issue from his printer's.

     "The 'White Lady of Avenel' is not quite so good as a _real well
     authenticated_ ('Donna Bianca') White Lady of Colalto, or spectre
     in the Marca Trivigiana, who has been repeatedly seen. There is a
     man (a huntsman) now alive who saw her also. Hoppner could tell you
     all about her, and so can Rose, perhaps. I myself have _no doubt_
     of the fact, historical and spectral.[11] She always appeared on
     particular occasions, before the deaths of the family, &c. &c. I
     heard Madame Benzoni say, that she knew a gentleman who had seen
     her cross his room at Colalto Castle. Hoppner saw and spoke with
     the huntsman who met her at the chase, and never _hunted_
     afterwards. She was a girl attendant, who, one day dressing the
     hair of a Countess Colalto, was seen by her mistress to smile upon
     her husband in the glass. The Countess had her shut up in the wall
     of the castle, like Constance de Beverley. Ever after, she haunted
     them and all the Colaltos. She is described as very beautiful and
     fair. It is well authenticated."

[Footnote 10: Here follow some details respecting his friend Charles S.
Matthews, which have already been given in the first volume of this

[Footnote 11: The ghost-story, in which he here professes such serious
belief, forms the subject of one of Mr. Rogers's beautiful Italian
sketches.--See "Italy," p. 43. edit. 1830.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, 9bre 18°, 1820.

     "The death of Waite is a shock to the--teeth, as well as to the
     feelings of all who knew him. Good God, he and _Blake_[12] both
     gone! I left them both in the most robust health, and little
     thought of the national loss in so short a time as five years. They
     were both as much superior to Wellington in rational greatness, as
     he who preserves the hair and the teeth is preferable to 'the
     bloody blustering warrior' who gains a name by breaking heads and
     knocking out grinders. Who succeeds him? Where is tooth-powder
     _mild_ and yet efficacious--where is _tincture_--where are clearing
     _roots_ and _brushes_ now to be obtained? Pray obtain what
     information you can upon these '_Tusc_ulan questions.' My jaws ache
     to think on't. Poor fellows! I anticipated seeing both again; and
     yet they are gone to that place where both teeth and hair last
     longer than they do in this life. I have seen a thousand graves
     opened, and always perceived, that whatever was gone, the _teeth_
     and _hair_ remained with those who had died with them. Is not this
     odd? They go the very first things in _youth_, and yet last the
     longest in the dust, if people will but _die_ to preserve them! It
     is a queer life, and a queer death, that of mortals.

     "I knew that Waite had married, but little thought that the other
     decease was so soon to overtake him. Then he was such a delight,
     such a coxcomb, such a jewel of a man! There is a tailor at Bologna
     so like him! and also at the top of his profession. Do not neglect
     this commission. _Who_ or _what_ can replace him? What says the

     "I remand you the Preface. _Don't forget_ that the Italian extract
     from the Chronicle must _be translated_. With regard to what you
     say of retouching the Juans and the Hints, it is all very well; but
     I can't _furbish_. I am like the tiger (in poesy), if I miss the
     first spring, I go growling back to my jungle. There is no second;
     I can't correct; I can't, and I won't. Nobody ever succeeds in it,
     great or small. Tasso remade the whole of his Jerusalem; but who
     ever reads that version? all the world goes to the first. Pope
     _added_ to 'The Rape of the Lock,' but did not reduce it. You must
     take my things as they happen to be. If they are not likely to
     suit, reduce their _estimate_ accordingly. I would rather give them
     away than hack and hew them. I don't say that you are not right: I
     merely repeat that I cannot better them. I must 'either make a
     spoon, or spoil a horn;' and there's an end.


     "P.S. Of the praises of that little * * * Keats. I shall observe as
     Johnson did when Sheridan the actor got a _pension_: 'What! has
     _he_ got a pension? Then it is time that I should give up _mine_!'
     Nobody could be prouder of the praise of the Edinburgh than I was,
     or more alive to their censure, as I showed in English Bards and
     Scotch Reviewers. At present _all the men_ they have ever praised
     are degraded by that insane article. Why don't they review and
     praise 'Solomon's Guide to Health?' it is better sense and as much
     poetry as Johnny Keats.

     "Bowles must be _bowled_ down. 'Tis a sad match at cricket if he
     can get any notches at Pope's expense. If he once get into
     '_Lord's_ ground,' (to continue the pun, because it is foolish,) I
     think I could beat him in one innings. You did not know, perhaps,
     that I was once (_not metaphorically_, but _really_,) a good
     cricketer, particularly in _batting_, and I played in the Harrow
     match against the Etonians in 1805, gaining more notches (as one of
     our chosen eleven) than any, except Lord Ipswich and Brookman, on
     our side."

[Footnote 12: A celebrated hair-dresser.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, 9bre 23°, 1820.

     "The 'Hints,' Hobhouse says, will require a good deal of slashing
     to suit the times, which will be a work of time, for I don't feel
     at all laborious just now. Whatever effect they are to have would
     perhaps be greater in a separate form, and they also must have my
     name to them. Now, if you publish them in the same volume with Don
     Juan, they identify Don Juan as mine, which I don't think worth a
     Chancery suit about my daughter's guardianship, as in your present
     code a facetious poem is sufficient to take away a man's rights
     over his family.

     "Of the state of things here it would be difficult and not very
     prudent to speak at large, the Huns opening all letters. I wonder
     if they can read them when they have opened them; if so, they may
     AND BARBARIANS, and THEIR EMPEROR a FOOL, and themselves more fools
     than he; all which they may send to Vienna for any thing I care.
     They have got themselves masters of the Papal police, and are
     bullying away; but some day or other they will pay for all: it may
     not be very soon, because these unhappy Italians have no
     consistency among themselves; but I suppose that Providence will
     get tired of them at last, * *

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, Dec. 9. 1820.

     "Besides this letter, you will receive _three_ packets, containing,
     in all, 18 more sheets of Memoranda, which, I fear, will cost you
     more in postage than they will ever produce by being printed in the
     next century. Instead of waiting so long, if you could make any
     thing of them _now_ in the way of _reversion_, (that is, after _my_
     death,) I should be very glad,--as, with all due regard to your
     progeny, I prefer you to your grandchildren. Would not Longman or
     Murray advance you a certain sum _now_, pledging themselves _not_
     to have them published till after _my_ decease, think you?--and
     what say you?

     "Over these latter sheets I would leave you a discretionary
     power[13]; because they contain, perhaps, a thing or two which is
     too sincere for the public. If I consent to your disposing of their
     reversion _now_, where would be the harm? Tastes may change. I
     would, in your case, make my essay to dispose of them, _not_
     publish, now; and if _you_ (as is most likely) survive me, add what
     you please from your own knowledge; and, _above all, contradict_
     any thing, if I have _mis_-stated; for my first object is the
     truth, even at my own expense.

     "I have some knowledge of your countryman Muley Moloch, the
     lecturer. He wrote to me several letters upon Christianity, to
     convert me: and, if I had not been a Christian already, I should
     probably have been now, in consequence. I thought there was
     something of wild talent in him, mixed with a due leaven of
     absurdity,--as there must be in all talent, let loose upon the
     world, without a martingale.

     "The ministers seem still to persecute the Queen * * * but they
     _won't_ go out, the sons of b----es. Damn Reform--I want a
     place--what say you? You must applaud the honesty of the
     declaration, whatever you may think of the intention.

     "I have quantities of paper in England, original and
     translated--tragedy, &c. &c. and am now copying out a fifth Canto
     of Don Juan, 149 stanzas. So that there will be near _three thin_
     Albemarle, or _two thick_ volumes of all sorts of my Muses. I mean
     to plunge thick, too, into the contest upon Pope, and to lay about
     me like a dragon till I make manure of * * * for the top of

     "These rogues are right--_we do_ laugh at _t'others_--eh?--don't
     we?[14] You shall see--you shall see what things I'll say, an' it
     pleases Providence to leave us leisure. But in these parts they are
     all going to war; and there is to be liberty, and a row, and a
     constitution--when they can get them. But I won't talk politics--it
     is low. Let us talk of the Queen, and her bath, and her
     bottle--that's the only _motley_ nowadays.

     "If there are any acquaintances of mine, salute them. The priests
     here are trying to persecute me,--but no matter. Yours," &c.

[Footnote 13: The power here meant is that of omitting passages that
might be thought objectionable. He afterwards gave me this, as well as
every other right, over the whole of the manuscript.]

[Footnote 14: He here alludes to a humorous article, of which I had told
him, in Blackwood's Magazine, where the poets of the day were all
grouped together in a variety of fantastic shapes, with "Lord Byron and
little Moore laughing behind, as if they would split," at the rest of
the fraternity.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, Dec. 9. 1820.

     "I open my letter to tell you a fact, which will show the state of
     this country better than I can. The commandant of the troops is
     _now_ lying _dead_ in my house. He was shot at a little past eight
     o'clock, about two hundred paces from my door. I was putting on my
     great-coat to visit Madame la Contessa G. when I heard the shot. On
     coming into the hall, I found all my servants on the balcony,
     exclaiming that a man was murdered. I immediately ran down, calling
     on Tita (the bravest of them) to follow me. The rest wanted to
     hinder us from going, as it is the custom for every body here, it
     seems, to run away from 'the stricken deer.'

     "However, down we ran, and found him lying on his back, almost, if
     not quite, dead, with five wounds, one in the heart, two in the
     stomach, one in the finger, and the other in the arm. Some soldiers
     cocked their guns, and wanted to hinder me from passing. However,
     we passed, and I found Diego, the adjutant, crying over him like a
     child--a surgeon, who said nothing of his profession--a priest,
     sobbing a frightened prayer--and the commandant, all this time, on
     his back, on the hard, cold pavement, without light or assistance,
     or any thing around him but confusion and dismay.

     "As nobody could, or would, do any thing but howl and pray, and as
     no one would stir a finger to move him, for fear of consequences, I
     lost my patience--made my servant and a couple of the mob take up
     the body--sent off two soldiers to the guard--despatched Diego to
     the Cardinal with the news, and had the commandant carried up
     stairs into my own quarter. But it was too late, he was gone--not
     at all disfigured--bled inwardly--not above an ounce or two came

     "I had him partly stripped--made the surgeon examine him, and
     examined him myself. He had been shot by cut balls, or slugs. I
     felt one of the slugs, which had gone through him, all but the
     skin. Every body conjectures why he was killed, but no one knows
     how. The gun was found close by him--an old gun, half filed down.

     "He only said, 'O Dio!' and 'Gesu!' two or three times, and
     appeared to have suffered little. Poor fellow! he was a brave
     officer, but had made himself much disliked by the people. I knew
     him personally, and had met him often at conversazioni and
     elsewhere. My house is full of soldiers, dragoons, doctors,
     priests, and all kinds of persons,--though I have now cleared it,
     and clapt sentinels at the doors. To-morrow the body is to be
     moved. The town is in the greatest confusion, as you may suppose.

     "You are to know that, if I had not had the body moved, they would
     have left him there till morning in the street, for fear of
     consequences. I would not choose to let even a dog die in such a
     manner, without succour--and, as for consequences, I care for none
     in a duty. Yours, &c.

     "P.S. The lieutenant on duty by the body is smoking his pipe with
     great composure.--A queer people this."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, Dec. 25. 1820.

     "You will or ought to have received the packet and letters which I
     remitted to your address a fortnight ago (or it may be more days),
     and I shall be glad of an answer, as, in these times and places,
     packets per post are in some risk of not reaching their

     "I have been thinking of a project for you and me, in case we both
     get to London again, which (if a Neapolitan war don't suscitate)
     may be calculated as possible for one of us about the spring of
     1821. I presume that you, too, will be back by that time, or never;
     but on that you will give me some index. The project, then, is for
     you and me to set up jointly a _newspaper_--nothing more nor
     less--weekly, or so, with some improvement or modifications upon
     the plan of the present scoundrels, who degrade that
     department,--but a _newspaper_, which we will edite in due form,
     and, nevertheless, with some attention.

     "There must always be in it a piece of poesy from one or other of
     us _two_, leaving room, however, for such dilettanti rhymers as may
     be deemed worthy of appearing in the same column; but _this_ must
     be a _sine quâ non_; and also as much prose as we can compass. We
     will take an _office_--our names _not_ announced, but
     suspected--and, by the blessing of Providence, give the age some
     new lights upon policy, poesy, biography, criticism, morality,
     theology, and all other _ism_, _ality_, and _ology_ whatsoever.

     "Why, man, if we were to take to this in good earnest, your debts
     would be paid off in a twelvemonth, and by dint of a little
     diligence and practice, I doubt not that we could distance the
     common-place blackguards, who have so long disgraced common sense
     and the common reader. They have no merit but practice and
     impudence, both of which we may acquire; and, as for talent and
     culture, the devil's in't if such proofs as we have given of both
     can't furnish out something better than the 'funeral baked meats'
     which have coldly set forth the breakfast table of all Great
     Britain for so many years. Now, what think you? Let me know; and
     recollect that, if we take to such an enterprise, we must do so in
     good earnest. Here is a hint,--do you make it a plan. We will
     modify it into as literary and classical a concern as you please,
     only let us put out our powers upon it, and it will most likely
     succeed. But you must _live_ in London, and I also, to bring it to
     bear, and _we must keep it a secret_.

     "As for the living in London, I would make that not difficult to
     you (if you would allow me), until we could see whether one means
     or other (the success of the plan, for instance) would not make it
     quite easy for you, as well as your family; and, in any case, we
     should have some fun, composing, correcting, supposing, inspecting,
     and supping together over our lucubrations. If you think this worth
     a thought, let me know, and I will begin to lay in a small literary
     capital of composition for the occasion.

     "Yours ever affectionately,


     "P.S. If you thought of a middle plan between a _Spectator_ and a
     newspaper, why not?--only not on a _Sunday_. Not that Sunday is not
     an excellent day, but it is engaged already. We will call it the
     'Tenda Rossa,' the name Tassoni gave an answer of his in a
     controversy, in allusion to the delicate hint of Timour the Lame,
     to his enemies, by a 'Tenda' of that colour, before he gave battle.
     Or we will call it 'Gli,' or 'I Carbonari,' if it so please you--or
     any other name full of 'pastime and prodigality,' which you may
     prefer. Let me have an answer. I conclude poetically, with the
     bellman, 'A merry Christmas to you!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

The year 1820 was an era signalised, as will be remembered, by the many
efforts of the revolutionary spirit which, at that time, broke forth,
like ill-suppressed fire, throughout the greater part of the South of
Europe. In Italy, Naples had already raised the Constitutional standard,
and her example was fast operating through the whole of that country.
Throughout Romagna, secret societies, under the name of Carbonari, had
been organised, which waited but the word of their chiefs to break out
into open insurrection. We have seen from Lord Byron's Journal in 1814,
what intense interest he took in the last struggles of Revolutionary
France under Napoleon; and his exclamations, "Oh for a
Republic!--'Brutus, thou sleepest!'" show the lengths to which, in
theory at least, his political zeal extended. Since then, he had but
rarely turned his thoughts to politics; the tame, ordinary vicissitude
of public affairs having but little in it to stimulate a mind like his,
whose sympathies nothing short of a crisis seemed worthy to interest.
This the present state of Italy gave every promise of affording him;
and, in addition to the great national cause itself, in which there was
every thing that a lover of liberty, warm from the pages of Petrarch and
Dante, could desire, he had also private ties and regards to enlist him
socially in the contest. The brother of Madame Guiccioli, Count Pietro
Gamba, who had been passing some time at Rome and Naples, was now
returned from his tour; and the friendly sentiments with which,
notwithstanding a natural bias previously in the contrary direction, he
at length learned to regard the noble lover of his sister, cannot better
be described than in the words of his fair relative herself.

"At this time," says Madame Guiccioli, "my beloved brother, Pietro,
returned to Ravenna from Rome and Naples. He had been prejudiced by some
enemies of Lord Byron against his character, and my intimacy with him
afflicted him greatly; nor had my letters succeeded in entirely
destroying the evil impression which Lord Byron's detractors had
produced. No sooner, however, had he seen and known him, than he became
inspired with an interest in his favour, such as could not have been
produced by mere exterior qualities, but was the result only of that
union he saw in him of all that is most great and beautiful, as well in
the heart as mind of man. From that moment every former prejudice
vanished, and the conformity of their opinions and studies contributed
to unite them in a friendship, which only ended with their lives."[15]

The young Gamba, who was, at this time, but twenty years of age, with a
heart full of all those dreams of the regeneration of Italy, which not
only the example of Naples, but the spirit working beneath the surface
all around him, inspired, had, together with his father, who was still
in the prime of life, become enrolled in the secret bands now organising
throughout Romagna, and Lord Byron was, by their intervention, admitted
also among the brotherhood. The following heroic Address to the
Neapolitan Government (written by the noble poet in Italian,[16] and
forwarded, it is thought, by himself to Naples, but intercepted on the
way,) will show how deep, how earnest, and expansive was his zeal in
that great, general cause of Political Freedom, for which he soon after
laid down his life among the marshes of Missolonghi.

"An Englishman, a friend to liberty, having understood that the
Neapolitans permit even foreigners to contribute to the good cause, is
desirous that they should do him the honour of accepting a thousand
louis, which he takes the liberty of offering. Having already, not long
since, been an ocular witness of the despotism of the Barbarians in the
States occupied by them in Italy, he sees, with the enthusiasm natural
to a cultivated man, the generous determination of the Neapolitans to
assert their well-won independence. As a member of the English House of
Peers, he would be a traitor to the principles which placed the reigning
family of England on the throne, if he were not grateful for the noble
lesson so lately given both to people and to kings. The offer which he
desires to make is small in itself, as must always be that presented
from an individual to a nation; but he trusts that it will not be the
last they will receive from his countrymen. His distance from the
frontier, and the feeling of his personal incapacity to contribute
efficaciously to the service of the nation, prevents him from proposing
himself as worthy of the lowest commission, for which experience and
talent might be requisite. But if, as a mere volunteer, his presence
were not a burden to whomsoever he might serve under, he would repair to
whatever place the Neapolitan Government might point out, there to obey
the orders and participate in the dangers of his commanding officer,
without any other motive than that of sharing the destiny of a brave
nation, defending itself against the self-called Holy Alliance, which
but combines the vice of hypocrisy with despotism."[17]

It was during the agitation of this crisis, while surrounded by rumours
and alarms, and expecting, every moment, to be summoned into the field,
that Lord Byron commenced the Journal which I am now about to give; and
which it is impossible to peruse, with the recollection of his former
Diary of 1814 in our minds, without reflecting how wholly different, in
all the circumstances connected with them, were the two periods at which
these records of his passing thoughts were traced. The first he wrote at
a time which may be considered, to use his own words, as "the most
poetical part of his whole life,"--_not_ certainly, in what regarded the
powers of his genius, to which every succeeding year added new force and
range, but in all that may be said to constitute the poetry of
character,--those fresh, unworldly feelings of which, in spite of his
early plunge into experience, he still retained the gloss, and that
ennobling light of imagination, which, with all his professed scorn of
mankind, still followed in the track of his affections, giving a lustre
to every object on which they rested. There was, indeed, in his
misanthropy, as in his sorrows, at that period, to the full as much of
fancy as of reality; and even those gallantries and loves in which he at
the same time entangled himself partook equally, as I have endeavoured
to show, of the same imaginative character. Though brought early under
the dominion of the senses, he had been also early rescued from this
thraldom by, in the first place, the satiety such excesses never fail to
produce, and, at no long interval after, by this series of half-fanciful
attachments which, though in their moral consequences to society,
perhaps, still more mischievous, had the varnish at least of refinement
on the surface, and by the novelty and apparent difficulty that invested
them served to keep alive that illusion of imagination from which such
pursuits derive their sole redeeming charm.

With such a mixture, or rather predominance, of the ideal in his loves,
his hates, and his sorrows, the state of his existence at that period,
animated as it was, and kept buoyant, by such a flow of success, must be
acknowledged, even with every deduction for the unpicturesque
associations of a London life, to have been, in a high degree, poetical,
and to have worn round it altogether a sort of halo of romance, which
the events that followed were but too much calculated to dissipate. By
his marriage, and its results, he was again brought back to some of
those bitter realities of which his youth had had a foretaste. Pecuniary
embarrassment--that ordeal, of all others, the most trying to delicacy
and high-mindedness--now beset him with all the indignities that usually
follow in its train; and he was thus rudely schooled into the advantages
of _possessing_ money, when he had hitherto thought but of the generous
pleasure of _dispensing_ it. No stronger proof, indeed, is wanting of
the effect of such difficulties in tempering down even the most
chivalrous pride, than the necessity to which he found himself reduced
in 1816, not only of departing from his resolution never to profit by
the sale of his works, but of accepting a sum of money, for copyright,
from his publisher, which he had for some time persisted in refusing
for himself, and, in the full sincerity of his generous heart, had
destined for others.

The injustice and malice to which he soon after became a victim had an
equally fatal effect in disenchanting the dream of his existence. Those
imaginary, or, at least, retrospective sorrows, in which he had once
loved to indulge, and whose tendency it was, through the medium of his
fancy, to soften and refine his heart, were now exchanged for a host of
actual, ignoble vexations, which it was even more humiliating than
painful to encounter. His misanthropy, instead of being, as heretofore,
a vague and abstract feeling, without any object to light upon, and
losing therefore its acrimony in diffusion, was now, by the hostility he
came in contact with, condensed into individual enmities, and narrowed
into personal resentments; and from the lofty, and, as it appeared to
himself, philosophical luxury of hating mankind in the gross, he was now
brought down to the self-humbling necessity of despising them in detail.

By all these influences, so fatal to enthusiasm of character, and
forming, most of them, indeed, a part of the ordinary process by which
hearts become chilled and hardened in the world, it was impossible but
that some material change must have been effected in a disposition at
once so susceptible and tenacious of impressions. By compelling him to
concentre himself in his own resources and energies, as the only stand
now left against the world's injustice, his enemies but succeeded in
giving to the principle of self-dependence within him a new force and
spring which, however it added to the vigour of his character, could not
fail, by bringing Self so much into action, to impair a little its
amiableness. Among the changes in his disposition, attributable mainly
to this source, may be mentioned that diminished deference to the
opinions and feelings of others which, after this compulsory rally of
all his powers of resistance, he exhibited. Some portion, no doubt, of
this refractoriness may be accounted for by his absence from all those
whose slightest word or look would have done more with him than whole
volumes of correspondence; but by no cause less powerful and revulsive
than the struggle in which he had been committed could a disposition
naturally diffident as his was, and diffident even through all this
excitement, have been driven into the assumption of a tone so
universally defying, and so full, if not of pride in his own pre-eminent
powers, of such a contempt for some of the ablest among his
contemporaries, as almost implied it. It was, in fact, as has been more
than once remarked in these pages, a similar stirring up of all the best
and worst elements of his nature, to that which a like rebound against
injustice had produced in his youth;--though with a difference in point
of force and grandeur, between the two explosions, almost as great as
between the outbreaks of a firework and a volcano.

Another consequence of the spirit of defiance now roused in him, and one
that tended, perhaps, even more fatally than any yet mentioned, to sully
and, for a time, bring down to earth the romance of his character, was
the course of life to which, outrunning even the licence of his youth,
he abandoned himself at Venice. From this, as from his earlier excesses,
the timely warning of disgust soon rescued him; and the connection with
Madame Guiccioli which followed, and which, however much to be
reprehended, had in it all of marriage that his real marriage wanted,
seemed to place, at length, within reach of his affectionate spirit that
union and sympathy for which, through life, it had thirsted. But the
treasure came too late;--the pure poetry of the feeling had vanished;
and those tears he shed so passionately in the garden at Bologna flowed
less, perhaps, from the love which he felt at that moment, than from the
saddening consciousness how differently he could have felt formerly. It
was, indeed, wholly beyond the power, even of an imagination like his,
to go on investing with its own ideal glories a sentiment which,--more
from daring and vanity than from any other impulse,--he had taken such
pains to tarnish and debase in his own eyes. Accordingly, instead of
being able, as once, to elevate and embellish all that interested him,
to make an idol of every passing creature of his fancy, and mistake the
form of love, which he so often conjured up, for its substance, he now
degenerated into the wholly opposite and perverse error of depreciating
and making light of what, intrinsically, he valued, and, as the reader
has seen, throwing slight and mockery upon a tie in which it was evident
some of the best feelings of his nature were wrapped up. That foe to all
enthusiasm and romance, the habit of ridicule, had, in proportion as he
exchanged the illusions for the realities of life, gained further empire
over him; and how far it had, at this time, encroached upon the loftier
and fairer regions of his mind may be seen in the pages of Don
Juan,--that diversified arena, on which the two Genii, good and evil,
that governed his thoughts, hold, with alternate triumph, their
ever-powerful combat.

Even this, too, this vein of mockery,--in the excess to which, at last,
he carried it,--was but another result of the shock his proud mind had
received from those events that had cast him off, branded and
heart-stricken, from country and from home. As he himself touchingly

    "And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
    'Tis that I may not weep."

This laughter,--which, in such temperaments, is the near neighbour of
tears,--served as a diversion to him from more painful vents of
bitterness; and the same philosophical calculation which made the poet
of melancholy, Young, declare that "he preferred laughing at the world
to being angry with it," led Lord Byron also to settle upon the same
conclusion; and to feel, in the misanthropic views he was inclined to
take of mankind, that mirth often saved him the pain of hate.

That, with so many drawbacks upon all generous effusions of sentiment,
he should still have preserved so much of his native tenderness and
ardour as is conspicuous, through all disguises, in his unquestionable
love for Madame Guiccioli, and in the still more undoubted zeal with
which he now entered, heart and soul, into the great cause of human
freedom, wheresoever or by whomsoever asserted[18],--only shows how rich
must have been the original stores of sensibility and enthusiasm which
even a career such as his could so little chill or exhaust. Most
consoling, too, is it to reflect that the few latter years of his life
should have been thus visited with a return of that poetic lustre,
which, though it never had ceased to surround the bard, had but too much
faded away from the character of the man; and that while
Love,--reprehensible as it was, but still Love,--had the credit of
rescuing him from the only errors that disgraced his maturer years, for
Liberty was reserved the proud but mournful triumph of calling the last
stage of his glorious course her own, and lighting him, amidst the
sympathies of the world, to his grave.

Having endeavoured, in this comparison between his present and former
self, to account, by what I consider to be their true causes, for the
new phenomena which his character, at this period, exhibited, I shall
now lay before the reader the Journal by which these remarks were more
immediately suggested, and from which I fear they will be thought to
have too long detained him.

[Footnote 15: "In quest' epoca venne a Ravenna di ritorno da Roma e
Napoli il mio diletto fratello Pietro. Egli era stato prevenuto da dei
nemeci di Lord Byron contro il di lui carattere; molto lo affligeva la
mia intimità con lui, e le mie lettere non avevano riuscito a bene
distruggere la cattiva impressione ricevuta dei detrattori di Lord
Byron. Ma appena lo vidde e lo conobbe egli pure ricevesse quella
impressione che non può essere prodotta da dei pregi esteriori, ma
solamente dall unione di tuttociò che vi è di più bello e di più grande
nel cuore e nella mente dell uomo. Svani ogni sua anteriore prevenzione
contro di Lord Byron, e la conformità della loro idee e dei studii loro
contribuì a stringerli in quella amicizia che non doveva avere fine che
colla loro vita."]

[Footnote 16: A draft of this Address, in his own handwriting, was found
among his papers. He is supposed to have intrusted it to a professed
agent of the Constitutional Government of Naples, who had waited upon
him secretly at Ravenna, and, under the pretence of having been waylaid
and robbed, induced his Lordship to supply him with money for his
return. This man turned out afterwards to have been a spy, and the above
paper, if confided to him, fell most probably into the hands of the
Pontifical Government.]

[Footnote 17: "Un Inglese amico della libertà avendo sentito che i
Napolitani permettono anche agli stranieri di contribuire alia buona
causa, bramerebbe l'onore di vedere accettata la sua offerta di mille
luigi, la quale egli azzarda di fare. Già testimonio oculare non molto
fa della tirannia dei Barbari negli stati da loro occupati nell' Italia,
egli vede con tutto l'entusiasmo di un uomo ben nato la generosa
determinazione dei Napolitani per confermare la loro bene acquistata
indipendenza. Membro della Camera dei Pari della nazione Inglese egli
sarebbe un traditore ai principii che hanno posto sul trono la famiglia
regnante d'Inghilterra se non riconoscesse la bella lezione di bel nuovo
data ai popoli ed ai Re. L'offerta che egli brama di presentare è poca
in se stessa, come bisogna che sia sempre quella di un individuo ad una
nazione, ma egli spera che non sarà l'ultima dalla parte dei suoi
compatriotti. La sua lontananza dalle frontiere, e il sentimento della
sua poca capacità personale di contribuire efficacimente a servire la
nazione gl' impedisce di proporsi come degno della più piccola
commissione che domanda dell' esperienza e del talento. Ma, se come
semplice volontario la sua presenza non fosse un incomodo a quello che
l'accetasse egli riparebbe a qualunque luogo indicato dal Governo
Napolitano, per ubbidire agli ordini e participare ai pericoli del suo
superiore, senza avere altri motivi che quello di dividere il destino di
una brava nazione resistendo alla se dicente Santa Allianza la quale
aggiunge l'ippocrisia al despotismo."]

[Footnote 18: Among his "Detached Thoughts" I find this general passion
for liberty thus strikingly expressed. After saying, in reference to his
own choice of Venice as a place of residence, "I remembered General
Ludlow's domal inscription, 'Omne solum forti patria,' and sat down free
in a country which had been one of slavery for centuries," he adds, "But
there is _no_ freedom, even for _masters_, in the midst of slaves. It
makes my blood boil to see the thing. I sometimes wish that I was the
owner of Africa, to do at once what Wilberforce will do in time, viz.
sweep slavery from her deserts, and look on upon the first dance of
their freedom.

"As to political slavery, so general, it is men's own fault: if they
_will_ be slaves, let them! Yet it is but 'a word and a blow.' See how
England formerly, France, Spain, Portugal, America, Switzerland, freed
themselves! There is no one instance of a long contest in which men did
not triumph over systems. If Tyranny misses her _first_ spring, she is
cowardly as the tiger, and retires to be hunted."]

       *       *       *       *       *


"Ravenna, January 4. 1821.

"'A sudden thought strikes me.' Let me begin a Journal once more. The
last I kept was in Switzerland, in record of a tour made in the Bernese
Alps, which I made to send to my sister in 1816, and I suppose that she
has it still, for she wrote to me that she was pleased with it. Another,
and longer, I kept in 1813-1814, which I gave to Thomas Moore in the
same year.

"This morning I gat me up late, as usual--weather bad--bad as
England--worse. The snow of last week melting to the sirocco of to-day,
so that there were two d----d things at once. Could not even get to ride
on horseback in the forest. Stayed at home all the morning--looked at
the fire--wondered when the post would come. Post came at the Ave Maria,
instead of half-past one o'clock, as it ought, Galignani's Messengers,
six in number--a letter from Faenza, but none from England. Very sulky
in consequence (for there ought to have been letters), and ate in
consequence a copious dinner; for when I am vexed, it makes me swallow
quicker--but drank very little.

"I was out of spirits--read the papers--thought what _fame_ was, on
reading, in a case of murder, that 'Mr. Wych, grocer, at Tunbridge, sold
some bacon, flour, cheese, and, it is believed, some plums, to some
gipsy woman accused. He had on his counter (I quote faithfully) a
_book_, the Life of _Pamela_, which he was _tearing_ for _waste_ paper,
&c. &c. In the cheese was found, &c. and a _leaf_ of _Pamela wrapt round
the bacon._' What would Richardson, the vainest and luckiest of _living_
authors (_i.e._ while alive)--he who, with Aaron Hill, used to prophesy
and chuckle over the presumed fall of Fielding (the prose Homer of human
nature) and of Pope (the most beautiful of poets)--what would he have
said, could he have traced his pages from their place on the French
prince's toilets (see Boswell's Johnson) to the grocer's counter and the
gipsy-murderess's bacon!!!

"What would he have said? what can any body say, save what Solomon said
long before us? After all, it is but passing from one counter to
another, from the bookseller's to the other tradesman's--grocer or
pastry-cook. For my part, I have met with most poetry upon trunks; so
that I am apt to consider the trunk-maker as the sexton of authorship.

"Wrote five letters in about half an hour, short and savage, to all my
rascally correspondents. Carriage came. Heard the news of three murders
at Faenza and Forli--a carabinier, a smuggler, and an attorney--all last
night. The two first in a quarrel, the latter by premeditation.

"Three weeks ago--almost a month--the 7th it was--I picked up the
commandant, mortally wounded, out of the street; he died in my house;
assassins unknown, but presumed political. His brethren wrote from Rome
last night to thank me for having assisted him in his last moments. Poor
fellow! it was a pity; he was a good soldier, but imprudent. It was
eight in the evening when they killed him. We heard the shot; my
servants and I ran out, and found him expiring, with five wounds, two
whereof mortal--by slugs they seemed. I examined him, but did not go to
the dissection next morning.

"Carriage at 8 or so--went to visit La Contessa G.--found her playing on
the piano-forte--talked till ten, when the Count, her father, and the no
less Count, her brother, came in from the theatre. Play, they said,
Alfieri's Filippo--well received.

"Two days ago the King of Naples passed through Bologna on his way to
congress. My servant Luigi brought the news. I had sent him to Bologna
for a lamp. How will it end? Time will show.

"Came home at eleven, or rather before. If the road and weather are
comfortable, mean to ride to-morrow. High time--almost a week at this
work--snow, sirocco, one day--frost and snow the other--sad climate for
Italy. But the two seasons, last and present, are extraordinary. Read a
Life of Leonardo da Vinci by Rossi--ruminated--wrote this much, and will
go to bed.

"January 5. 1821.

"Rose late--dull and drooping--the weather dripping and dense. Snow on
the ground, and sirocco above in the sky, like yesterday. Roads up to
the horse's belly, so that riding (at least for pleasure) is not very
feasible. Added a postscript to my letter to Murray. Read the
conclusion, for the fiftieth time (I have read all W. Scott's novels at
least fifty times), of the third series of 'Tales of my
Landlord,'--grand work--Scotch Fielding, as well as great English
poet--wonderful man! I long to get drunk with him.

"Dined versus six o' the clock. Forgot that there was a plum-pudding, (I
have added, lately, _eating_ to my 'family of vices,') and had dined
before I knew it. Drank half a bottle of some sort of spirits--probably
spirits of wine; for what they call brandy, rum, &c. &c. here is nothing
but spirits of wine, coloured accordingly. Did _not_ eat two apples,
which were placed by way of dessert. Fed the two cats, the hawk, and the
tame (but _not tamed_) _crow_. Read Mitford's History of
Greece--Xenophon's Retreat of the Ten Thousand. Up to this present
_moment writing, 6 minutes before eight o' the clock_--French hours, not

"Hear the carriage--order pistols and great coat, as usual--necessary
articles. Weather cold--carriage open, and inhabitants somewhat
savage--rather treacherous and highly inflamed by politics. Fine
fellows, though, good materials for a nation. Out of chaos God made a
world, and out of high passions comes a people.

"Clock strikes--going out to make love. Somewhat perilous, but not
disagreeable. Memorandum--a new screen put up to-day. It is rather
antique, but will do with a little repair.

"Thaw continues--hopeful that riding may be practicable to-morrow. Sent
the papers to Alli.--grand events coming.

"11 o' the clock and nine minutes. Visited La Contessa G. Nata G.G.
Found her beginning my letter of answer to the thanks of Alessio del
Pinto of Rome for assisting his brother the late Commandant in his last
moments, as I had begged her to pen my reply for the purer Italian, I
being an ultra-montane, little skilled in the set phrase of Tuscany. Cut
short the letter--finish it another day. Talked of Italy, patriotism,
Alfieri, Madame Albany, and other branches of learning. Also Sallust's
Conspiracy of Catiline, and the War of Jugurtha. At 9 came in her
brother, Il Conte Pietro--at 10, her father, Conte Ruggiero.

"Talked of various modes of warfare--of the Hungarian and Highland modes
of broad-sword exercise, in both whereof I was once a moderate 'master
of fence.' Settled that the R. will break out on the 7th or 8th of
March, in which appointment I should trust, had it not been settled that
it was to have broken out in October, 1820. But those Bolognese shirked
the Romagnuoles.

"'It is all one to Ranger.' One must not be particular, but take
rebellion when it lies in the way. Come home--read the 'Ten Thousand'
again, and will go to bed.

"Mem.--Ordered Fletcher (at four o'clock this afternoon) to copy out
seven or eight apophthegms of Bacon, in which I have detected such
blunders as a school-boy might detect rather than commit. Such are the
sages! What must they be, when such as I can stumble on their mistakes
or misstatements? I will go to bed, for I find that I grow cynical.

"January 6. 1821.

"Mist--thaw--slop--rain. No stirring out on horseback. Read Spence's
Anecdotes. Pope a fine fellow--always thought him so. Corrected blunders
in _nine_ apophthegms of Bacon--all historical--and read Mitford's
Greece. Wrote an epigram. Turned to a passage in Guinguené--ditto in
Lord Holland's Lope de Vega. Wrote a note on Don Juan.

"At eight went out to visit. Heard a little music--like music. Talked
with Count Pietro G. of the Italian comedian Vestris, who is now at
Rome--have seen him often act in Venice--a good actor--very. Somewhat of
a mannerist; but excellent in broad comedy, as well as in the
sentimental pathetic. He has made me frequently laugh and cry, neither
of which is now a very easy matter--at least, for a player to produce in

"Thought of the state of women under the ancient Greeks--convenient
enough. Present state a remnant of the barbarism of the chivalry and
feudal ages--artificial and unnatural. They ought to mind home--and be
well fed and clothed--but not mixed in society. Well educated, too, in
religion--but to read neither poetry nor politics--nothing but books of
piety and cookery. Music--drawing--dancing--also a little gardening and
ploughing now and then. I have seen them mending the roads in Epirus
with good success. Why not, as well as hay-making and milking?

"Came home, and read Mitford again, and played with my mastiff--gave him
his supper. Made another reading to the epigram, but the turn the same.
To-night at the theatre, there being a prince on his throne in the last
scene of the comedy,--the audience laughed, and asked him for a
_Constitution_. This shows the state of the public mind here, as well as
the assassinations. It won't do. There must be an universal
republic,--and there ought to be.

"The crow is lame of a leg--wonder how it happened--some fool trod upon
his toe, I suppose. The falcon pretty brisk--the cats large and
noisy--the monkeys I have not looked to since the cold weather, as they
suffer by being brought up. Horses must be gay--get a ride as soon as
weather serves. Deuced muggy still--an Italian winter is a sad thing,
but all the other seasons are charming.

"What is the reason that I have been, all my lifetime, more or less
_ennuyé?_ and that, if any thing, I am rather less so now than I was at
twenty, as far as my recollection serves? I do not know how to answer
this, but presume that it is constitutional,--as well as the waking in
low spirits, which I have invariably done for many years. Temperance and
exercise, which I have practised at times, and for a long time together
vigorously and violently, made little or no difference. Violent passions
did;--when under their immediate influence--it is odd, but--I was in
agitated, but _not_ in depressed, spirits.

"A dose of salts has the effect of a temporary inebriation, like light
champagne, upon me. But wine and spirits make me sullen and savage to
ferocity--silent, however, and retiring, and not quarrelsome, if not
spoken to. Swimming also raises my spirits,--but in general they are
low, and get daily lower. That is _hopeless_; for I do not think I am so
much _ennuyé_ as I was at nineteen. The proof is, that then I must game,
or drink, or be in motion of some kind, or I was miserable. At present,
I can mope in quietness; and like being alone better than any
company--except the lady's whom I serve. But I feel a something, which
makes me think that, if I ever reach near to old age, like Swift, 'I
shall die at top' first. Only I do not dread idiotism or madness so much
as he did. On the contrary, I think some quieter stages of both must be
preferable to much of what men think the possession of their senses.

"January 7. 1821, Sunday.

"Still rain--mist--snow--drizzle--and all the incalculable combinations
of a climate where heat and cold struggle for mastery. Head Spence, and
turned over Roscoe, to find a passage I have not found. Read the fourth
vol. of W. Scott's second series of 'Tales of my Landlord.' Dined. Read
the Lugano Gazette. Read--I forget what. At eight went to conversazione.
Found there the Countess Geltrude, Betti V. and her husband, and others.
Pretty black-eyed woman that--_only_ nineteen--same age as Teresa, who
is prettier, though.

"The Count Pietro G. took me aside to say that the Patriots have had
notice from Forli (twenty miles off) that to-night the government and
its party mean to strike a stroke--that the Cardinal here has had orders
to make several arrests immediately, and that, in consequence, the
Liberals are arming, and have posted patroles in the streets, to sound
the alarm and give notice to fight for it.

"He asked me 'what should be done?' I answered, 'Fight for it, rather
than be taken in detail;' and offered, if any of them are in immediate
apprehension of arrest, to receive them in my house (which is
defensible), and to defend them, with my servants and themselves (we
have arms and ammunition), as long as we can,--or to try to get them
away under cloud of night. On going home, I offered him the pistols
which I had about me--but he refused, but said he would come off to me
in case of accidents.

"It wants half an hour of midnight, and rains;--as Gibbet says, 'a fine
night for their enterprise--dark as hell, and blows like the devil.' If
the row don't happen _now_, it must soon. I thought that their system of
shooting people would soon produce a re-action--and now it seems coming.
I will do what I can in the way of combat, though a little out of
exercise. The cause is a good one.

"Turned over and over half a score of books for the passage in question,
and can't find it. Expect to hear the drum and the musquetry momently
(for they swear to resist, and are right,)--but I hear nothing, as yet,
save the plash of the rain and the gusts of the wind at intervals. Don't
like to go to bed, because I hate to be waked, and would rather sit up
for the row, if there is to be one.

"Mended the fire--have got the arms--and a book or two, which I shall
turn over. I know little of their numbers, but think the Carbonari
strong enough to beat the troops, even here. With twenty men this house
might be defended for twenty-four hours against any force to be brought
against it, now in this place, for the same time; and, in such a time,
the country would have notice, and would rise,--if ever they _will_
rise, of which there is some doubt. In the mean time, I may as well read
as do any thing else, being alone.

"January 8. 1821, Monday.

"Rose, and found Count P.G. in my apartments. Sent away the servant.
Told me that, according to the best information, the Government had not
issued orders for the arrests apprehended; that the attack in Forli had
not taken place (as expected) by the Sanfedisti--the opponents of the
Carbonari or Liberals--and that, as yet, they are still in apprehension
only. Asked me for some arms of a better sort, which I gave him. Settled
that, in case of a row, the Liberals were to assemble _here_ (with me),
and that he had given the word to Vincenzo G. and others of the _Chiefs_
for that purpose. He himself and father are going to the chase in the
forest; but V.G. is to come to me, and an express to be sent off to him,
P.G., if any thing occurs. Concerted operations. They are to seize--but
no matter.

"I advised them to attack in detail, and in different parties, in
different _places_ (though at the _same_ time), so as to divide the
attention of the troops, who, though few, yet being disciplined, would
beat any body of people (not trained) in a regular fight--unless
dispersed in small parties, and distracted with different assaults.
Offered to let them assemble here, if they choose. It is a strongish
post--narrow street, commanded from within--and tenable walls.

"Dined. Tried on a new coat. Letter to Murray, with corrections of
Bacon's Apophthegms and an epigram--the _latter not_ for publication. At
eight went to Teresa, Countess G. At nine and a half came in Il Conte P.
and Count P.G. Talked of a certain proclamation lately issued. Count
R.G. had been with * * (the * *), to sound him about the arrests. He,
* *, is a _trimmer_, and deals, at present, his cards with both hands.
If he don't mind, they'll be full. * * pretends (_I_ doubt him--_they_
don't,--we shall see) that there is no such order, and seems staggered
by the immense exertions of the Neapolitans, and the fierce spirit of
the Liberals here. The truth is, that * * cares for little but his place
(which is a good one), and wishes to play pretty with both parties. He
has changed his mind thirty times these last three moons, to my
knowledge, for he corresponds with me. But he is not a bloody
fellow--only an avaricious one.

"It seems that, just at this moment (as Lydia Languish says), there will
be no elopement after all. I wish that I had known as much last
night--or, rather, this morning--I should have gone to bed two hours
earlier. And yet I ought not to complain; for, though it is a sirocco,
and heavy rain, I have not _yawned_ for these two days.

"Came home--read History of Greece--before dinner had read Walter
Scott's Rob Roy. Wrote address to the letter in answer to Alessio del
Pinto, who has thanked me for helping his brother (the late Commandant,
murdered here last month) in his last moments. Have told him I only did
a duty of humanity--as is true. The brother lives at Rome.

"Mended the fire with some 'sgobole' (a Romagnuole word), and gave the
falcon some water. Drank some Seltzer-water. Mem.--received to-day a
print, or etching, of the story of Ugolino, by an Italian
painter--different, of course, from Sir Joshua Reynolds's, and I think
(as far as recollection goes) _no worse_, for Reynolds's is not good in
history. Tore a button in my new coat.

"I wonder what figure these Italians will make in a regular row. I
sometimes think that, like the Irishman's gun (somebody had sold him a
crooked one), they will only do for 'shooting round a corner;' at least,
this sort of shooting has been the late tenor of their exploits. And
yet, there are materials in this people, and a noble energy, if well
directed. But who is to direct them? No matter. Out of such times heroes
spring. Difficulties are the hotbeds of high spirits, and Freedom the
mother of the few virtues incident to human nature.

"Tuesday, January 9. 1821.

"Rose--the day fine. Ordered the horses; but Lega (my _secretary_, an
Italianism for steward or chief servant) coming to tell me that the
painter had finished the work in fresco, for the room he has been
employed on lately, I went to see it before I set out. The painter has
not copied badly the prints from Titian, &c. considering all things.

"Dined. Read Johnson's 'Vanity of Human Wishes,'--all the examples and
mode of giving them sublime, as well as the latter part, with the
exception of an occasional couplet. I do not so much admire the opening.
I remember an observation of Sharpe's, (the _Conversationist_, as he was
called in London, and a very clever man,) that the first line of this
poem was superfluous, and that Pope (the best of poets, _I_ think) would
have begun at once, only changing the punctuation--

    "'Survey mankind from China to Peru.'

The former line, 'Let observation,' &c. is certainly heavy and useless.
But 'tis a grand poem--and _so true!_--true as the 10th of Juvenal
himself. The lapse of ages _changes_ all things--time--language--the
earth--the bounds of the sea--the stars of the sky, and every thing
'about, around, and underneath' man, _except man himself_, who has
always been, and always will be, an unlucky rascal. The infinite variety
of lives conduct but to death, and the infinity of wishes lead but to
disappointment. All the discoveries which have yet been made have
multiplied little but existence. An extirpated disease is succeeded by
some new pestilence; and a discovered world has brought little to the
old one, except the p---- first and freedom afterwards--the _latter_ a
fine thing, particularly as they gave it to Europe in exchange for
slavery. But it is doubtful whether 'the Sovereigns' would not think the
_first_ the best present of the two to their subjects.

"At eight went out--heard some news. They say the King of Naples has
declared, by couriers from Florence, to the _Powers_ (as they call now
those wretches with crowns) that his Constitution was compulsive, &c.
&c. and that the Austrian barbarians are placed again on _war_ pay, and
will march. Let them--'they come like sacrifices in their trim,' the
hounds of hell! Let it still be a hope to see their bones piled like
those of the human dogs at Morat, in Switzerland, which I have seen.

"Heard some music. At nine the usual visiters--news, _war_, or rumours
of war. Consulted with P.G. &c. &c. They mean to _insurrect_ here, and
are to honour me with a call thereupon. I shall not fall back; though I
don't think them in force or heart sufficient to make much of it. But,
_onward!_--it is now the time to act, and what signifies _self_, if a
single spark of that which would be worthy of the past can be bequeathed
unquenchedly to the future? It is not one man, nor a million, but the
_spirit_ of liberty which must be spread. The waves which dash upon the
shore are, one by one, broken, but yet the _ocean_ conquers,
nevertheless. It overwhelms the Armada, it wears the rock, and, if the
_Neptunians_ are to be believed, it has not only destroyed, but made a
world. In like manner, whatever the sacrifice of individuals, the great
cause will gather strength, sweep down what is rugged, and fertilise
(for _sea-weed_ is _manure_) what is cultivable. And so, the mere
selfish calculation ought never to be made on such occasions; and, at
present, it shall not be computed by me. I was never a good
arithmetician of chances, and shall not commence now.

"January 10. 1821.

"Day fine--rained only in the morning. Looked over accounts. Read
Campbell's Poets--marked errors of Tom (the author) for correction.
Dined--went out--music--Tyrolese air, with variations. Sustained the
cause of the original simple air against the variations of the Italian

"Politics somewhat tempestuous, and cloudier daily. To-morrow being
foreign post-day, probably something more will be known.

"Came home--read. Corrected Tom Campbell's slips of the pen. A good
work, though--style affected--but his defence of Pope is glorious. To be
sure, it is his _own cause_ too,--but no matter, it is very good, and
does him great credit.


"I have been turning over different _Lives_ of the Poets. I rarely read
their works, unless an occasional flight over the classical ones, Pope,
Dryden, Johnson, Gray, and those who approach them nearest (I leave the
_rant_ of the rest to the _cant_ of the day), and--I had made several
reflections, but I feel sleepy, and may as well go to bed.

"January 11. 1821.

"Read the letters. Corrected the tragedy and the 'Hints from Horace.'
Dined, and got into better spirits. Went out--returned--finished
letters, five in number. Read Poets, and an anecdote in Spence.

"Alli. writes to me that the Pope, and Duke of Tuscany, and King of
Sardinia, have also been called to Congress; but the Pope will only deal
there by proxy. So the interests of millions are in the hands of about
twenty coxcombs, at a place called Leibach!

"I should almost regret that my own affairs went well, when those of
nations are in peril. If the interests of mankind could be essentially
bettered (particularly of these oppressed Italians), I should not so
much mind my own 'suma peculiar.' God grant us all better times, or more

"In reading, I have just chanced upon an expression of Tom
Campbell's;--speaking of Collins, he says that no reader cares any more
about the _characteristic manners_ of his Eclogues than about the
authenticity of the tale of Troy.' 'Tis false--we _do_ care about the
authenticity of the tale of Troy. I have stood upon that plain _daily_,
for more than a month in 1810; and if any thing diminished my pleasure,
it was that the blackguard Bryant had impugned its veracity. It is true
I read 'Homer Travestied' (the first twelve books), because Hobhouse and
others bored me with their learned localities, and I love quizzing. But
I still venerated the grand original as the truth of _history_ (in the
material _facts_) and of _place_. Otherwise, it would have given me no
delight. Who will persuade me, when I reclined upon a mighty tomb, that
it did not contain a hero?--its very magnitude proved this. Men do not
labour over the ignoble and petty dead--and why should not the _dead_ be
_Homer_'s dead? The secret of Tom Campbell's defence of _inaccuracy_ in
costume and description is, that his Gertrude, &c. has no more locality
in common with Pennsylvania than with Penmanmaur. It is notoriously full
of grossly false scenery, as all Americans declare, though they praise
parts of the poem. It is thus that self-love for ever creeps out, like a
snake, to sting any thing which happens, even accidentally, to stumble
upon it.

"January 12. 1821.

"The weather still so humid and impracticable, that London, in its most
oppressive fogs, were a summer-bower to this mist and sirocco, which has
now lasted (but with one day's interval), chequered with snow or heavy
rain only, since the 30th of December, 1820. It is so far lucky that I
have a literary turn;--but it is very tiresome not to be able to stir
out, in comfort, on any horse but Pegasus, for so many days. The roads
are even worse than the weather, by the long splashing, and the heavy
soil, and the growth of the waters.

"Read the Poets--English, that is to say--out of Campbell's edition.
There is a good deal of taffeta in some of Tom's prefatory phrases, but
his work is good as a whole. I like him best, though, in his own poetry.

"Murray writes that they want to act the Tragedy of Marino Faliero--more
fools they, it was written for the closet. I have protested against this
piece of usurpation, (which, it seems, is legal for managers over any
printed work, against the author's will,) and I hope they will not
attempt it. Why don't they bring out some of the numberless aspirants
for theatrical celebrity, now encumbering their shelves, instead of
lugging me out of the library? I have written a fierce protest against
any such attempt, but I still would hope that it will not be necessary,
and that they will see, at once, that it is not intended for the stage.
It is too regular--the time, twenty-four hours--the change of place not
frequent--nothing _melo_dramatic--no surprises, no starts, nor
trap-doors, nor opportunities 'for tossing their heads and kicking their
heels'--and no _love_--the grand ingredient of a modern play.

"I have found out the seal cut on Murray's letter. It is meant for
Walter Scott--or _Sir_ Walter--he is the first poet knighted since Sir
Richard Blackmore. But it does not do him justice.
Scott's--particularly when he recites--is a very intelligent
countenance, and this seal says nothing.

"Scott is certainly the most wonderful writer of the day. His novels are
a new literature in themselves, and his poetry as good as any--if not
better (only on an erroneous system)--and only ceased to be so popular,
because the vulgar learned were tired of hearing 'Aristides called the
Just,' and Scott the Best, and ostracised him.

"I like him, too, for his manliness of character, for the extreme
pleasantness of his conversation, and his good-nature towards myself,
personally. May he prosper!--for he deserves it. I know no reading to
which I fall with such alacrity as a work of W. Scott's. I shall give
the seal, with his bust on it, to Madame la Contesse G. this evening,
who will be curious to have the effigies of a man so celebrated.

"How strange are our thoughts, &c. &c. &c.[19]

[Footnote 19: Here follows a long passage, already extracted, relative
to his early friend, Edward Noel Long.]


"Read the Italian translation by Guido Sorelli of the German
Grillparzer--a devil of a name, to be sure, for posterity; but they
_must_ learn to pronounce it. With all the allowance for a
_translation_, and above all, an _Italian_ translation (they are the
very worst of translators, except from the Classics--Annibale Caro, for
instance--and _there_, the bastardy of their language helps them, as, by
way of _looking legitimate_, they ape their father's tongue);--but with
every allowance for such a disadvantage, the tragedy of Sappho is superb
and sublime! There is no denying it. The man has done a great thing in
writing that play. And _who is he?_ I know him not; but _ages will_.
'Tis a high intellect.

"I must premise, however, that I have read _nothing_ of Adolph Müllner's
(the author of 'Guilt'), and much less of Goethe, and Schiller, and
Wieland, than I could wish. I only know them through the medium of
English, French, and Italian translations. Of the _real_ language I know
absolutely nothing,--except oaths learnt from postilions and officers in
a squabble. I can _swear_ in German potently, when I
like--'Sacrament--Verfluchter--Hundsfott'--and so forth; but I have
little of their less energetic conversation.

"I like, however, their women, (I was once so _desperately_ in love with
a German woman, Constance,) and all that I have read, translated, of
their writings, and all that I have seen on the Rhine of their country
and people--all, except the Austrians, whom I abhor, loathe, and--I
cannot find words for my hate of them, and should be sorry to find deeds
correspondent to my hate; for I abhor cruelty more than I abhor the
Austrians--except on an impulse, and then I am savage--but not
deliberately so.

"Grillparzer is grand--antique--_not so simple_ as the ancients, but
very simple for a modern--too Madame de Staël_ish_, now and then--but
altogether a great and goodly writer.

"January 13. 1821, Saturday.

"Sketched the outline and Drams. Pers. of an intended tragedy of
Sardanapalus, which I have for some time meditated. Took the names from
Diodorus Siculus, (I know the history of Sardanapalus, and have known it
since I was twelve years old,) and read over a passage in the ninth vol.
octavo, of Mitford's Greece, where he rather vindicates the memory of
this last of the Assyrians.

"Dined--news come--the _Powers_ mean to war with the peoples. The
intelligence seems positive--let it be so--they will be beaten in the
end. The king-times are fast finishing. There will be blood shed like
water, and tears like mist; but the peoples will conquer in the end. I
shall not live to see it, but I foresee it.

"I carried Teresa the Italian translation of Grillparzer's Sappho, which
she promises to read. She quarrelled with me, because I said that love
was _not the loftiest_ theme for true tragedy; and, having the advantage
of her native language, and natural female eloquence, she overcame my
fewer arguments. I believe she was right. I must put more love into
'Sardanapalus' than I intended. I speak, of course, _if_ the times will
allow me leisure. That _if_ will hardly be a peace-maker.

"January 14. 1821.

"Turned over Seneca's tragedies. Wrote the opening lines of the intended
tragedy of Sardanapalus. Rode out some miles into the forest. Misty and
rainy. Returned--dined--wrote some more of my tragedy.

"Read Diodorus Siculus--turned over Seneca, and some other books. Wrote
some more of the tragedy. Took a glass of grog. After having ridden hard
in rainy weather, and scribbled, and scribbled again, the spirits (at
least mine) need a little exhilaration, and I don't like laudanum now as
I used to do. So I have mixed a glass of strong waters and single
waters, which I shall now proceed to empty. Therefore and thereunto I
conclude this day's diary.

"The effect of all wines and spirits upon me is, however, strange. It
_settles_, but it makes me gloomy--gloomy at the very moment of their
effect, and not gay hardly ever. But it composes for a time, though

"January 15. 1821.

"Weather fine. Received visit. Rode out into the forest--fired pistols.
Returned home--dined--dipped into a volume of Mitford's Greece--wrote
part of a scene of 'Sardanapalus.' Went out--heard some music--heard
some politics. More ministers from the other Italian powers gone to
Congress. War seems certain--in that case, it will be a savage one.
Talked over various important matters with one of the initiated. At ten
and half returned home.

"I have just thought of something odd. In the year 1814, Moore ('the
poet,' _par excellence_, and he deserves it) and I were going together,
in the same carriage, to dine with Earl Grey, the Capo Politico of the
remaining Whigs. Murray, the magnificent (the illustrious publisher of
that name), had just sent me a Java gazette--I know not why, or
wherefore. Pulling it out, by way of curiosity, we found it to contain a
dispute (the said Java gazette) on Moore's merits and mine. I think, if
I had been there, that I could have saved them the trouble of disputing
on the subject. But, there is _fame_ for you at six and twenty!
Alexander had conquered India at the same age; but I doubt if he was
disputed about, or his conquests compared with those of Indian Bacchus,
at Java.

"It was a great fame to be named with Moore; greater to be compared with
him; greatest--_pleasure_, at least--to be _with_ him; and, surely, an
odd coincidence, that we should be dining together while they were
quarrelling about us beyond the equinoctial line.

"Well, the same evening, I met Lawrence the painter, and heard one of
Lord Grey's daughters (a fine, tall, spirit-looking girl, with much of
the _patrician, thorough-bred look_ of her father, which I dote upon)
play on the harp, so modestly and ingenuously, that she _looked music_.
Well, I would rather have had my talk with Lawrence (who talked
delightfully) and heard the girl, than have had all the fame of Moore
and me put together.

"The only pleasure of fame is that it paves the way to pleasure; and the
more intellectual our pleasure, the better for the pleasure and for us
too. It was, however, agreeable to have heard our fame before dinner,
and a girl's harp after.

"January 16. 1821.

"Read--rode--fired pistols--returned--dined--wrote--visited--heard
music--talked nonsense--and went home.

"Wrote part of a Tragedy--advanced in Act 1st with 'all deliberate
speed.' Bought a blanket. The weather is still muggy as a London
May--mist, mizzle, the air replete with Scotticisms, which, though fine
in the descriptions of Ossian, are somewhat tiresome in real, prosaic
perspective. Politics still mysterious.

"January 17. 1821.

"Rode i' the forest--fired pistols--dined. Arrived a packet of books
from England and Lombardy--English, Italian, French, and Latin. Read
till eight--went out.

"January 18. 1821.

"To-day, the post arriving late, did not ride. Read letters--only two
gazettes instead of twelve now due. Made Lega write to that negligent
Galignani, and added a postscript. Dined.

"At eight proposed to go out. Lega came in with a letter about a bill
_unpaid_ at Venice, which I thought paid months ago. I flew into a
paroxysm of rage, which almost made me faint. I have not been well ever
since. I deserve it for being such a fool--but it _was_ provoking--a set
of scoundrels! It is, however, but five and twenty pounds.

"January 19. 1821.

"Rode. Winter's wind somewhat more unkind than ingratitude itself,
though Shakspeare says otherwise. At least, I am so much more accustomed
to meet with ingratitude than the north wind, that I thought the latter
the sharper of the two. I had met with both in the course of the
twenty-four hours, so could judge.

"Thought of a plan of education for my daughter Allegra, who ought to
begin soon with her studies. Wrote a letter--afterwards a postscript.
Rather in low spirits--certainly hippish--liver touched--will take a
dose of salts.

"I have been reading the Life, by himself and daughter, of Mr. R.L.
Edgeworth, the father of _the_ Miss Edgeworth. It is altogether a great
name. In 1813, I recollect to have met them in the fashionable world of
London (of which I then formed an item, a fraction, the segment of a
circle, the unit of a million, the nothing of something) in the
assemblies of the hour, and at a breakfast of Sir Humphry and Lady
Davy's, to which I was invited for the nonce. I had been the lion of
1812; Miss Edgeworth and Madame de Staël, with 'the Cossack,' towards
the end of 1813, were the exhibitions of the succeeding year.

"I thought Edgeworth a fine old fellow, of a clarety, elderly, red
complexion, but active, brisk, and endless. He was seventy, but did not
look fifty--no, nor forty-eight even. I had seen poor Fitzpatrick not
very long before--a man of pleasure, wit, eloquence, all things. He
tottered--but still talked like a gentleman, though feebly. Edgeworth
bounced about, and talked loud and long; but he seemed neither weakly
nor decrepit, and hardly old.

"He began by telling 'that he had given Dr. Parr a dressing, who had
taken him for an Irish bog-trotter,' &c. &c. Now I, who know Dr. Parr,
and who know (_not_ by experience--for I never should have presumed so
far as to contend with him--but by hearing him _with_ others, and _of_
others) that it is not so easy a matter to 'dress him,' thought Mr.
Edgeworth an assertor of what was not true. He could not have stood
before Parr an instant. For the rest, he seemed intelligent, vehement,
vivacious, and full of life. He bids fair for a hundred years.

"He was not much admired in London, and I remember a 'ryghte merrie' and
conceited jest which was rife among the gallants of the day,--viz. a
paper had been presented for the _recall of Mrs. Siddons to the stage_,
(she having lately taken leave, to the loss of ages,--for nothing ever
was, or can be, like her,) to which all men had been called to
subscribe. Whereupon, Thomas Moore, of profane and poetical memory, did
propose that a similar paper should be _sub_scribed and _circum_scribed
'for the recall of Mr. Edgeworth to Ireland.'[20]

"The fact was--every body cared more about _her_. She was a nice little
unassuming 'Jeanie Deans'-looking body,' as we Scotch say--and, if not
handsome, certainly not ill-looking. Her conversation was as quiet as
herself. One would never have guessed she could write her name; whereas
her father talked, not as if he could write nothing else, but as if
nothing else was worth writing.

"As for Mrs. Edgeworth, I forget--except that I think she was the
youngest of the party. Altogether, they were an excellent cage of the
kind; and succeeded for two months, till the landing of Madame de Staël.

"To turn from them to their works, I admire them; but they excite no
feeling, and they leave no love--except for some Irish steward or
postilion. However, the impression of intellect and prudence is
profound--and may be useful.

[Footnote 20: In this, I rather think he was misinformed; whatever merit
there may be in the jest, I have not, as far as I can recollect, the
slightest claim to it.]

"January 20. 1821.

"Rode--fired pistols. Read from Grimm's Correspondence. Dined--went
out--heard music--returned--wrote a letter to the Lord Chamberlain to
request him to prevent the theatres from representing the Doge, which
the Italian papers say that they are going to act. This is pretty
work--what! without asking my consent, and even in opposition to it!

January 21. 1821.

"Fine, clear frosty day--that is to say, an Italian frost, for their
winters hardly get beyond snow; for which reason nobody knows how to
skate (or skait)--a Dutch and English accomplishment. Rode out, as
usual, and fired pistols. Good shooting--broke four common, and rather
small, bottles, in four shots, at fourteen paces, with a common pair of
pistols and indifferent powder. Almost as good wafering or
shooting--considering the difference of powder and pistols--as when, in
1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1814, it was my luck to split
walking-sticks, wafers, half-crowns, shillings, and even the eye of a
walking-stick, at twelve paces, with a single bullet--and all by _eye_
and calculation; for my hand is not steady, and apt to change with the
very weather. To the prowess which I here note, Joe Manton and others
can bear testimony! for the former taught, and the latter has seen me
do, these feats.

"Dined--visited--came home--read. Remarked on an anecdote in Grimm's
Correspondence, which says that 'Regnard et la plûpart des poëtes
comiques étaient gens bilieux et mélancoliques; et que M. de Voltaire,
qui est très gai, n'a jamais fait que des tragedies--et que la comedie
gaie est le seul genre où il n'ait point réussi. C'est que celui qui rit
et celui qui fait rire sont deux hommes fort différens.'--Vol. VI.

"At this moment I feel as bilious as the best comic writer of them all,
(even as Regnard himself, the next to Molière, who has written some of
the best comedies in any language, and who is supposed to have committed
suicide,) and am not in spirits to continue my proposed tragedy of
Sardanapalus, which I have, for some days, ceased to compose.

"To-morrow is my birth-day--that is to say, at twelve o' the clock,
midnight, _i.e._ in twelve minutes, I shall have completed thirty and
three years of age!!!--and I go to my bed with a heaviness of heart at
having lived so long, and to so little purpose.

"It is three minutes past twelve.--'Tis the middle of night by the
castle clock,' and I am now thirty-three!

    "Eheu, fugaces, Posthume, Posthume,
    Labuntur anni;--

but I don't regret them so much for what I have done, as for what I
_might_ have done.

    "Through life's road, so dim and dirty,
    I have dragged to three-and-thirty.
    What have these years left to me?
    Nothing--except thirty-three.

"January 22. 1821.

             Here lies
        interred in the Eternity
            of the Past,
        from whence there is no
for the Days--whatever there may be
           for the Dust--
        the Thirty-Third Year
        of an ill-spent Life,
            Which, after
a lingering disease of many months,
        sunk into a lethargy,
            and expired,
       January 22d, 1821, A.D.
        Leaving a successor
       for the very loss which
           occasioned its

"January 23. 1821.

"Fine day. Read--rode--fired pistols, and returned. Dined--read. Went
out at eight--made the usual visit. Heard of nothing but war,--'the cry
is still, They come.' The Cari. seem to have no plan--nothing fixed
among themselves, how, when, or what to do. In that case, they will make
nothing of this project, so often postponed, and never put in action.

"Came home, and gave some necessary orders, in case of circumstances
requiring a change of place. I shall act according to what may seem
proper, when I hear decidedly what the Barbarians mean to do. At
present, they are building a bridge of boats over the Po, which looks
very warlike. A few days will probably show. I think of retiring towards
Ancona, nearer the northern frontier; that is to say, if Teresa and her
father are obliged to retire, which is most likely, as all the family
are Liberals. If not, I shall stay. But my movements will depend upon
the lady's wishes--for myself, it is much the same.

"I am somewhat puzzled what to do with my little daughter, and my
effects, which are of some quantity and value,--and neither of them do
in the seat of war, where I think of going. But there is an elderly lady
who will take charge of _her_, and T. says that the Marchese C. will
undertake to hold the chattels in safe keeping. Half the city are
getting their affairs in marching trim. A pretty Carnival! The
blackguards might as well have waited till Lent.

"January 24. 1821.

"Returned--met some masques in the Corso--'Vive la bagatelle!'--the
Germans are on the Po, the Barbarians at the gate, and their masters in
council at Leybach (or whatever the eructation of the sound may syllable
into a human pronunciation), and lo! they dance and sing and make merry,
'for to-morrow they may die.' Who can say that the Arlequins are not
right? Like the Lady Baussiere, and my old friend Burton--I 'rode on.'

"Dined--(damn this pen!)--beef tough--there is no beef in Italy worth a
curse; unless a man could eat an old ox with the hide on, singed in the

"The principal persons in the events which may occur in a few days are
gone out on a _shooting party_. If it were like a '_highland_ hunting,'
a pretext of the chase for a grand re-union of counsellors and chiefs,
it would be all very well. But it is nothing more or less than a real
snivelling, popping, small-shot, water-hen waste of powder, ammunition,
and shot, for their own special amusement: a rare set of fellows for 'a
man to risk his neck with,' as 'Marishall Wells' says in the Black

"If they gather,--'whilk is to be doubted,'--they will not muster a
thousand men. The reason of this is, that the populace are not
interested,--only the higher and middle orders. I wish that the
peasantry were: they are a fine savage race of two-legged leopards. But
the Bolognese won't--the Romagnuoles can't without them. Or, if they
try--what then? They will try, and man can do no more--and, if he
_would_ but try his utmost, much might be done. The Dutch, for instance,
against the Spaniards--_then_ the tyrants of Europe, since, the slaves,
and, lately, the freedmen.

"The year 1820 was not a fortunate one for the individual me, whatever
it may be for the nations. I lost a lawsuit, after two decisions in my
favour. The project of lending money on an Irish mortgage was finally
rejected by my wife's trustee after a year's hope and trouble. The
Rochdale lawsuit had endured fifteen years, and always prospered till I
married; since which, every thing has gone wrong--with me at least.

"In the same year, 1820, the Countess T.G. nata Ga. Gi. in despite of
all I said and did to prevent it, _would_ separate from her husband, Il
Cavalier Commendatore Gi. &c. &c. &c. and all on the account of 'P.P.
clerk of this parish.' The other little petty vexations of the
year--overturns in carriages--the murder of people before one's door,
and dying in one's beds--the cramp in swimming--colics--indigestions and
bilious attacks, &c. &c. &c.--

    Many small articles make up a sum,
    And hey ho for Caleb Quotem, oh!"

"January 25. 1821.

"Received a letter from Lord S.O. state secretary of the Seven
Islands--a fine fellow--clever--dished in England five years ago, and
came abroad to retrench and to renew. He wrote from Ancona, in his way
back to Corfu, on some matters of our own. He is son of the late Duke of
L. by a second marriage. He wants me to go to Corfu. Why not?--perhaps I
may, next spring.

"Answered Murray's letter--read--lounged. Scrawled this additional page
of life's log-book. One day more is over of it and of me:--but 'which is
best, life or death, the gods only know,' as Socrates said to his
judges, on the breaking up of the tribunal. Two thousand years since
that sage's declaration of ignorance have not enlightened us more upon
this important point; for, according to the Christian dispensation, no
one can know whether he is _sure_ of salvation--even the most
righteous--since a single slip of faith may throw him on his back, like
a skaiter, while gliding smoothly to his paradise. Now, therefore,
whatever the certainty of faith in the facts may be, the certainty of
the individual as to his happiness or misery is no greater than it was
under Jupiter.

"It has been said that the immortality of the soul is a 'grand
peut-être'--but still it is a _grand_ one. Every body clings to it--the
stupidest, and dullest, and wickedest of human bipeds is still persuaded
that he is immortal.

"January 26. 1821.

"Fine day--a few mares' tails portending change, but the sky clear, upon
the whole. Rode--fired pistols--good shooting. Coming back, met an old
man. Charity--purchased a shilling's worth of salvation. If that was to
be bought, I have given more to my fellow-creatures in this
life--sometimes for _vice_, but, if not more _often_, at least more
_considerably_, for virtue--than I now possess. I never in my life gave
a mistress so much as I have sometimes given a poor man in honest
distress; but no matter. The scoundrels who have all along persecuted me
(with the help of * * who has crowned their efforts) will triumph;--and,
when justice is done to me, it will be when this hand that writes is as
cold as the hearts which have stung me.

"Returning, on the bridge near the mill, met an old woman. I asked her
age--she said '_Trecroci_.' I asked my groom (though myself a decent
Italian) what the devil _her_ three crosses meant. He said, ninety
years, and that she had five years more to boot!! I repeated the same
three times, not to mistake--ninety-five years!!!--and she was yet
rather active--_heard_ my question, for she answered it--_saw_ me, for
she advanced towards me; and did not appear at all decrepit, though
certainly touched with years. Told her to come to-morrow, and will
examine her myself. I love phenomena. If she _is_ ninety-five years old,
she must recollect the Cardinal Alberoni, who was legate here.

"On dismounting, found Lieutenant E. just arrived from Faenza. Invited
him to dine with me to-morrow. Did _not_ invite him for to-day, because
there was a small _turbot_, (Friday, fast regularly and religiously,)
which I wanted to eat all myself. Ate it.

"Went out--found T. as usual--music. The gentlemen, who make revolutions
and are gone on a shooting, are not yet returned. They don't return
till Sunday--that is to say, they have been out for five days,
buffooning, while the interests of a whole country are at stake, and
even they themselves compromised.

"It is a difficult part to play amongst such a set of assassins and
blockheads--but, when the scum is skimmed off, or has boiled over, good
may come of it. If this country could but be freed, what would be too
great for the accomplishment of that desire? for the extinction of that
Sigh of Ages? Let us hope. They have hoped these thousand years. The
very revolvement of the chances may bring it--it is upon the dice.

"If the Neapolitans have but a single Massaniello amongst them, they
will beat the bloody butchers of the crown and sabre. Holland, in worse
circumstances, beat the Spains and Philips; America beat the English;
Greece beat Xerxes; and France beat Europe, till she took a tyrant;
South America beats her old vultures out of their nest; and, if these
men are but firm in themselves, there is nothing to shake them from

"January 28. 1821.

"Lugano Gazette did not come. Letters from Venice. It appears that the
Austrian brutes have seized my three or four pounds of English powder.
The scoundrels!--I hope to pay them in _ball_ for that powder. Rode out
till twilight.

"Pondered the subjects of four tragedies to be written (life and
circumstances permitting), to wit, Sardanapalus, already begun; Cain, a
metaphysical subject, something in the style of Manfred, but in five
_acts_, perhaps, with the chorus; Francesca of Rimini, in five acts; and
I am not sure that I would not try Tiberius. I think that I could
extract a something, of _my_ tragic, at least, out of the gloomy
sequestration and old age of the tyrant--and even out of his sojourn at
Caprea--by softening the _details_, and exhibiting the despair which
must have led to those very vicious pleasures. For none but a powerful
and gloomy mind overthrown would have had recourse to such solitary
horrors,--being also, at the same time, _old_, and the master of the


"What is Poetry?--The feeling of a Former world and Future.

"_Thought Second._

"Why, at the very height of desire and human pleasure,--worldly, social,
amorous, ambitious, or even avaricious,--does there mingle a certain
sense of doubt and sorrow--a fear of what is to come--a doubt of what
_is_--a retrospect to the past, leading to a prognostication of the
future? (The best of Prophets of the future is the Past.) Why is this?
or these?--I know not, except that on a pinnacle we are most susceptible
of giddiness, and that we never fear falling except from a
precipice--the higher, the more awful, and the more sublime; and,
therefore, I am not sure that Fear is not a pleasurable sensation; at
least, _Hope_ is; and _what Hope_ is there without a deep leaven of
Fear? and what sensation is so delightful as Hope? and, if it were not
for Hope, where would the Future be?--in hell. It is useless to say
_where_ the Present is, for most of us know; and as for the Past, _what_
predominates in memory?--_Hope baffled_. Ergo, in all human affairs, it
is Hope--Hope--Hope. I allow sixteen minutes, though I never counted
them, to any given or supposed possession. From whatever place we
commence, we know where it all must end. And yet, what good is there in
knowing it? It does not make men better or wiser. During the greatest
horrors of the greatest plagues, (Athens and Florence, for example--see
Thucydides and Machiavelli,) men were more cruel and profligate than
ever. It is all a mystery. I feel most things, but I know nothing,
except -------------------------------------------------------------

"_Thought for a speech of Lucifer, in the tragedy of Cain:_--

    "Were _Death_ an _evil_, would _I_ let thee _live_?
    Fool! live as I live--as thy father lives,
    And thy son's sons shall live for evermore.

[Footnote 21: Thus marked, with impatient strokes of the pen, by himself
in the original.]

"Past Midnight. One o' the clock.

"I have been reading W.F.S * * (brother to the other of the name) till
now, and I can make out nothing. He evidently shows a great power of
words, but there is nothing to be taken hold of. He is like Hazlitt, in
English, who _talks pimples_--a red and white corruption rising up (in
little imitation of mountains upon maps), but containing nothing, and
discharging nothing, except their own humours.

"I dislike him the worse, (that is, S * *,) because he always seems upon
the verge of meaning; and, lo, he goes down like sunset, or melts like a
rainbow, leaving a rather rich confusion,--to which, however, the above
comparisons do too much honour.

"Continuing to read Mr. F. S * *. He is not such a fool as I took him
for, that is to say, when he speaks of the North. But still he speaks of
things _all over the world_ with a kind of authority that a philosopher
would disdain, and a man of common sense, feeling, and knowledge of his
own ignorance, would be ashamed of. The man is evidently wanting to make
an impression, like his brother,--or like George in the Vicar of
Wakefield, who found out that all the good things had been said already
on the right side, and therefore 'dressed up some paradoxes' upon the
wrong side--ingenious, but false, as he himself says--to which 'the
learned world said nothing, nothing at all, sir.' The 'learned world,'
however, _has_ said something to the brothers S * *.

"It is high time to think of something else. What they say of the
antiquities of the North is best.

"January 29. 1821.

"Yesterday, the woman of ninety-five years of age was with me. She said
her eldest son (if now alive) would have been seventy. She is
thin--short, but active--hears, and sees, and talks incessantly. Several
teeth left--all in the lower jaw, and single front teeth. She is very
deeply wrinkled, and has a sort of scattered grey beard over her chin,
at least as long as my mustachios. Her head, in fact, resembles the
drawing in crayons of Pope the poet's mother, which is in some editions
of his works.

"I forgot to ask her if she remembered Alberoni (legate here), but will
ask her next time. Gave her a louis--ordered her a new suit of clothes,
and put her upon a weekly pension. Till now, she had worked at gathering
wood and pine-nuts in the forest,--pretty work at ninety-five years old!
She had a dozen children, of whom some are alive. Her name is Maria

"Met a company of the sect (a kind of Liberal Club) called the
'Americani' in the forest, all armed, and singing, with all their might,
in Romagnuole--'_Sem_ tutti soldat' per la liberta' ('we are all
soldiers for liberty'). They cheered me as I passed--I returned their
salute, and rode on. This may show the spirit of Italy at present.

"My to-day's journal consists of what I omitted yesterday. To-day was
much as usual. Have rather a better opinion of the writings of the
Schlegels than I had four-and-twenty hours ago; and will amend it still
further, if possible.

"They say that the Piedmontese have at length risen--_ça ira!_

"Read S * *. Of Dante he says, 'that at no time has the greatest and
most national of all Italian poets ever been much the favourite of his
countrymen.' 'Tis false! There have been more editors and commentators
(and imitators, ultimately) of Dante than of all their poets put
together. _Not_ a favourite! Why, they talk Dante--write Dante--and
think and dream Dante at this moment (1821) to an excess, which would be
ridiculous, but that he deserves it.

"In the same style this German talks of gondolas on the Arno--a precious
fellow to dare to speak of Italy!

"He says also that Dante's chief defect is a want, in a word, of gentle
feelings. Of gentle feelings!--and Francesca of Rimini--and the father's
feelings in Ugolino--and Beatrice--and 'La Pia!' Why, there is
gentleness in Dante beyond all gentleness, when he is tender. It is true
that, treating of the Christian Hades, or Hell, there is not much scope
or site for gentleness--but who _but_ Dante could have introduced any
'gentleness' at all into _Hell_? Is there any in Milton's? No--and
Dante's Heaven is all love, and glory, and majesty.

"One o'clock.

"I have found out, however, where the German is right--it is about the
Vicar of Wakefield. 'Of all romances in miniature (and, perhaps, this is
the best shape in which romance can appear) the Vicar of Wakefield is, I
think, the most exquisite.' He thinks!--he might be sure. But it is very
well for a S * *. I feel sleepy, and may as well get me to bed.
To-morrow there will be fine weather.

    "'Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay."

"January 30. 1821.

"The Count P.G. this evening (by commission from the Ci.) transmitted to
me the new _words_ for the next six months. * * * and * * *. The new
sacred word is * * *--the reply * * *--the rejoinder * * *. The former
word (now changed) was * * *--there is also * * *--* * *.[22] Things
seem fast coming to a crisis--_ça ira!_

"We talked over various matters of moment and movement. These I
omit;--if they come to any thing, they will speak for themselves. After
these, we spoke of Kosciusko. Count R.G. told me that he has seen the
Polish officers in the Italian war burst into tears on hearing his name.

"Something must be up in Piedmont--all the letters and papers are
stopped. Nobody knows any thing, and the Germans are concentrating near
Mantua. Of the decision of Leybach nothing is known. This state of
things cannot last long. The ferment in men's minds at present cannot be
conceived without seeing it.

[Footnote 22: In the original MS. these watch-words are blotted over so
as to be illegible.]

"January, 31. 1821.

"For several days I have not written any thing except a few answers to
letters. In momentary expectation of an explosion of some kind, it is
not easy to settle down to the desk for the higher kinds of composition.
I could do it, to be sure, for, last summer, I wrote my drama in the
very bustle of Madame la Contesse G.'s divorce, and all its process of
accompaniments. At the same time, I also had the news of the loss of an
important lawsuit in England. But these were only private and personal
business; the present is of a different nature.

"I suppose it is this, but have some suspicion that it may be laziness,
which prevents me from writing; especially as Rochefoucalt says that
'laziness often masters them all'--speaking of the _passions_. If this
were true, it could hardly be said that 'idleness is the root of all
evil,' since this is supposed to spring from the passions only: ergo,
that which masters all the passions (laziness, to wit) would in so much
be a good. Who knows?


"I have been reading Grimm's Correspondence. He repeats frequently, in
speaking of a poet, or a man of genius in any department, even in music,
(Gretry, for instance,) that he must have 'une ame qui se tourmente, un
esprit violent.' How far this may be true, I know not; but if it were, I
should be a poet 'per eccellenza;' for I have always had 'une ame,'
which not only tormented itself but every body else in contact with it;
and an 'esprit violent,' which has almost left me without any 'esprit'
at all. As to defining what a poet _should_ be, it is not worth while,
for what are _they_ worth? what have they done?

"Grimm, however, is an excellent critic and literary historian. His
Correspondence form the annals of the literary part of that age of
France, with much of her politics; and, still more, of her 'way of
life.' He is as valuable, and far more entertaining than Muratori or
Tiraboschi--I had almost said, than Ginguené--but there we should pause.
However, 'tis a great man in its line.

"Monsieur St. Lambert has

    "'Et lorsqu'à ses regards la lumière est ravie,
    Il n'a plus, en mourant, à perdre que la vie.'

This is, word for word, Thomson's

    "'And dying, all we can resign is breath,'

without the smallest acknowledgment from the Lorrainer of a poet. M. St.
Lambert is dead as a man, and (for any thing I know to the contrary)
damned, as a poet, by this time. However, his Seasons have good things,
and, it may be, some of his own.

"February 2. 1821

"I have been considering what can be the reason why I always wake, at a
certain hour in the morning, and always in very bad spirits--I may say,
in actual despair and despondency, in all respects--even of that which
pleased me over night. In about an hour or two, this goes off, and I
compose either to sleep again, or, at least, to quiet. In England, five
years ago, I had the same kind of hypochondria, but accompanied with so
violent a thirst that I have drank as many as fifteen bottles of
soda-water in one night, after going to bed, and been still
thirsty--calculating, however, some lost from the bursting out and
effervescence and over-flowing of the soda-water, in drawing the corks,
or striking off the necks of the bottles from mere thirsty impatience.
At present, I have _not_ the thirst; but the depression of spirits is no
less violent.

"I read in Edgeworth's Memoirs of something similar (except that his
thirst expended itself on _small beer_) in the case of Sir F.B.
Delaval;--but then he was, at least, twenty years older. What is
it?--liver? In England, Le Man (the apothecary) cured me of the thirst
in three days, and it had lasted as many years. I suppose that it is all

"What I feel most growing upon me are laziness, and a disrelish more
powerful than indifference. It I rouse, it is into fury. I presume that
I shall end (if not earlier by accident, or some such termination) like
Swift--'dying at top.' I confess I do not contemplate this with so much
horror as he apparently did for some years before it happened. But Swift
had hardly _begun life_ at the very period (thirty-three) when I feel
quite an _old sort_ of feel.

"Oh! there is an organ playing in the street--a waltz, too! I must leave
off to listen. They are playing a waltz which I have heard ten thousand
times at the balls in London, between 1812 and 1815. Music is a strange

[Footnote 23: In this little incident of the music in the streets thus
touching so suddenly upon the nerve of memory, and calling away his mind
from its dark bodings to a recollection of years and scenes the
happiest, perhaps, of his whole life, there is something that appears to
me peculiarly affecting.]

"February 5. 1821.

"At last, 'the kiln's in a low.' The Germans are ordered to march, and
Italy is, for the ten thousandth time, to become a field of battle. Last
night the news came.

"This afternoon--Count P.G. came to me to consult upon divers matters.
We rode out together. They have sent off to the C. for orders. To-morrow
the decision ought to arrive, and then something will be done.
Returned--dined--read--went out--talked over matters. Made a purchase of
some arms for the new enrolled Americani, who are all on tiptoe to
march. Gave order for some _harness_ and portmanteaus necessary for the

"Read some of Bowles's dispute about Pope, with all the replies and
rejoinders. Perceive that my name has been lugged into the controversy,
but have not time to state what I know of the subject. On some 'piping
day of peace' it is probable that I may resume it.

"February 9. 1821.

"Before dinner wrote a little; also, before I rode out, Count P.G.
called upon me, to let me know the result of the meeting of the Ci at
F. and at B. * * returned late last night. Every thing was combined
under the idea that the Barbarians would pass the Po on the 15th inst.
Instead of this, from some previous information or otherwise, they have
hastened their march and actually passed two days ago; so that all that
can be done at present in Romagna is, to stand on the alert and wait for
the advance of the Neapolitans. Every thing was ready, and the
Neapolitans had sent on their own instructions and intentions, all
calculated for the _tenth_ and _eleventh_, on which days a general
rising was to take place, under the supposition that the Barbarians
could not advance before the 15th.

"As it is, they have but fifty or sixty thousand troops, a number with
which they might as well attempt to conquer the world as secure Italy in
its present state. The artillery marches _last_, and alone, and there is
an idea of an attempt to cut part of them off. All this will much depend
upon the first steps of the Neapolitans. _Here_, the public spirit is
excellent, provided it be kept up. This will be seen by the event.

"It is probable that Italy will be delivered from the Barbarians if the
Neapolitans will but stand firm, and are united among themselves. _Here_
they appear so.

"February 10. 1821.

"Day passed as usual--nothing new. Barbarians still in march--not well
equipped, and, of course, not well received on their route. There is
some talk of a commotion at Paris.

"Rode out between four and six--finished my letter to Murray on Bowles's
pamphlets--added postscript. Passed the evening as usual--out till
eleven--and subsequently at home.

"February 11. 1821.

"Wrote--had a copy taken of an extract from Petrarch's Letters, with
reference to the conspiracy of the Doge, M. Faliero, containing the
poet's opinion of the matter. Heard a heavy firing of cannon towards
Comacchio--the Barbarians rejoicing for their principal pig's birthday,
which is to-morrow--or Saint day--I forget which. Received a ticket for
the first ball to-morrow. Shall not go to the first, but intend going to
the second, as also to the Veglioni.

"February 13. 1821.

"To-day read a little in Louis B.'s Hollande, but have written nothing
since the completion of the letter on the Pope controversy. Politics are
quite misty for the present. The Barbarians still upon their march. It
is not easy to divine what the Italians will now do.

"Was elected yesterday 'Socio' of the Carnival ball society. This is the
fifth carnival that I have passed. In the four former, I racketed a good
deal. In the present, I have been as sober as Lady Grace herself.

"February 14. 1821

"Much as usual. Wrote, before riding out, part of a scene of
'Sardanapalus.' The first act nearly finished. The rest of the day and
evening as before--partly without, in conversazione--partly at home.

"Heard the particulars of the late fray at Russi, a town not far from
this. It is exactly the fact of Romēo and Giulietta--_not_ Roměo,
as the Barbarian writes it. Two families of Contadini (peasants) are at
feud. At a ball, the younger part of the families forget their quarrel,
and dance together. An old man of one of them enters, and reproves the
young men for dancing with the females of the opposite family. The male
relatives of the latter resent this. Both parties rush home and arm
themselves. They meet directly, by moonlight, in the public way, and
fight it out. Three are killed on the spot, and six wounded, most of
them dangerously,--pretty well for two families, methinks--and all
_fact_, of the last week. Another assassination has taken place at
Cesenna,--in all about _forty_ in Romagna within the last three months.
These people retain much of the middle ages.

"February 15. 1821.

"Last night finished the first act of Sardanapalus. To-night, or
to-morrow, I ought to answer letters.

"February 16. 1821.

"Last night Il Conte P.G. sent a man with a bag full of bayonets, some
muskets, and some hundreds of cartridges to my house, without apprizing
me, though I had seen him not half an hour before. About ten days ago,
when there was to be a rising here, the Liberals and my brethren Ci.
asked me to purchase some arms for a certain few of our ragamuffins. I
did so immediately, and ordered ammunition, &c. and they were armed
accordingly. Well--the rising is prevented by the Barbarians marching a
week sooner than appointed; and an _order_ is issued, and in force, by
the Government, 'that all persons having arms concealed, &c. &c. shall
be liable to,' &c. &c.--and what do my friends, the patriots, do two
days afterwards? Why, they throw back upon my hands, and into my house,
these very arms (without a word of warning previously) with which I had
furnished them at their own request, and at my own peril and expense.

"It was lucky that Lega was at home to receive them. If any of the
servants had (except Tita and F. and Lega) they would have betrayed it
immediately. In the mean time, if they are denounced or discovered, I
shall be in a scrape.

"At nine went out--at eleven returned. Beat the crow for stealing the
falcon's victuals. Read 'Tales of my Landlord'--wrote a letter--and
mixed a moderate beaker of water with other ingredients.

"February 18. 1821.

"The news are that the Neapolitans have broken a bridge, and slain four
pontifical carabiniers, whilk carabiniers wished to oppose. Besides the
disrespect to neutrality, it is a pity that the first blood shed in this
German quarrel should be Italian. However, the war seems begun in good
earnest: for, if the Neapolitans kill the Pope's carabiniers, they will
not be more delicate towards the Barbarians. If it be even so, in a
short time 'there will be news o' thae craws,' as Mrs. Alison Wilson
says of Jenny Blane's 'unco cockernony' in the 'Tales of my Landlord.'

"In turning over Grimm's Correspondence to-day, I found a thought of
Tom Moore's in a song of Maupertuis to a female Laplander.

    "'Et tous les lieux,
    Où sont ses yeux,
    Font la Zone brûlante.'

This is Moore's,

    "'And those eyes make my climate, wherever I roam.'

But I am sure that Moore never saw it; for this was published in Grimm's
Correspondence in 1813, and I knew Moore's by heart in 1812. There is
also another, but an antithetical coincidence--

    "'Le soleil luit,
    Des jours sans nuit
    Bientôt il nous destine;
    Mais ces longs jours
    Seront trop courts,
    Passés près des Christine.'

This is the _thought reversed_, of the last stanza of the ballad on
Charlotte Lynes, given in Miss Seward's Memoirs of Darwin, which is
pretty--I quote from memory of these last fifteen years.

      "'For my first night I'll go
      To those regions of snow
    Where the sun for six months never shines;
      And think, even then,
      He too soon came again,
    To disturb me with fair Charlotte Lynes.'

"To-day I have had no communication with my Carbonari cronies; but, in
the mean time, my lower apartments are full of their bayonets, fusils,
cartridges, and what not. I suppose that they consider me as a depôt,
to be sacrificed, in case of accidents. It is no great matter, supposing
that Italy could be liberated, who or what is sacrificed. It is a grand
object--the very _poetry_ of politics. Only think--a free Italy!!! Why,
there has been nothing like it since the days of Augustus. I reckon the
times of Cæsar (Julius) free; because the commotions left every body a
side to take, and the parties were pretty equal at the set out. But,
afterwards, it was all praetorian and legionary business--and since!--we
shall see, or, at least, some will see, what card will turn up. It is
best to hope, even of the hopeless. The Dutch did more than these
fellows have to do, in the Seventy Years' War.

"February 19. 1821.

"Came home solus--very high wind--lightning--moonshine--solitary
stragglers muffled in cloaks--women in mask--white houses--clouds
hurrying over the sky, like spilt milk blown out of the pail--altogether
very poetical. It is still blowing hard--the tiles flying, and the house
rocking--rain splashing--lightning flashing--quite a fine Swiss Alpine
evening, and the sea roaring in the distance.

"Visited--conversazione. All the women frightened by the squall: they
_won't_ go to the masquerade because it lightens--the pious reason!

"Still blowing away. A. has sent me some news to-day. The war approaches
nearer and nearer. Oh those scoundrel sovereigns! Let us but see them
beaten--let the Neapolitans but have the pluck of the Dutch of old, or
the Spaniards of now, or of the German Protestants, the Scotch
Presbyterians, the Swiss under Tell, or the Greeks under
Themistocles--_all_ small and solitary nations (except the Spaniards and
German Lutherans), and there is yet a resurrection for Italy, and a hope
for the world.

"February 20. 1821.

"The news of the day are, that the Neapolitans are full of energy. The
public spirit here is certainly well kept up. The 'Americani' (a
patriotic society here, an under branch of the 'Carbonari') give a
dinner in _the Forest_ in a few days, and have invited me, as one of the
Ci. It is to be in _the Forest_ of Boccacio's and Dryden's 'Huntsman's
Ghost;' and, even if I had not the same political feelings, (to say
nothing of my old convivial turn, which every now and then revives,) I
would go as a poet, or, at least, as a lover of poetry. I shall expect
to see the spectre of 'Ostasio [24] degli Onesti' (Dryden has turned him
into Guido Cavalcanti--an essentially different person, as may be found
in Dante) come 'thundering for his prey' in the midst of the festival.
At any rate, whether he does or no. I will get as tipsy and patriotic as

"Within these few days I have read, but not written.

[Footnote 24: In Boccacio, the name is, I think, Nastagio.]

"February 21, 1821.

"As usual, rode--visited, &c. Business begins to thicken. The Pope has
printed a declaration against the patriots, who, he says, meditate a
rising. The consequence of all this will be, that, in a fortnight, the
whole country will be up. The proclamation is not yet published, but
printed, ready for distribution. * * sent me a copy privately--a sign
that he does not know what to think. When he wants to be well with the
patriots, he sends to me some civil message or other.

"For my own part, it seems to me, that nothing but the most decided
success of the Barbarians can prevent a general and immediate rise of
the whole nation.

"February 23, 1821.

"Almost ditto with yesterday--rode, &c.--visited--wrote nothing--read
Roman History.

"Had a curious letter from a fellow, who informs me that the Barbarians
are ill-disposed towards me. He is probably a spy, or an impostor. But
be it so, even as he says. They cannot bestow their hostility on one who
loathes and execrates them more than I do, or who will oppose their
views with more zeal, when the opportunity offers.

"February 24, 1821.

"Rode, &c. as usual. The secret intelligence arrived this morning from
the frontier to the Ci. is as bad as possible. The _plan_ has
missed--the Chiefs are betrayed, military, as well as civil--and the
Neapolitans not only have _not_ moved, but have declared to the P.
government, and to the Barbarians, that they know nothing of the

"Thus the world goes; and thus the Italians are always lost for lack of
union among themselves. What is to be done _here_, between the two
fires, and cut off from the Northern frontier, is not decided. My
opinion was,--better to rise than be taken in detail; but how it will be
settled now, I cannot tell. Messengers are despatched to the delegates
of the other cities to learn their resolutions.

"I always had an idea that it would be _bungled_; but was willing to
hope, and am so still. Whatever I can do by money, means, or person, I
will venture freely for their freedom; and have so repeated to them
(some of the Chiefs here) half an hour ago. I have two thousand five
hundred scudi, better than five hundred pounds, in the house, which I
offered to begin with.

"February 25. 1821.

"Came home--my head aches--plenty of news, but too tiresome to set down.
I have neither read nor written, nor thought, but led a purely animal
life all day. I mean to try to write a page or two before I go to bed.
But, as Squire Sullen says, 'My head aches consumedly: Scrub, bring me a
dram!' Drank some Imola wine, and some punch.

"_Log-book continued_[25].

[Footnote 25: In another paper-book.]

"February 27. 1821.

"I have been a day without continuing the log, because I could not find
a blank book. At length I recollected this.

"Rode, &c.--dined--wrote down an additional stanza for the 5th canto of
D.J. which I had composed in bed this morning. Visited _l'Amica_. We are
invited, on the night of the Veglione (next Domenica) with the Marchesa
Clelia Cavalli and the Countess Spinelli Rusponi. I promised to go. Last
night there was a row at the ball, of which I am a 'socio.' The
Vice-legate had the imprudent insolence to introduce _three_ of his
servants in masque--_without tickets,_ too! and in spite of
remonstrances. The consequence was, that the young men of the ball took
it up, and were near throwing the Vice-legate out of the window. His
servants, seeing the scene, withdrew, and he after them. His reverence
Monsignore ought to know, that these are not times for the predominance
of priests over decorum. Two minutes more, two steps farther, and the
whole city would have been in arms, and the government driven out of it.

"Such is the spirit of the day, and these fellows appear not to perceive
it. As far as the simple fact went, the young men were right, servants
being prohibited always at these festivals.

"Yesterday wrote two notes on the 'Bowles and Pope' controversy, and
sent them off to Murray by the post. The old woman whom I relieved in
the forest (she is ninety-four years of age) brought me two bunches of
violets. 'Nam vita gaudet mortua floribus,' I was much pleased with the
present. An English woman would have presented a pair of worsted
stockings, at least, in the month of February. Both excellent things;
but the former are more elegant. The present, at this season, reminds
one of Gray's stanza, omitted from his elegy:--

    Here scatter'd oft, the _earliest_ of the year,
      By hands unseen, are showers of violets found;
    The red-breast loves to build and warble here,
      And little footsteps lightly print the ground.'

As fine a stanza as any in his elegy. I wonder that he could have the
heart to omit it.

"Last night I suffered horribly--from an indigestion, I believe. I
_never_ sup--that is, never at home. But, last night, I was prevailed
upon by the Countess Gamba's persuasion, and the strenuous example of
her brother, to swallow, at supper, a quantity of boiled cockles, and to
dilute them, _not_ reluctantly, with some Imola wine. When I came home,
apprehensive of the consequences, I swallowed three or four glasses of
spirits, which men (the venders) call brandy, rum, or hollands, but
which Gods would entitle spirits of wine, coloured or sugared. All was
pretty well till I got to bed, when I became somewhat swollen, and
considerably vertiginous. I got out, and mixing some soda-powders, drank
them off. This brought on temporary relief. I returned to bed; but grew
sick and sorry once and again. Took more soda-water. At last I fell into
a dreary sleep. Woke, and was ill all day, till I had galloped a few
miles. Query--was it the cockles, or what I took to correct them, that
caused the commotion? I think both. I remarked in my illness the
complete inertion, inaction, and destruction of my chief mental
faculties. I tried to rouse them, and yet could not--and this is the
_Soul!!!_ I should believe that it was married to the body, if they did
not sympathise so much with each other. If the one rose, when the other
fell, it would be a sign that they longed for the natural state of
divorce. But as it is, they seem to draw together like post-horses.

"Let us hope the best--it is the grand possession."

       *       *       *       *       *

During the two months comprised in this Journal, some of the Letters of
the following series were written. The reader must, therefore, be
prepared to find in them occasional notices of the same train of events.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, January 2. 1821.

     "Your entering into my project for the Memoir is pleasant to me.
     But I doubt (contrary to my dear Made Mac F * *, whom I always
     loved, and always shall--not only because I really _did_ feel
     attached to her _personally_, but because she and about a dozen
     others of that sex were all who stuck by me in the grand conflict
     of 1815)--but I doubt, I say, whether the Memoir could appear in my
     lifetime;--and, indeed, I had rather it did not; for a man always
     _looks dead_ after his Life has appeared, and I should certes not
     survive the appearance of mine. The first part I cannot consent to
     alter, even although Made. de S.'s opinion of B.C. and my remarks
     upon Lady C.'s beauty (which is surely great, and I suppose that I
     have said so--at least, I ought) should go down to our
     grandchildren in unsophisticated nakedness.

     "As to Madame de S * *, I am by no means bound to be her
     beadsman--she was always more civil to me in person than during my
     absence. Our dear defunct friend, M * * L * *[26], who was too
     great a bore ever to lie, assured me upon his tiresome word of
     honour, that, at Florence, the said Madame de S * * was
     open-_mouthed_ against me; and when asked, in _Switzerland_, _why_
     she had changed her opinion, replied, with laudable sincerity, that
     I had named her in a sonnet with Voltaire, Rousseau, &c. &c. and
     that she could not help it through decency. Now, I have not
     forgotten this, but I have been generous,--as mine acquaintance,
     the late Captain Whitby, of the navy, used to say to his seamen
     (when 'married to the gunner's daughter')--'two dozen, and let you
     off easy.' The 'two dozen' were with the cat-o'-nine tails;--the
     'let you off easy' was rather his own opinion than that of the

     "My acquaintance with these terms and practices arises from my
     having been much conversant with ships of war and naval heroes in
     the year of my voyages in the Mediterranean. Whitby was in the
     gallant action off Lissa in 1811. He was brave, but a
     disciplinarian. When he left his frigate, he left a _parrot_, which
     was taught by the crew the following sounds--(it must be remarked
     that Captain Whitby was the image of Fawcett the actor, in voice,
     face, and figure, and that he squinted).

        "The Parrot _loquitur_.

     "'Whitby! Whitby! funny eye! funny eye! two dozen, and let you off
     easy. Oh you ----!'

     "Now, if Madame de B. has a parrot, it had better be taught a
     French parody of the same sounds.

     "With regard to our purposed Journal, I will call it what you
     please, but it should be a newspaper, to make it _pay_. We can call
     it 'The Harp,' if you like--or any thing.

     "I feel exactly as you do about our 'art[27],'but it comes over me
     in a kind of rage every now and then, like * * * *, and then, if I
     don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. As to that regular,
     uninterrupted love of writing, which you describe in your friend, I
     do not understand it. I feel it as a torture, which I must get rid
     of, but never as a pleasure. On the contrary, I think composition a
     great pain.

     "I wish you to think seriously of the Journal scheme--for I am as
     serious as one can be, in this world, about any thing. As to
     matters here, they are high and mighty--but not for paper. It is
     much about the state of things betwixt Cain and Abel. There is, in
     fact, no law or government at all; and it is wonderful how well
     things go on without them. Excepting a few occasional murders,
     (every body killing whomsoever he pleases, and being killed, in
     turn, by a friend, or relative, of the defunct,) there is as quiet
     a society and as merry a Carnival as can be met with in a tour
     through Europe. There is nothing like habit in these things.

     "I shall remain here till May or June, and, unless 'honour comes
     unlocked for,' we may perhaps meet, in France or England, within
     the year.

     "Yours, &c.

     "Of course, I cannot explain to you existing circumstances, as they
     open all letters.

     "Will you set me right about your curst 'Champs Elysées?'--are they
     'és' or 'ées' for the adjective? I know nothing of French, being
     all Italian. Though I can read and understand French, I never
     attempt to speak it; for I hate it. From the second part of the
     Memoirs cut what you please."

[Footnote 26: Of this gentleman, the following notice occurs in the
"Detached Thoughts:"--"L * * was a good man, a clever man, but a bore.
My only revenge or consolation used to be setting him by the ears with
some vivacious person who hated bores especially,--Madame de S---- or
H----, for example. But I liked L * *; he was a jewel of a man, had he
been better set;--I don't mean _personally_, but less _tiresome_, for he
was tedious, as well as contradictory to every thing and every body.
Being short-sighted, when we used to ride out together near the Brenta
in the twilight in summer, he made me go _before_, to pilot him; I am
absent at times, especially towards evening; and the consequence of this
pilotage was some narrow escapes to the M * * on horseback. Once I led
him into a ditch over which I had passed as usual, forgetting to warn my
convoy; once I led him nearly into the river, instead of on the
_moveable_ bridge which incommodes passengers; and twice did we both run
against the Diligence, which, being heavy and slow, did communicate less
damage than it received in its leaders, who were _terra_fied by the
charge; thrice did I lose him in the grey of the gloaming, and was
obliged to bring-to to his distant signals of distance and
distress;--all the time he went on talking without intermission, for he
was a man of many words. Poor fellow! he died a martyr to his new
riches--of a second visit to Jamaica.

    "'I'd give the lands of Deloraine
    Dark Musgrave were alive again!'

that is,--

    "I would give many a sugar cane
    M * * L * * were alive again!"]

[Footnote 27: The following passage from the letter of mine, to which
the above was an answer, will best explain what follows:--With respect
to the newspaper, it is odd enough that Lord * * * * and myself had been
(about a week or two before I received your letter) speculating upon
your assistance in a plan somewhat similar, but more literary and less
regularly-periodical in its appearance. Lord * *, as you will see by his
volume of Essays, if it reaches you, has a very sly, dry, and pithy way
of putting sound truths, upon politics and manners, and whatever scheme
we adopt, he will be a very useful and active ally in it, as he has a
pleasure in writing quite inconceivable to a poor hack scribe like me,
who always feel, about my art, as the French husband did when he found a
man making love to his (the Frenchman's) wife:--' Comment,
Monsieur,--sans y être _obligé_!' When I say this, however, I mean it
only of the executive part of writing; for the imagining, the shadowing
out of the future work is, I own, a delicious fool's paradise."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, January 4. 1821.

     "I just see, by the papers of Galignani, that there is a new
     tragedy of great expectation, by Barry Cornwall. Of what I have
     read of his works Hiked the _Dramatic_ Sketches, but thought his
     Sicilian Story and Marcian Colonna, in rhyme, quite spoilt, by I
     know not what affectation of Wordsworth, and Moore, and myself, all
     mixed up into a kind of chaos. I think him very likely to produce a
     good tragedy, if he keep to a natural style, and not play tricks to
     form harlequinades for an audience. As he (Barry Cornwall is not
     his _true_ name) was a schoolfellow of mine, I take more than
     common interest in his success, and shall be glad to hear of it
     speedily. If I had been aware that he was in that line, I should
     have spoken of him in the preface to Marino Faliero. He will do a
     world's wonder if he produce a great tragedy. I am, however,
     persuaded, that this is not to be done by following the old
     dramatists,--who are full of gross faults, pardoned only for the
     beauty of their language,--but by writing naturally and
     _regularly_, and producing _regular_ tragedies, like the _Greeks_;
     but not in _imitation_,--merely the outline of their conduct,
     adapted to our own times and circumstances, and of course _no_

     "You will laugh, and say, 'Why don't you do so?' I have, you see,
     tried a sketch in Marino Faliero; but many people think my talent
     '_essentially undramatic_,' and I am not at all clear that they are
     not right. If Marino Faliero don't fall--in the perusal--I shall,
     perhaps, try again (but not for the stage); and, as I think that
     _love_ is not the principal passion for tragedy (and yet most of
     ours turn upon it), you will not find me a popular writer. Unless
     it is love, _furious, criminal_, and _hapless_, it ought not to
     make a tragic subject. When it is melting and maudlin, it _does_,
     but it ought not to do; it is then for the gallery and second-price

     "If you want to have a notion of what I am trying, take up a
     _translation_ of any of the _Greek_ tragedians. If I said the
     original, it would be an impudent presumption of mine; but the
     translations are so inferior to the originals, that I think I may
     risk it Then judge of the 'simplicity of plot,' &c. and do not
     judge me by your old mad dramatists, which is like drinking
     usquebaugh and then proving a fountain. Yet after all, I suppose
     that you do not mean that spirits is a nobler element than a clear
     spring bubbling in the sun? and this I take to be the difference
     between the Greeks and those turbid mountebanks--always excepting
     Ben Jonson, who was a scholar and a classic. Or, take up a
     translation of Alfieri, and try the interest, &c. of these my new
     attempts in the old line, by _him_ in _English_; and then tell me
     fairly your opinion. But don't measure me by YOUR OWN _old_ or
     _new_ tailors' yards. Nothing so easy as intricate confusion of
     plot and rant. Mrs. Centlivre, in comedy, has _ten times the bustle
     of Congreve_; but are they to be compared? and yet she drove
     Congreve from the theatre."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, January 19. 1821.

     "Yours of the 29th ultimo hath arrived. I must, really and
     seriously request that you will beg of Messrs. Harris or Elliston
     to let the Doge alone: it is _not_ an acting play; it will not
     serve _their_ purpose; it will destroy _yours_ (the sale); and it
     will distress me. It is not courteous, it is hardly even
     gentlemanly, to persist in this appropriation of a man's writings
     to their mountebanks.

     "I have already sent you by last post a short protest[28] to the
     public (against this proceeding); in case that _they_ persist,
     which I trust that they will not, you must then publish it in the
     newspapers. I shall not let them off with that only, if they go on;
     but make a longer appeal on that subject, and state what I think
     the injustice of their mode of behaviour. It is hard that I should
     have all the buffoons in Britain to deal with--_pirates_ who _will_
     publish, and _players_ who _will_ act--when there are thousands of
     worthy men who can get neither bookseller nor manager for love nor

     "You never answered me a word about _Galignani_. If you mean to use
     the two _documents, do_; if not, _burn_ them. I do not choose to
     leave them in any one's possession: suppose some one found them
     without the letters, what would they _think_? why, that _I_ had
     been doing the _opposite_ of what I _have_ _done_, to wit, referred
     the whole thing to you--an act of civility at least, which required
     saying, 'I have received your letter.' I thought that you might
     have some hold upon those publications by this means; to _me_ it
     can be no interest one way or the other.[29]

     "The _third_ canto of Don Juan is 'dull,' but you must really put
     up with it: if the two first and the two following are tolerable,
     what do you expect? particularly as I neither dispute with you on
     it as a matter of criticism, nor as a matter of business.

     "Besides, what am I to understand? you and Douglas Kinnaird, and
     others, write to me, that the two first published cantos are among
     the best that I ever wrote, and are reckoned so; Augusta writes
     that they are thought '_execrable_' (bitter word _that_ for an
     author--eh, Murray?) as a _composition_ even, and that she had
     heard so much against them that she would _never read them_, and
     never has. Be that as it may, I can't alter; that is not my forte.
     If you publish the three new ones without ostentation, they may
     perhaps succeed.

     "Pray publish the Dante and the _Pulci_ (the _Prophecy of Dante_, I
     mean). I look upon the Pulci as my grand performance.[30] The
     remainder of the 'Hints,' where be they? Now, bring them all out
     about the same time, otherwise 'the _variety_' you wot of will be
     less obvious.

     "I am in bad humour: some obstructions in business with those
     plaguy trustees, who object to an advantageous loan which I was to
     furnish to a nobleman on mortgage, because his property is in
     _Ireland_, have shown me how a man is treated in his absence. Oh,
     if I _do_ come back, I will make some of those who little dream of
     it _spin_--or they or I shall go down."

[Footnote 28: To the letter which enclosed this protest, and which has
been omitted to avoid repetitions, he had subjoined a passage from
Spence's Anecdotes (p. 197. of Singer's edition), where Pope says,
speaking of himself, "I had taken such strong resolutions against any
thing of that kind, from seeing how much every body that _did_ write for
the stage was obliged to subject themselves to the players and the
town."--_Spence's Anecdotes_, p. 22.

In the same paragraph, Pope is made to say, "After I had got acquainted
with the town, I resolved never to write any thing for the stage, though
solicited by many of my friends to do so, and particularly Betterton."]

[Footnote 29: No further step was ever taken in this affair; and the
documents, which were of no use whatever, are, I believe, still in Mr.
Murray's possession.]

[Footnote 30: The self-will of Lord Byron was in no point more
conspicuous than in the determination with which he thus persisted in
giving the preference to one or two works of his own which, in the eyes
of all other persons, were most decided failures. Of this class was the
translation from Pulci, so frequently mentioned by him, which appeared
afterwards in the Liberal, and which, though thus rescued from the fate
of remaining unpublished, roust for ever, I fear, submit to the doom of
being unread.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "January 20. 1821.

     "I did not think to have troubled you with the plague and postage
     of a _double letter_ this time, but I have just read in an _Italian
     paper_, 'That Lord Byron has a tragedy coming out,' &c. &c. &c. and
     that the Courier and Morning Chronicle, &c. &c. are pulling one
     another to pieces about it and him, &c.

     "Now I do reiterate and desire, that every thing may be done to
     prevent it from coming out on _any theatre_, for which it never was
     designed, and on which (in the present state of the stage of
     London) it could never succeed. I have sent you my appeal by last
     post, which you _must publish in case of need_; and I require you
     even in _your own name_ (if my honour is dear to you) to declare
     that such representation would be contrary to my _wish and to my
     judgment_. If you do not wish to drive me mad altogether, you will
     hit upon some way to prevent this.

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. I cannot conceive how Harris or Elliston should be so insane
     as to think of acting Marino Faliero; they might as well act the
     Prometheus of Aeschylus. I speak of course humbly, and with the
     greatest sense of the distance of time and merit between the two
     performances; but merely to show the absurdity of the attempt.

     "The Italian paper speaks of a 'party against it;' to be sure there
     would be a party. Can you imagine, that after having never
     flattered man, nor beast, nor opinion, nor politics, there would
     _not_ be a party against a man, who is also a _popular_ writer--at
     least a successful? Why, all parties would be a party against."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, January 20. 1821.

     "If Harris or Elliston persist, after the remonstrance which I
     desired you and Mr. Kinnaird to make on my behalf, and which I
     hope will be sufficient--but _if_, I say, they _do persist_, then I
     pray you to _present in person_ the enclosed letter to the Lord
     Chamberlain: I have said _in person_, because otherwise I shall
     have neither answer nor knowledge that it has reached its address,
     owing to 'the insolence of office.'

     "I wish you would speak to Lord Holland, and to all my friends and
     yours, to interest themselves in preventing this cursed attempt at

     "God help me! at this distance, I am treated like a corpse or a
     fool by the few people that I thought I could rely upon; and I
     _was_ a fool to think any better of them than of the rest of

     "Pray write. Yours, &c.

     "P.S. I have nothing more at heart (that is, in literature) than to
     prevent this drama from going upon the stage: in short, rather than
     permit it, it must be _suppressed altogether_, and only _forty
     copies struck off privately_ for presents to my friends. What curst
     fools those speculating buffoons must be _not_ to see that it is
     unfit for their fair--or their booth!"

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, January 22. 1821.

     "Pray get well. I do not like your complaint. So, let me have a
     line to say you are up and doing again. To-day I am thirty-three
     years of age.

     "Through life's road, &c. &c.[31]

     "Have you heard that the 'Braziers' Company have, or mean to
     present an address at Brandenburgh House, 'in armour,' and with all
     possible variety and splendour of brazen apparel?

        "The Braziers, it seems, are preparing to pass
        An address, and present it themselves all in brass--
        A superfluous pageant--for, by the Lord Harry,
        They'll find where they're going much more than they carry.

     There's an Ode for you, is it not?--worthy

        "Of * * * *, the grand metaquizzical poet,
        A man of vast merit, though few people know it;
        The perusal of whom (as I told _you_ at Mestri)
        I owe, in great part, to my passion for pastry.

     "Mestri and Fusina are the 'trajects, or common ferries,' to
     Venice; but it was from Fusina that you and I embarked, though 'the
     wicked necessity of rhyming' has made me press Mestri into the

     "So, you have had a book dedicated to you? I am glad of it, and
     shall be very happy to see the volume.

     "I am in a peck of troubles about a tragedy of mine, which is fit
     only for the (* * * * *) closet, and which it seems that the
     managers, assuming a _right_ over published poetry, are determined
     to enact, whether I will or no, with their own alterations by Mr.
     Dibdin, I presume. I have written to Murray, to the Lord
     Chamberlain, and to others, to interfere and preserve me from such
     an exhibition. I want neither the impertinence of their hisses, nor
     the insolence of their applause. I write only for the _reader_, and
     care for nothing but the _silent_ approbation of those who close
     one's book with good humour and quiet contentment.

     "Now, if you would also write to our friend Perry, to beg of him to
     mediate with Harris and Elliston to _forbear_ this intent, you will
     greatly oblige me. The play is quite unfit for the stage, as a
     single glance will show them, and, I hope, _has_ shown them; and,
     if it were ever so fit, I will never have any thing to do willingly
     with the theatres.

     "Yours ever, in haste," &c.

[Footnote 31: Already given in his Journal.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, January 27. 1821.

     "I differ from you about the _Dante_, which I think should be
     published with the tragedy. But do as you please: you must be the
     best judge of your own craft. I agree with you about the _title_.
     The play may be good or bad, but I flatter myself that it is
     original as a picture of _that_ kind of passion, which to my mind
     is so natural, that I am convinced that I should have done
     precisely what the Doge did on those provocations.

     "I am glad of Foscolo's approbation.

     "Excuse haste. I believe I mentioned to you that--I forget what it
     was; but no matter.

     "Thanks for your compliments of the year. I hope that it will be
     pleasanter than the last. I speak with reference to _England_ only,
     as far as regards myself, _where_ I had every kind of
     disappointment--lost an important law-suit--and the trustees of
     Lady Byron refusing to allow of an advantageous loan to be made
     from my property to Lord Blessington, &c. &c. by way of closing the
     four seasons. These, and a hundred other such things, made a year
     of bitter business for me in England. Luckily, things were a little
     pleasanter for me _here_, else I should have taken the liberty of
     Hannibal's ring.

     "Pray thank Gifford for all his goodnesses. The winter is as cold
     here as Parry's polarities. I must now take a canter in the forest;
     my horses are waiting.

     "Yours ever and truly."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, February 2. 1821.

     "Your letter of excuses has arrived. I receive the letter, but do
     not admit the excuses, except in courtesy; as when a man treads on
     your toes and begs your pardon, the pardon is granted, but the
     joint aches, especially if there be a corn upon it. However, I
     shall scold you presently.

     "In the last speech of the Doge, there occurs (I think, from
     memory) the phrase

        "'And Thou who makest and unmakest suns:'

     change this to

        "'And Thou who kindlest and who quenchest suns;

     that is to say, if the verse runs equally well, and Mr. Gifford
     thinks the expression improved. Pray have the bounty to attend to
     this. You are grown quite a minister of state. Mind if some of
     these days you are not thrown out. * * will not be always a Tory,
     though Johnson says the first Whig was the devil.

     "You have learnt one secret from Mr. Galignani's (somewhat tardily
     acknowledged) correspondence: this is, that an _English_ author may
     dispose of his exclusive copyright in _France_--a fact of some
     consequence (in _time of peace_), in the case of a popular writer.
     Now I will tell you what _you_ shall do, and take no advantage of
     you, though you were scurvy enough never to acknowledge my letter
     for three months. Offer Galignani the refusal of the copyright in
     France; if he refuses, appoint any bookseller in France you please,
     and I will sign any assignment you please, and it shall never cost
     you a _sou_ on _my_ account.

     "Recollect that I will have nothing to do with it, except as far as
     it may secure the copyright to yourself. I will have no bargain but
     with the English booksellers, and I desire no interest out of that

     "Now, that's fair and open, and a little handsomer than your
     _dodging_ silence, to see what would come of it. You are an
     excellent fellow, mio caro Moray, but there is still a little
     leaven of Fleet Street about you now and then--a crum of the old
     loaf. You have no right to act suspiciously with me, for I have
     given you no reason. I shall always be frank with you; as, for
     instance, whenever you talk with the votaries of Apollo
     arithmetically, it should be in guineas, not pounds--to poets, as
     well as physicians, and bidders at auctions.

     "I shall say no more at this present, save that I am,

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. If you venture, as you say, to Ravenna this year, I will
     exercise the rites of hospitality while you live, and bury you
     handsomely (though not in holy ground), if you get 'shot or slashed
     in a creagh or splore,' which are rather frequent here of late
     among the native parties. But perhaps your visit may be
     anticipated; I may probably come to your country; in which case
     write to her Ladyship the duplicate of the epistle the King of
     France wrote to Prince John."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, February 16, 1821.

     "In the month of March will arrive from Barcelona _Signor Curioni_,
     engaged for the Opera. He is an acquaintance of mine, and a
     gentlemanly young man, high in his profession. I must request your
     personal kindness and patronage in his favour. Pray introduce him
     to such of the theatrical people, editors of papers, and others, as
     may be useful to him in his profession, publicly and privately.

     "The fifth is so far from being the last of Don Juan, that it is
     hardly the beginning. I meant to take him the tour of Europe, with
     a proper mixture of siege, battle, and adventure, and to make him
     finish as _Anacharsis Cloots_, in the French Revolution. To how
     many cantos this may extend, I know not, nor whether (even if I
     live) I shall complete it: but this was my notion. I meant to have
     made him a cavalier servente in Italy, and a cause for a divorce in
     England, and a sentimental 'Werter-faced man' in Germany, so as to
     show the different ridicules of the society in each of those
     countries, and to have displayed him gradually _gâté_ and _blasé_
     as he grew older, as is natural. But I had not quite fixed whether
     to make him end in hell, or in an unhappy marriage, not knowing
     which would be the severest: the Spanish tradition says hell: but
     it is probably only an allegory of the other state. You are now in
     possession of my notions on the subject.

     "You say the Doge will not be popular: did I ever write for
     _popularity_? I defy you to show a work of mine (except a tale or
     two) of a popular style or complexion. It appears to me that there
     is room for a different style of the drama; neither a servile
     following of the old drama, which is a grossly erroneous one, nor
     yet _too French_, like those who succeded the older writers. It
     appears to me, that good English, and a severer approach to the
     rules, might combine something not dishonourable to our literature.
     I have also attempted to make a play without love; and there are
     neither rings, nor mistakes, nor starts, nor outrageous ranting
     villains, nor melodrame in it. All this will prevent its
     popularity, but does not persuade me that it is _therefore_ faulty.
     Whatever faults it has will arise from deficiency in the conduct,
     rather than in the conception, which is simple and severe.

     "So _you epigrammatise_ upon _my epigram_? I will _pay_ you for
     _that_, mind if I don't, some day. I never let any one off in the
     long run (_who first begins_). Remember * * *, and see if I don't
     do you as good a turn. You unnatural publisher! what! quiz your own
     authors? you are a paper cannibal!

     "In the Letter on Bowles (which I sent by Tuesday's post) after the
     words '_attempts had been made_' (alluding to the republication of
     'English Bards'), add the words, '_in Ireland_;' for I believe that
     English pirates did not begin their attempts till after I had left
     England the second time. Pray attend to this. Let me know what you
     and your synod think on Bowles.

     "I did not think the second _seal_ so bad; surely it is far better
     than the Saracen's head with which you have sealed your _last
     letter_; the larger, in _profile_, was surely much better than

     "So Foscolo says he will get you a _seal cut_ better in Italy? he
     means a _throat_--that is the only thing they do dexterously. The
     Arts--all but Canova's, and Morghen's, and _Ovid_'s (I don't _mean
     poetry_),--are as low as need be: look at the seal which I gave to
     William Bankes, and own it. How came George Bankes to quote
     'English Bards' in the House of Commons? All the world keep
     flinging that poem in my face.

     "Belzoni _is_ a grand traveller, and his English is very prettily

     "As for news, the Barbarians are marching on Naples, and if they
     lose a single battle, all Italy will be up. It will be like the
     Spanish row, if they have any bottom.

     "'Letters opened?--to be sure they are, and that's the reason why I
     always put in my opinion of the German Austrian scoundrels. There
     is not an Italian who loathes them more than I do; and whatever I
     could do to scour Italy and the earth of their infamous oppression
     would be done _con amore_.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, February 21. 1821.

     "In the forty-fourth page, volume first, of Turner's Travels (which
     you lately sent me), it is stated that 'Lord Byron, when he
     expressed such confidence of its practicability, seems to have
     forgotten that Leander swam both ways, with and against the tide;
     whereas _he_ (Lord Byron) only performed the easiest part of the
     task by swimming with it from Europe to Asia.' I certainly could
     not have forgotten, what is known to every schoolboy, that Leander
     crossed in the night and returned towards the morning. My object
     was, to ascertain that the Hellespont could be crossed _at all_ by
     swimming, and in this Mr. Ekenhead and myself both succeeded, the
     one in an hour and ten minutes, and the other in one hour and five
     minutes. The _tide_ was _not_ in our favour; on the contrary, the
     great difficulty was to bear up against the current, which, so far
     from helping us into the Asiatic side, set us down right towards
     the Archipelago. Neither Mr. Ekenhead, myself, nor, I will venture
     to add, any person on board the frigate, from Captain Bathurst
     downwards, had any notion of a difference of the current on the
     Asiatic side, of which Mr. Turner speaks. I never heard of it till
     this moment, or I would have taken the other course. Lieutenant
     Ekenhead's sole motive, and mine also, for setting out from the
     European side was, that the little cape above Sestos was a more
     prominent starting place, and the frigate, which lay below, close
     under the Asiatic castle, formed a better point of view for us to
     swim towards; and, in fact, we landed immediately below it.

     "Mr. Turner says, 'Whatever is thrown into the stream on this part
     of the European bank must arrive at the Asiatic shore.' This is so
     far from being the case, that it _must_ arrive in the Archipelago,
     if left to the current, although a strong wind in the Asiatic
     direction might have such an effect occasionally.

     "Mr. Turner attempted the passage from the Asiatic side, and
     failed: 'After five-and-twenty minutes, in which he did not advance
     a hundred yards, he gave it up from complete exhaustion.' This is
     very possible, and might have occurred to him just as readily on
     the European side. He should have set out a couple of miles higher,
     and could then have come out below the European castle. I
     particularly stated, and Mr. Hobhouse has done so also, that we
     were obliged to make the real passage of one mile extend to between
     _three_ and _four_, owing to the force of the stream. I can assure
     Mr. Turner, that his success would have given me great pleasure, as
     it would have added one more instance to the proofs of the
     probability. It is not quite fair in him to infer, that because
     _he_ failed, Leander could not succeed. There are still four
     instances on record: a Neapolitan, a young Jew, Mr. Ekenhead, and
     myself; the two last done in the presence of hundreds of _English_

     "With regard to the difference of the _current,_ I perceived none;
     it is favourable to the swimmer on neither side, but may be stemmed
     by plunging into the sea, a considerable way above the opposite
     point of the coast which the swimmer wishes to make, but still
     bearing up against it; it is strong, but if you calculate well, you
     may reach land. My own experience and that of others bids me
     pronounce the passage of Leander perfectly practicable. Any young
     man, in good and tolerable skill in swimming, might succeed in it
     from _either_ side. I was three hours in swimming across the Tagus,
     which is much more hazardous, being two hours longer than the
     Hellespont. Of what may be done in swimming, I will mention one
     more instance. In 1818, the Chevalier Mengaldo (a gentleman of
     Bassano), a good swimmer, wished to swim with my friend Mr.
     Alexander Scott and myself. As he seemed particularly anxious on
     the subject, we indulged him. We all three started from the island
     of the Lido and swam to Venice. At the entrance of the Grand Canal,
     Scott and I were a good way ahead, and we saw no more of our
     foreign friend, which, however, was of no consequence, as there was
     a gondola to hold his clothes and pick him up. Scott swam on till
     past the Rialto, where he got out, less from fatigue than from
     _chill,_ having been four hours in the water, without rest or stay,
     except what is to be obtained by floating on one's back--this being
     the _condition_ of our performance. I continued my course on to
     Santa Chiara, comprising the whole of the Grand Canal (besides the
     distance from the Lido), and got out where the Laguna once more
     opens to Fusina. I had been in the water, by my watch, without help
     or rest, and never touching ground or boat, _four hours_ and
     _twenty minutes_. To this match, and during the greater part of its
     performance, Mr. Hoppner, the Consul-general, was witness, and it
     is well known to many others. Mr. Turner can easily verify the
     fact, if he thinks it worth while, by referring to Mr. Hoppner. The
     distance we could not _accurately_ ascertain; it was of course

     "I crossed the Hellespont in one hour and ten minutes only. I am
     now ten years older in time, and twenty in constitution, than I was
     when I passed the Dardanelles, and yet two years ago I was capable
     of swimming four hours and twenty minutes; and I am sure that I
     could have continued two hours longer, though I had on a pair of
     trowsers, an accoutrement which by no means assists the
     performance. My two companions were also _four_ hours in the water.
     Mengaldo might be about thirty years of age; Scott about

     "With this experience in swimming at different periods of life, not
     only upon the SPOT, but elsewhere, of various persons, what is
     there to make me doubt that Leander's exploit was perfectly
     practicable? If three individuals did more than the passage of the
     Hellespont, why should he have done less? But Mr. Turner failed,
     and, naturally seeking a plausible reason for his failure, lays the
     blame on the _Asiatic_ side of the strait. He tried to swim
     directly across, instead of going higher up to take the vantage: he
     might as well have tried to _fly_ over Mount Athos.

     "That a young Greek of the heroic times, in love, and with his
     limbs in full vigour, might have succeeded in such an attempt is
     neither wonderful nor doubtful. Whether he _attempted_ it or _not_
     is another question, because he might have had a small _boat_ to
     save him the trouble.

     "I am yours very truly,


     "P.S. Mr. Turner says that the swimming from Europe to Asia was
     'the _easiest_ part of the task.' I doubt whether Leander found it
     so, as it was the return; however, he had several hours between the
     intervals. The argument of Mr. Turner, 'that higher up or lower
     down, the strait widens so considerably that he would save little
     labour by his starting,' is only good for indifferent swimmers; a
     man of any practice or skill will always consider the distance less
     than the strength of the stream. If Ekenhead and myself had thought
     of crossing at the narrowest point, instead of going up to the Cape
     above it, we should have been swept down to Tenedos. The strait,
     however, is not so extremely wide, even where it broadens above and
     below the forts. As the frigate was stationed some time in the
     Dardanelles waiting for the firman, I bathed often in the strait
     subsequently to our traject, and generally on the Asiatic side,
     without perceiving the greater strength of the opposite stream by
     which the diplomatic traveller palliates his own failure. Our
     amusement in the small bay which opens immediately below the
     Asiatic fort was to _dive_ for the LAND tortoises, which we flung
     in on purpose, as they amphibiously crawled along the bottom.
     _This_ does not argue any greater violence of current than on the
     European shore. With regard to the _modest_ insinuation that we
     chose the European side as 'easier,' I appeal to Mr. Hobhouse and
     Captain Bathurst if it be true or no (poor Ekenhead being since
     dead). Had we been aware of any such difference of current as is
     asserted, we would at least have proved it, and were not likely to
     have given it up in the twenty-five minutes of Mr. Turner's own
     experiment. The secret of all this is, that Mr. Turner failed, and
     that we succeeded; and he is consequently disappointed, and seems
     not unwilling to overshadow whatever little merit there might be in
     our success. Why did he not try the European side? If he had
     succeeded there, after failing on the Asiatic, his plea would have
     been more graceful and gracious. Mr. Turner may find what fault he
     pleases with my poetry, or my politics; but I recommend him to
     leave aquatic reflections till he is able to swim 'five-and-twenty
     minutes' without being '_exhausted_,' though I believe he is the
     first modern Tory who ever swam '_against_ the stream for half the

[Footnote 32: To the above letter, which was published at the time, Mr.
Turner wrote a reply, but, for reasons stated by himself, did not print
it. At his request, I give insertion to his paper in the Appendix.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, February 22. 1821.

     "As I wish the soul of the late Antoine Galignani to rest in peace,
     (you will have read his death, published by himself, in his own
     newspaper,) you are requested particularly to inform his children
     and heirs, that of their 'Literary Gazette,' to which I subscribed
     more than _two_ months ago, I have only received one _number_,
     notwithstanding I have written to them repeatedly. If they have no
     regard for me, a subscriber, they ought to have some for their
     deceased parent, who is undoubtedly no better off in his present
     residence for this total want of attention. If not, let me have my
     francs. They were paid by Missiaglia, the _W_enetian bookseller. You
     may also hint to them that when a gentleman writes a letter, it is
     usual to send an answer. If not, I shall make them 'a speech,'
     which will comprise an eulogy on the deceased.

     "We are here full of war, and within two days of the seat of it,
     expecting intelligence momently. We shall now see if our Italian
     friends are good for any thing but 'shooting round a corner,' like
     the Irishman's gun. Excuse haste,--I write with my spurs putting
     on. My horses are at the door, and an Italian Count waiting to
     accompany me in my ride.

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. Pray, amongst my letters, did you get one detailing the death
     of the commandant here? He was killed near my door, and died in my


     "To the air of '_How now, Madame Flirt_,' in the Beggars' Opera.

        BOWLES. "Why, how now, saucy Tom,
                  If you thus must ramble,
                I will publish some
                  Remarks on Mr. Campbell.

        CAMPBELL. "Why, how now, Billy Bowles,
                    &c. &c. &c."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "March 2. 1821.

     "This was the beginning of a letter which I meant for Perry, but
     stopped short, hoping you would be able to prevent the theatres. Of
     course you need not send it; but it explains to you my feelings on
     the subject. You say that 'there is nothing to fear, let them do
     what they please;' that is to say, that you would see me damned
     with great tranquillity. You are a fine fellow."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, January 22. 1821.

     "Dear Sir,

     "I have received a strange piece of news, which cannot be more
     disagreeable to your public than it is to me. Letters and the
     gazettes do me the honour to say that it is the intention of some
     of the London managers to bring forward on their stage the poem of
     'Marino Faliero,' &c. which was never intended for such an
     exhibition, and I trust will never undergo it. It is certainly
     unfit for it. I have never written but for the solitary _reader_,
     and require no experiments for applause beyond his silent
     approbation. Since such an attempt to drag me forth as a gladiator
     in the theatrical arena is a violation of all the courtesies of
     literature, I trust that the impartial part of the press will step
     between me and this pollution. I say pollution, because every
     violation of a _right_ is such, and I claim my right as an author
     to prevent what I have written from being turned into a stage-play.
     I have too much respect for the public to permit this of my own
     free will. Had I sought their favour, it would have been by a

     "I have said that I write only for the reader. Beyond this I cannot
     consent to any publication, or to the abuse of any publication of
     mine to the purposes of histrionism. The applauses of an audience
     would give me no pleasure; their disapprobation might, however,
     give me pain. The wager is therefore not equal. You may, perhaps,
     say, 'How can this be? if their disapprobation gives pain, their
     praise might afford pleasure?' By no means: the kick of an ass or
     the sting of a wasp may be painful to those who would find nothing
     agreeable in the braying of the one or the buzzing of the other.

     "This may not seem a courteous comparison, but I have no other
     ready; and it occurs naturally."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, Marzo, 1821.

     "Dear Moray,

     "In my packet of the 12th instant, in the last sheet (_not_ the
     _half_ sheet), last page, _omit_ the sentence which (defining, or
     attempting to define, what and who are gentlemen) begins, 'I should
     say at least in life that most military men have it, and few naval;
     that several men of rank have it, and few lawyers,' &c. &c. I say,
     omit the whole of that sentence, because, like the 'cosmogony, or
     creation of the world,' in the 'Vicar of Wakefield,' it is not much
     to the purpose.

     "In the sentence above, too, almost at the top of the same page,
     after the words 'that there ever was, or can be, an aristocracy of
     poets,' add and insert these words--'I do not mean that they should
     write in the style of the song by a person of quality, or _parle
     euphuism_; but there is a _nobility_ of thought and expression to
     be found no less in Shakspeare, Pope, and Burns, than in Dante,
     Alfieri,' &c. &c. and so on. Or, if you please, perhaps you had
     better omit the whole of the latter digression on the _vulgar_
     poets, and insert only as far as the end of the sentence on Pope's
     Homer, where I prefer it to Cowper's, and quote Dr. Clarke in
     favour of its accuracy.

     "Upon all these points, take an opinion; take the sense (or
     nonsense) of your learned visitants, and act thereby. I am very
     tractable--in PROSE.

     "Whether I have made out the case for Pope, I know not; but I am
     very sure that I have been zealous in the attempt. If it comes to
     the proofs we shall beat the blackguards. I will show more
     _imagery_ in twenty lines of Pope than in any equal length of
     quotation in English poesy, and that in places where they least
     expect it. For instance, in his lines on _Sporus_,--now, do just
     _read_ them over--the subject is of no consequence (whether it be
     _satire_ or epic)--we are talking of _poetry_ and _imagery_ from
     _nature_ and _art_. Now, mark the images separately and

     "'1. The thing of _silk_.
       2. _Curd_ of _ass_'s milk.
       3. The _butterfly_.
       4. The _wheel_.
       5. Bug with gilded wings.
       6. _Painted_ child of dirt.
       7. Whose _buzz_.
       8. Well-bred _spaniels_.
       9. _Shallow streams run dimpling._
      10. Florid impotence.
      11. _Prompter. Puppet squeaks._
      12. _The ear of Eve._
      13. _Familiar toad._
      14. _Half froth, half venom, splits_ himself abroad.
      15. _Fop_ at the _toilet_.
      16. _Flatterer_ at the _board_.
      17. _Amphibious thing_.
      18. Now _trips a lady_.
      19. Now _struts a lord_.
      20. A _cherub's face_.
      21. A _reptile_ all the rest.
      22. The _Rabbins_.
      23. Pride that _licks the dust_.

        "'Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust.
        Wit that can creep, and _pride_ that _licks the dust_.'

     "Now, is there a line of all the passage without the most
     _forcible_ imagery (for his purpose)? Look at the _variety_--at the
     _poetry_ of the passage--at the _imagination_: there is hardly a
     line from which a painting might not be made, and _is_. But this is
     nothing in comparison with his higher passages in the Essay on Man,
     and many of his other poems, serious and comic. There never was
     such an unjust outcry in this world as that which these fellows are
     trying against Pope.

     "Ask Mr. Gifford if, in the fifth act of 'The Doge,' you could not
     contrive (where the sentence of the _Veil_ is passed) to insert the
     following lines in Marino Faliero's answer?

        "But let it be so. It will be in vain:
        The veil which blackens o'er this blighted name,
        And hides, or seems to hide, these lineaments,
        Shall draw more gazers than the thousand portraits
        Which glitter round it in their painted trappings,
        Your delegated slaves--the people's tyrants.[33]

     "Yours, truly, &c.

     "P.S. Upon _public_ matters here I say little: you will all hear
     soon enough of a general row throughout Italy. There never was a
     more foolish step than the expedition to Naples by these fellows.

     "I wish to propose to _Holmes_, the miniature painter, to come out
     to me this spring. I will pay his expenses, and any sum in reason.
     I wish him to take my daughter's picture (who is in a convent) and
     the Countess G.'s, and the head of a peasant girl, which latter
     would make a study for Raphael. It is a complete _peasant_ face,
     but an _Italian_ peasant's, and quite in the Raphael Fornarina
     style. Her figure is tall, but rather large, and not at all
     comparable to her face, which is really superb. She is not
     seventeen, and I am anxious to have her face while it lasts. Madame
     G. is also very handsome, but it is quite in a different
     style--completely blonde and fair--very uncommon in Italy; yet not
     an _English_ fairness, but more like a Swede or a Norwegian. Her
     figure, too, particularly the bust, is uncommonly good. It must be
     _Holmes_; I like him because he takes such inveterate likenesses.
     There is a war here; but a solitary traveller, with little baggage,
     and nothing to do with politics, has nothing to fear. Pack him up
     in the Diligence. Don't forget."

[Footnote 33: These lines--perhaps from some difficulty in introducing
them--were never inserted in the Tragedy.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, April 3. 1821;

     "Thanks for the translation. I have sent you some books, which I do
     not know whether you have read or no--you need not return them, in
     any case. I enclose you also a letter from Pisa. I have neither
     spared trouble nor expense in the care of the child; and as she was
     now four years old complete, and quite above the control of the
     servants--and as a _man_ living without any woman at the head of
     his house cannot much attend to a nursery--I had no resource but to
     place her for a time (at a high pension too) in the convent of
     Bagna-Cavalli (twelve miles off), where the air is good, and where
     she will, at least, have her learning advanced, and her morals and
     religion inculcated.[34] I had also another reason;--things were
     and are in such a state here, that I had no reason to look upon my
     own personal safety as particularly insurable; and I thought the
     infant best out of harm's way, for the present.

     "It is also fit that I should add that I by no means intended, nor
     intend, to give a _natural_ child an _English_ education, because
     with the disadvantages of her birth, her after settlement would be
     doubly difficult. Abroad, with a fair foreign education and a
     portion of five or six thousand pounds, she might and may marry
     very respectably. In England such a dowry would be a pittance,
     while elsewhere it is a fortune. It is, besides, my wish that she
     should be a Roman Catholic, which I look upon as the best religion,
     as it is assuredly the oldest of the various branches of
     Christianity. I have now explained my notions as to the _place_
     where she now is--it is the best I could find for the present; but
     I have no prejudices in its favour.

     "I do not speak of politics, because it seems a hopeless subject,
     as long as those scoundrels are to be permitted to bully states
     out of their independence. Believe me,

     "Yours ever and truly.

     "P.S. There is a report here of a change in France; but with what
     truth is not yet known.

     "P.S. My respects to Mrs. H. I _have_ the 'best opinion' of her
     countrywomen; and at my time of life, (three and thirty, 22d
     January, 1821,) that is to say, after the life I have led, a _good_
     opinion is the only rational one which a man should entertain of
     the whole sex--up to _thirty_, the worst possible opinion a man can
     have of them in _general_, the better for himself. Afterwards, it
     is a matter of no importance to them, nor to him either, what
     opinion he entertains--his day is over, or, at least, should be.

     "You see how sober I am become."

[Footnote 34: With such anxiety did he look to this essential part of
his daughter's education, that notwithstanding the many advantages she
was sure to derive from the kind and feminine superintendence of Mrs.
Shelley, his apprehensions, lest her feeling upon religious subjects
might be disturbed by the conversation of Shelley himself, prevented him
from allowing her to remain under his friend's roof.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, April 21. 1821.

     "I enclose you another letter on Bowles. But I premise that it is
     not like the former, and that I am not at all sure how _much_, if
     _any_, of it should be published. Upon this point you can consult
     with Mr. Gifford, and think twice before you publish it at all.

     Yours truly,


     "P.S. You may make my subscription for Mr. Scott's widow, &c.
     _thirty_ instead of the proposed _ten_ pounds; but do not put down
     _my name_; put down N.N. only. The reason is, that, as I have
     mentioned him in the enclosed pamphlet, it would look indelicate. I
     would give more, but my disappointments last year about Rochdale
     and the transfer from the funds render me more economical for the

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, April 26. 1821.

     "The child continues doing well, and the accounts are regular and
     favourable. It is gratifying to me that you and Mrs. Shelley do not
     disapprove of the step which I have taken, which is merely

     "I am very sorry to hear what you say of Keats--is it actually
     true? I did not think criticism had been so killing. Though I
     differ from you essentially in your estimate of his performances, I
     so much abhor all unnecessary pain, that I would rather he had been
     seated on the highest peak of Parnassus than have perished in such
     a manner. Poor fellow! though with such inordinate self-love he
     would probably have not been very happy. I read the review of
     'Endymion' in the Quarterly. It was severe,--but surely not so
     severe as many reviews in that and other journals upon others.

     "I recollect the effect on me of the Edinburgh on my first poem; it
     was rage, and resistance, and redress--but not despondency nor
     despair. I grant that those are not amiable feelings; but, in this
     world of bustle and broil, and especially in the career of writing,
     a man should calculate upon his powers of _resistance_ before he
     goes into the arena.

        "'Expect not life from pain nor danger free,
        Nor deem the doom of man reversed for thee.'

     "You know my opinion of that _second-hand_ school of poetry. You
     also know my high opinion of your own poetry,--because it is of
     _no_ school. I read Cenci--but, besides that I think the _subject_
     essentially _un_dramatic, I am not an admirer of our old
     dramatists, _as models_. I deny that the English have hitherto had
     a drama at all. Your Cenci, however, was a work of power, and
     poetry. As to _my_ drama, pray revenge yourself upon it, by being
     as free as I have been with yours.

     "I have not yet got your Prometheus, which I long to see. I have
     heard nothing of mine, and do not know that it is yet published. I
     have published a pamphlet on the Pope controversy, which you will
     not like. Had I known that Keats was dead--or that he was alive and
     so sensitive--I should have omitted some remarks upon his poetry,
     to which I was provoked by his _attack_ upon _Pope_, and my
     disapprobation of _his own_ style of writing.

     "You want me to undertake a great poem--I have not the inclination
     nor the power. As I grow older, the indifference--_not_ to life,
     for we love it by instinct--but to the stimuli of life, increases.
     Besides, this late failure of the Italians has latterly
     disappointed me for many reasons,--some public, some personal. My
     respects to Mrs. S.

     "Yours ever.

     "P.S. Could not you and I contrive to meet this summer? Could not
     you take a run here _alone_?"

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, April 26. 1821.

     "I sent you by last _postis_ a large packet, which will _not_ do
     for publication (I suspect), being, as the apprentices say, 'damned
     low.' I put off also for a week or two sending the Italian scrawl
     which will form a note to it. The reason is that, letters being
     opened, I wish to 'bide a wee.'

     "Well, have you published the Tragedy? and does the Letter take?

     "Is it true, what Shelley writes me, that poor John Keats died at
     Rome of the Quarterly Review? I am very sorry for it, though I
     think he took the wrong line as a poet, and was spoilt by
     Cockneyfying, and suburbing, and versifying Tooke's Pantheon and
     Lempriere's Dictionary. I know, by experience, that a savage review
     is hemlock to a sucking author; and the one on me (which produced
     the English Bards, &c.) knocked me down--but I got up again.
     Instead of bursting a blood-vessel, I drank three bottles of
     claret, and began an answer, finding that there was nothing in the
     article for which I could lawfully knock Jeffrey on the head, in an
     honourable way. However, I would not be the person who wrote the
     homicidal article for all the honour and glory in the world, though
     I by no means approve of that school of scribbling which it treats

     "You see the Italians have made a sad business of it,--all owing to
     treachery and disunion amongst themselves. It has given me great
     vexation. The execrations heaped upon the Neapolitans by the other
     Italians are quite in unison with those of the rest of Europe.

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. Your latest packet of books is on its way here, but not
     arrived. Kenilworth excellent. Thanks for the pocket-books, of
     which I have made presents to those ladies who like cuts, and
     landscapes, and all that. I have got an Italian book or two which I
     should like to send you if I had an opportunity.

     "I am not at present in the very highest health,--spring probably;
     so I have lowered my diet and taken to Epsom salts.

     "As you say my _prose_ is good, why don't you treat with _Moore_
     for the reversion of the Memoirs?--_conditionally, recollect_; not
     to be published before decease. _He_ has the permission to dispose
     of them, and I advised him to do so."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, April 28. 1821.

     "You cannot have been more disappointed than myself, nor so much
     deceived. I have been so at some personal risk also, which is not
     yet done away with. However, no time nor circumstances shall alter
     my tone nor my feelings of indignation against tyranny triumphant.
     The present business has been as much a work of treachery as of
     cowardice,--though both may have done their part. If ever you and I
     meet again, I will have a talk with you upon the subject. At
     present, for obvious reasons, I ran write but little, as all
     letters are opened. In _mine_ they shall always find _my_
     sentiments, but nothing that can lead to the oppression of others.

     "You will please to recollect that the Neapolitans are nowhere now
     more execrated than in Italy, and not blame a whole people for the
     vices of a province. That would be like condemning Great Britain
     because they plunder wrecks in Cornwall.

     "And now let us be literary;--a sad falling off, but it is always a
     consolation. If 'Othello's occupation be gone,' let us take to the
     next best; and, if we cannot contribute to make mankind more free
     and wise, we may amuse ourselves and those who like it. What are
     you writing? I have been scribbling at intervals, and Murray will
     be publishing about now.

     "Lady Noel has, as you say, been dangerously ill; but it may
     console you to learn that she is dangerously well again.

     "I have written a sheet or two more of Memoranda for you; and I
     kept a little Journal for about a month or two, till I had filled
     the paper-book. I then left it off, as things grew busy, and,
     afterwards, too gloomy to set down without a painful feeling. This
     I should be glad to send you, if I had an opportunity; but a
     volume, however small, don't go well by such posts as exist in this
     Inquisition of a country.

     "I have no news. As a very pretty woman said to me a few nights
     ago, with the tears in her eyes, as she sat at the harpsichord,
     'Alas! the Italians must now return to making operas.' I fear
     _that_ and maccaroni are their forte, and 'motley their only
     wear.' However, there are some high spirits among them still. Pray
     write. And believe me," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 3. 1821.

     "Though I wrote to you on the 28th ultimo, I must acknowledge yours
     of this day, with the lines[35]. They are sublime, as well as
     beautiful, and in your very best mood and manner. They are also but
     too true. However, do not confound the scoundrels at the _heel_ of
     the boot with their betters at the top of it. I assure you that
     there are some loftier spirits.

     "Nothing, however, can be better than your poem, or more deserved
     by the Lazzaroni. They are now abhorred and disclaimed nowhere more
     than here. We will talk over these things (if we meet) some day,
     and I will recount my own adventures, some of which have been a
     little hazardous, perhaps.

     "So, you have got the Letter on Bowles[36]? I do not recollect to
     have said any thing of _you_ that could offend,--certainly, nothing
     intentionally. As for * *, I meant him a compliment. I wrote the
     whole off-hand, without copy or correction, and expecting then
     every day to be called into the field. What have I said of you? I
     am sure I forget. It must be something of regret for your
     approbation of Bowles. And did you _not_ approve, as he says? Would
     I had known that before! I would have given him some more
     gruel.[37] My intention was to make fun of all these fellows; but
     how I succeeded, I don't know.

     "As to Pope, I have always regarded him as the greatest name in our
     poetry. Depend upon it, the rest are barbarians. He is a Greek
     Temple, with a Gothic Cathedral on one hand, and a Turkish Mosque
     and all sorts of fantastic pagodas and conventicles about him. You
     may call Shakspeare and Milton pyramids, if you please, but I
     prefer the Temple of Theseus or the Parthenon to a mountain of
     burnt brick-work.

     "The Murray has written to me but once, the day of its publication,
     when it seemed prosperous. But I have heard of late from England
     but rarely. Of Murray's other publications (of mine), I know
     nothing,--nor whether he has published. He was to have done so a
     month ago. I wish you would do something,--or that we were

     "Ever yours and affectionately,


[Footnote 35: "Aye, down to the dust with them, slaves as they are," &c.

[Footnote 36: I had not, when I wrote, _seen_ this pamphlet, as he
supposes, but had merely heard from some friends, that his pen had "run
a-muck" in it, and that I myself had not escaped a slight graze in its

[Footnote 37: It may be sufficient to say of the use to which both Lord
Byron and Mr. Bowles thought it worth their while to apply my name in
this controversy, that, as far as my own knowledge of the subject
extended, I was disposed to agree with _neither_ of the extreme opinions
into which, as it appeared to me, my distinguished friends had
diverged;--neither with Lord Byron in that spirit of partisanship which
led him to place Pope _above_ Shakspeare and Milton, nor with Mr. Bowles
in such an application of the "principles" of poetry as could tend to
sink Pope, on the scale of his art, to any rank below the very first.
Such being the middle state of my opinion on the question, it will not
be difficult to understand how one of my controversial friends should be
as mistaken in supposing me to differ altogether from his views, as the
other was in taking for granted that I had ranged myself wholly on his

       *       *       *       *       *

It was at this time that he began, under the title of "Detached
Thoughts," that Book of Notices or Memorandums, from which, in the
course of these pages, I have extracted so many curious illustrations of
his life and opinions, and of which the opening article is as follows:--

"Amongst various Journals, Memoranda, Diaries, &c. which I have kept in
the course of my living, I began one about three months ago, and carried
it on till I had filled one paper-book (thinnish), and two sheets or so
of another. I then left off, partly because I thought we should have
some business here, and I had furbished up my arms and got my apparatus
ready for taking a turn with the patriots, having my drawers full of
their proclamations, oaths, and resolutions, and my lower rooms of their
hidden weapons, of most calibres,--and partly because I had filled my

"But the Neapolitans have betrayed themselves and all the world; and
those who would have given their blood for Italy can now only give her
their tears.

"Some day or other, if dust holds together, I have been enough in the
secret (at least in this part of the country) to cast perhaps some
little light upon the atrocious treachery which has replunged Italy
into barbarism: at present, I have neither the time nor the temper.
However the _real_ Italians are not to blame; merely the scoundrels at
the _heel of the boot_, which the _Hun_ now wears, and will trample them
to ashes with for their servility. I have risked myself with the others
_here_, and how far I may or may not be compromised is a problem at this
moment. Some of them, like Craigengelt, would 'tell all, and more than
all, to save themselves.' But, come what may, the cause was a glorious
one, though it reads at present as if the Greeks had run away from
Xerxes. Happy the few who have only to reproach themselves with
believing that these rascals were less 'rascaille' than they
proved!--_Here_ in Romagna, the efforts were necessarily limited to
preparations and good intentions, until the Germans were fairly engaged
in _equal_ warfare--as we are upon their very frontiers, without a
single fort or hill nearer than San Marino. Whether 'hell will be paved
with' those 'good intentions,' I know not; but there will probably be
good store of Neapolitans to walk upon the pavement, whatever may be its
composition. Slabs of lava from their mountain, with the bodies of their
own damned souls for cement, would be the fittest causeway for Satan's

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 10. 1821.

     "I have just got your packet. I am obliged to Mr. Bowles, and Mr.
     Bowles is obliged to me, for having restored him to good-humour. He
     is to write, and you to publish, what you please,--_motto_ and
     subject. I desire nothing but fair play for all parties. Of course,
     after the new tone of Mr. Bowles, you will _not_ publish my
     _defence of Gilchrist_: it would be brutal to do so after his
     urbanity, for it is rather too rough, like his own attack upon
     Gilchrist. You may tell him what I say there of _his Missionary_
     (it is praised, as it deserves). However, and if there are any
     passages _not personal_ to Bowles, and yet bearing upon the
     question, you may add them to the reprint (if it is reprinted) of
     my first Letter to you. Upon this consult Gifford; and, above all,
     don't let any thing be added which can _personally_ affect Mr.

     "In the enclosed notes, of course what I say of the _democracy_ of
     poetry cannot apply to Mr. Bowles, but to the Cockney and water
     washing-tub schools.

     "I hope and trust that Elliston _won't_ be permitted to act the
     drama. Surely _he_ might have the grace to wait for Kean's return
     before he attempted it; though, _even then_, _I_ should be as much
     against the attempt as ever.

     "I have got a small packet of books, but neither Waldegrave,
     Oxford, nor Scott's novels among them. Why don't you republish
     Hodgson's Childe Harold's Monitor and Latino-mastix? They are
     excellent. Think of this--they are all for _Pope_.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

The controversy, in which Lord Byron, with so much grace and
good-humour, thus allowed himself to be disarmed by the courtesy of his
antagonist, it is not my intention to run the risk of reviving by any
enquiry into its origin or merits. In all such discussions on matters of
mere taste and opinion, where, on one side, it is the aim of the
disputants to elevate the object of the contest, and on the other, to
depreciate it, Truth will usually be found, like Shakspeare's gatherer
of samphire on the cliff, "halfway down." Whatever judgment, however,
may be formed respecting the controversy itself, of the urbanity and
gentle feeling on both sides, which (notwithstanding some slight trials
of this good understanding afterwards) led ultimately to the result
anticipated in the foregoing letter, there can be but one opinion; and
it is only to be wished that such honourable forbearance were as sure of
imitators as it is, deservedly, of eulogists. In the lively pages thus
suppressed, when ready fledged for flight, with a power of self-command
rarely exercised by wit, there are some passages, of a general nature,
too curious to be lost, which I shall accordingly proceed to extract for
the reader.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Pope himself 'sleeps well--nothing can touch him further;' but those
who love the honour of their country, the perfection of her literature,
the glory of her language, are not to be expected to permit an atom of
his dust to be stirred in his tomb, or a leaf to be stripped from the
laurel which grows over it. * * *

"To me it appears of no very great consequence whether Martha Blount was
or was not Pope's mistress, though I could have wished him a better.
She appears to have been a cold-hearted, interested, ignorant,
disagreeable woman, upon whom the tenderness of Pope's heart in the
desolation of his latter days was cast away, not knowing whither to
turn, as he drew towards his premature old age, childless and
lonely,--like the needle which, approaching within a certain distance of
the pole, becomes helpless and useless, and ceasing to tremble, rusts.
She seems to have been so totally unworthy of tenderness, that it is an
additional proof of the kindness of Pope's heart to have been able to
love such a being. But we must love something. I agree with Mr. B. that
_she_ 'could at no time have regarded _Pope personally_ with
attachment,' because she was incapable of attachment; but I deny that
Pope could not be regarded with personal attachment by a worthier woman.
It is not probable, indeed, that a woman would have fallen in love with
him as he walked along the Mall, or in a box at the opera, nor from a
balcony, nor in a ball-room: but in society he seems to have been as
amiable as unassuming, and, with the greatest disadvantages of figure,
his head and face were remarkably handsome, especially his eyes. He was
adored by his friends--friends of the most opposite dispositions, ages,
and talents--by the old and wayward Wycherley, by the cynical Swift, the
rough Atterbury, the gentle Spence, the stern attorney-bishop Warburton,
the virtuous Berkeley, and the 'cankered Bolingbroke.' Bolingbroke wept
over him like a child; and Spence's description of his last moments is
at least as edifying as the more ostentatious account of the deathbed of
Addison. The soldier Peterborough and the poet Gay, the witty Congreve
and the laughing Rowe, the eccentric Cromwell and the steady Bathurst,
were all his intimates. The man who could conciliate so many men of the
most opposite description, not one of whom but was a remarkable or a
celebrated character, might well have pretended to all the attachment
which a reasonable man would desire of an amiable woman.

"Pope, in fact, wherever he got it, appears to have understood the sex
well. Bolingbroke, 'a judge of the subject,' says Warton, thought his
'Epistle on the Characters of Women' his 'masterpiece.' And even with
respect to the grosser passion, which takes occasionally the name of
'_romantic_,' accordingly as the degree of sentiment elevates it above
the definition of love by Buffon, it may be remarked, that it does not
always depend upon personal appearance, even in a woman. Madame Cottin
was a plain woman, and might have been virtuous, it may be presumed,
without much interruption. Virtuous she was, and the consequences of
this inveterate virtue were that two different admirers (one an elderly
gentleman) killed themselves in despair (see Lady Morgan's 'France'). I
would not, however, recommend this rigour to plain women in general, in
the hope of securing the glory of two suicides apiece. I believe that
there are few men who, in the course of their observations on life, may
not have perceived that it is not the greatest female beauty who forms
the longest and the strongest passions.

"But, apropos of Pope.--Voltaire tells us that the Marechal Luxembourg
(who had precisely Pope's figure) was not only somewhat too amatory for
a great man, but fortunate in his attachments. La Valière, the passion
of Louis XIV. had an unsightly defect. The Princess of Eboli, the
mistress of Philip the Second of Spain, and Maugiron, the minion of
Henry the Third of France, had each of them lost an eye; and the famous
Latin epigram was written upon them, which has, I believe, been either
translated or imitated by Goldsmith:

    "'Lumine Acon dextro, capta est Leonilla sinistro,
      Et potis est forma vincere uterque Deos:
    Blande puer, lumen quod habes concede sorori,
      Sic tu cæcus Amor, sic erit illa Venus.'

"Wilkes, with his ugliness, used to say that 'he was but a quarter of an
hour behind the handsomest man in England;' and this vaunt of his is
said not to have been disproved by circumstances. Swift, when neither
young, nor handsome, nor rich, nor even amiable, inspired the two most
extraordinary passions upon record, Vanessa's and Stella's.

    "'Vanessa, aged scarce a score.
    Sighs for a gown of _forty-four_.'

He requited them bitterly; for he seems to have broken the heart of the
one, and worn out that of the other; and he had his reward, for he died
a solitary idiot in the hands of servants.

"For my own part, I am of the opinion of Pausanias, that success in love
depends upon Fortune. 'They particularly renounce Celestial Venus, into
whose temple, &c. &c. &c. I remember, too, to have seen a building in
Ægina in which there is a statue of Fortune, holding a horn of Amalthea;
and near here there is a winged Love. The meaning of this is, that the
success of men in love affairs depends more on the assistance of Fortune
than the charms of beauty. I am persuaded, too, with Pindar (to whose
opinion I submit in other particulars), that Fortune is one of the
Fates, and that in a certain respect she is more powerful than her
sisters.'--See Pausanias, Achaics, book vii. chap. 26 page 246.
'Taylor's Translation.'

"Grimm has a remark of the same kind on the different destinies of the
younger Crebillon and Rousseau. The former writes a licentious novel,
and a young English girl of some fortune and family (a Miss Strafford)
runs away, and crosses the sea to marry him; while Rousseau, the most
tender and passionate of lovers, is obliged to espouse his chambermaid.
If I recollect rightly, this remark was also repeated in the Edinburgh
Review of Grimm's Correspondence, seven or eight years ago.

"In regard 'to the strange mixture of indecent, and sometimes _profane_
levity, which his conduct and language _often_ exhibited,' and which so
much shocks the tone of _Pope_, than the tone of the _time_. With the
exception of the correspondence of Pope and his friends, not many
private letters of the period have come down to us; but those, such as
they are--a few scattered scraps from Farquhar and others--are more
indecent and coarse than any thing in Pope's letters. The comedies of
Congreve, Vanbrugh, Farquhar, Gibber, &c. which naturally attempted to
represent the manners and conversation of private life, are decisive
upon this point; as are also some of Steele's papers, and even
Addison's. We all know what the conversation of Sir R. Walpole, for
seventeen years the prime-minister of the country, was at his own table,
and his excuse for his licentious language, viz. 'that every body
understood _that_, but few could talk rationally upon less common
topics.' The refinement of latter days,--which is perhaps the
consequence of vice, which wishes to mask and soften itself, as much as
of virtuous civilisation,--had not yet made sufficient progress. Even
Johnson, in his 'London,' has two or three passages which cannot be read
aloud, and Addison's 'Drummer' some indelicate allusions."

       *       *       *       *       *

To the extract that follows I beg to call the particular attention of
the reader. Those who at all remember the peculiar bitterness and
violence with which the gentleman here commemorated assailed Lord Byron,
at a crisis when both his heart and fame were most vulnerable, will, if
I am not mistaken, feel a thrill of pleasurable admiration in reading
these sentences, such as alone can convey any adequate notion of the
proud, generous pleasure that must have been felt in writing them.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Poor Scott is now no more. In the exercise of his vocation, he
contrived at last to make himself the subject of a coroner's inquest.
But he died like a brave man, and he lived an able one. I knew him
personally, though slightly. Although several years my senior, we had
been schoolfellows together at the 'grammar-schule' (or, as the
Aberdonians pronounce it, '_squeel_') of New Aberdeen. He did not behave
to me quite handsomely in his capacity of editor a few years ago, but he
was under no obligation to behave otherwise. The moment was too tempting
for many friends and for all enemies. At a time when all my relations
(save one) fell from me like leaves from the tree in autumn winds, and
my few friends became still fewer--when the whole periodical press (I
mean the daily and weekly, _not_ the _literary_ press) was let loose
against me in every shape of reproach, with the two strange exceptions
(from their usual opposition) of 'The Courier' and 'The Examiner,'--the
paper of which Scott had the direction, was neither the last, nor the
least vituperative. Two years ago I met him at Venice, when he was bowed
in griefs by the loss of his son, and had known, by experience, the
bitterness of domestic privation. He was then earnest with me to return
to England; and on my telling him, with a smile, that he was once of a
different opinion, he replied to me,'that he and others had been greatly
misled; and that some pains, and rather extraordinary means, had been
taken to excite them. Scott is no more, but there are more than one
living who were present at this dialogue. He was a man of very
considerable talents, and of great acquirements. He had made his way, as
a literary character, with high success, and in a few years. Poor
fellow! I recollect his joy at some appointment which he had obtained,
or was to obtain, through Sir James Mackintosh, and which prevented the
further extension (unless by a rapid run to Rome) of his travels in
Italy. I little thought to what it would conduct him. Peace be with him!
and may all such other faults as are inevitable to humanity be as
readily forgiven him, as the little injury which he had done to one who
respected his talents and regrets his loss."

       *       *       *       *       *

In reference to some complaints made by Mr. Bowles, in his Pamphlet, of
a charge of "hypochondriacism" which he supposed to have been brought
against him by his assailant, Mr. Gilchrist, the noble writer thus

"I cannot conceive a man in perfect health being much affected by such a
charge, because his complexion and conduct must amply refute it. But
were it true, to what does it amount?--to an impeachment of a liver
complaint. 'I will tell it to the world,' exclaimed the learned
Smelfungus: 'you had better (said I) tell it to your physician. 'There
is nothing dishonourable in such a disorder, which is more peculiarly
the malady of students. It has been the complaint of the good and the
wise and the witty, and even of the gay. Regnard, the author of the last
French comedy after Molière, was atrabilarious, and Molière himself
saturnine. Dr. Johnson, Gray, and Burns, were all more or less affected
by it occasionally. It was the prelude to the more awful malady of
Collins, Cowper, Swift, and Smart; but it by no means follows that a
partial affliction of this disorder is to terminate like theirs. But
even were it so,

    "'Nor best, nor wisest, are exempt from thee;
    Folly--Folly's only free.' PENROSE.

"Mendelsohn and Bayle were at times so overcome with this depression as
to be obliged to recur to seeing 'puppet-shows,' and 'counting tiles
upon the opposite houses,' to divert themselves. Dr. Johnson, at times,
'would have given a limb to recover his spirits.'

"In page 14. we have a large assertion, that 'the Eloisa alone is
sufficient to convict him (Pope) of _gross licentiousness_.' Thus, out
it comes at last--Mr. B. does accuse Pope of 'gross licentiousness,' and
grounds the charge upon a poem. The _licentiousness_ is a 'grand
peut-être,' according to the turn of the times being:--the _grossness_ I
deny. On the contrary, I do believe that such a subject never was, nor
ever could be, treated by any poet with so much delicacy mingled with,
at the same time, such true and intense passion. Is the 'Atys' of
Catullus _licentious_? No, nor even gross; and yet Catullus is often a
coarse writer. The subject is nearly the same, except that Atys was the
suicide of his manhood, and Abelard the victim.

"The 'licentiousness' of the story was _not_ Pope's,--it was a fact. All
that it had of gross he has softened; all that it had of indelicate he
has purified; all that it had of passionate he has beautified; all that
it had of holy he has hallowed. Mr. Campbell has admirably marked this
in a few words (I quote from memory), in drawing the distinction between
Pope and Dryden, and pointing out where Dryden was wanting. 'I fear,'
says he, 'that had the subject of 'Eloisa' fallen into his (Dryden's)
hands, that he would have given us but a _coarse_ draft of her passion.'
Never was the delicacy of Pope so much shown as in this poem. With the
facts and the letters of 'Eloisa' he has done what no other mind but
that of the best and purest of poets could have accomplished with such
materials. Ovid, Sappho (in the Ode called hers)--all that we have of
ancient, all that we have of modern poetry, sinks into nothing compared
with him in this production.

"Let us hear no more of this trash about 'licentiousness.' Is not
'Anacreon' taught in our schools?--translated, praised, and edited? and
are the English schools or the English women the more corrupt for all
this? When you have thrown the ancients into the fire, it will be time
to denounce the moderns. 'Licentiousness!'--there is more real mischief
and sapping licentiousness in a single French prose novel, in a Moravian
hymn, or a German comedy, than in all the actual poetry that ever was
penned or poured forth since the rhapsodies of Orpheus. The sentimental
anatomy of Rousseau and Mad. de S. are far more formidable than any
quantity of verse. They are so, because they sap the principles by
_reasoning_ upon the _passions_; whereas poetry is in itself passion,
and does not systematise. It assails, but does not argue; it may be
wrong, but it does not assume pretensions to optimism."

Mr. Bowles having, in his pamphlet, complained of some anonymous
communication which he had received, Lord Byron thus comments on the

"I agree with Mr. B. that the intention was to annoy him; but I fear
that this was answered by his notice of the reception of the criticism.
An anonymous writer has but one means of knowing the effect of his
attack. In this he has the superiority over the viper; he knows that his
poison has taken effect when he hears the victim cry;--the adder is
_deaf_. The best reply to an anonymous intimation is to take no notice
directly nor indirectly. I wish Mr. B. could see only one or two of the
thousand which I have received in the course of a literary life, which,
though begun early, has not yet extended to a third part of his
existence as an author. I speak of _literary_ life only;--were I to add
_personal_, I might double the amount of _anonymous_ letters. If he
could but see the violence, the threats, the absurdity of the whole
thing, he would laugh, and so should I, and thus be both gainers.

"To keep up the farce, within the last month of this present writing
(1821), I have had my life threatened in the same way which menaced Mr.
B.'s fame, excepting that the anonymous denunciation was addressed to
the Cardinal Legate of Romagna, instead of to * * * *. I append the
menace in all its barbaric but literal Italian, that Mr. B. may be
convinced; and as this is the only 'promise to pay' which the Italians
ever keep, so my person has been at least as much exposed to 'a shot in
the gloaming' from 'John Heatherblutter' (see Waverley), as ever Mr.
B.'s glory was from an editor. I am, nevertheless, on horseback and
lonely for some hours (_one_ of them twilight) in the forest daily; and
this, because it was my 'custom in the afternoon,' and that I believe if
the tyrant cannot escape amidst his guards (should it be so written), so
the humbler individual would find precautions useless."

The following just tribute to my Reverend Friend's merits as a poet I
have peculiar pleasure in extracting:--

"Mr. Bowles has no reason to 'succumb' but to Mr. Bowles. As a poet, the
author of 'The Missionary' may compete with the foremost of his
contemporaries. Let it be recollected, that all my previous opinions of
Mr. Bowles s poetry were _written_ long before the publication of his
_last_ and best poem; and that a poet's last poem should be his best, is
his highest praise. But, however, he may duly and honorably rank with
his living rivals," &c. &c. &c.

Among various Addenda for this pamphlet, sent at different times to Mr.
Murray, I find the following curious passages:--

"It is worthy of remark that, after all this outcry about '_in-door_
nature' and 'artificial images,' Pope was the principal inventor of that
boast of the English, _Modern Gardening_. He divides this honour with
Milton. Hear Warton:--'It hence appears that this _enchanting_ art of
modern gardening, in which this kingdom claims a preference over every
nation in Europe, chiefly owes _its origin_ and its improvements to two
great poets, Milton and _Pope_.'

"Walpole (no friend to Pope) asserts that Pope formed _Kent's_ taste,
and that Kent was the artist to whom the English are chiefly indebted
for diffusing 'a taste in laying out grounds.' The design of the Prince
of Wales's garden was copied from _Pope's_ at Twickenham. Warton
applauds 'his singular effort of art and taste, in impressing so much
variety and scenery on a spot of five acres.' Pope was the _first_ who
ridiculed the 'formal, French, Dutch, false and unnatural taste in
gardening,' both in _prose_ and verse. (See, for the former, 'The

"'Pope has given not only some of our _first_ but _best_ rules and
observations on _Architecture_ and _Gardening_.' (See Warton's Essay,
vol. ii. p. 237, &c.&c.)

"Now, is it not a shame, after this, to hear our Lakers in 'Kendal
green,' and our Bucolical Cockneys, crying out (the latter in a
wilderness of bricks and mortar) about 'Nature,' and Pope's 'artificial
in-door habits?' Pope had seen all of nature that _England_ alone can
supply. He was bred in Windsor Forest, and amidst the beautiful scenery
of Eton; he lived familiarly and frequently at the country seats of
Bathurst, Cobham, Burlington, Peterborough, Digby, and Bolingbroke;
amongst whose seats was to be numbered _Stowe_. He made his own little
five acres' a model to Princes, and to the first of our artists who
imitated nature. Warton thinks 'that the most engaging of _Kent's_ works
was also planned on the model of Pope's,--at least in the opening and
retiring shades of Venus's Vale.'

"It is true that Pope was infirm and deformed; but he could walk, and he
could ride (he rode to Oxford from London at a stretch), and he was
famous for an exquisite eye. On a tree at Lord Bathurst's is carved,
'Here Pope sang,'--he composed beneath it. Bolingbroke, in one of his
letters, represents them both writing in a hayfield. No poet ever
admired Nature more, or used her better, than Pope has done, as I will
undertake to prove from his works, prose and verse, if not anticipated
in so easy and agreeable a labour. I remember a passage in Walpole,
somewhere, of a gentleman who wished to give directions about some
willows to a man who had long served Pope in his grounds: 'I understand,
sir,' he replied: 'you would have them hang down, sir, _somewhat
poetical_.' Now if nothing existed but this little anecdote, it would
suffice to prove Pope's taste for _Nature_, and the impression which he
had made on a common-minded man. But I have already quoted Warton and
Walpole (_both_ his enemies), and, were it necessary, I could amply
quote Pope himself for such tributes to _Nature_ as no poet of the
present day has even approached.

"His various excellence is really wonderful: architecture, painting,
_gardening_, all are alike subject to his genius. Be it remembered, that
English _gardening_ is the purposed perfectioning of niggard _Nature_,
and that without it England is but a hedge-and-ditch,
double-post-and-rail, Hounslow-heath and Clapham-common sort of a
country, since the principal forests have been felled. It is, in
general, far from a picturesque country. The case is different with
Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; and I except also the lake counties and
Derbyshire, together with Eton, Windsor, and my own dear Harrow on the
Hill, and some spots near the coast. In the present rank fertility of
'great poets of the age,' and 'schools of poetry'--a word which, like
'schools of eloquence' and of 'philosophy,' is never introduced till the
decay of the art has increased with the number of its professors--in the
present day, then, there have sprung up two sorts of Naturals;--the
Lakers, who whine about Nature because they live in Cumberland; and
their _under-sect_ (which some one has maliciously called the 'Cockney
School'), who are enthusiastical for the country because they live in
London. It is to be observed, that the rustical founders are rather
anxious to disclaim any connection with their metropolitan followers,
whom they ungraciously review, and call cockneys, atheists, foolish
fellows, bad writers, and other hard names, not less ungrateful than
unjust. I can understand the pretensions of the aquatic gentlemen of
Windermere to what Mr. B * * terms '_entusumusy_' for lakes, and
mountains, and daffodils, and buttercups; but I should be glad to be
apprised of the foundation of the London propensities of their imitative
brethren to the same' high argument.' Southey, Wordsworth, and Coleridge
have rambled over half Europe, and seen Nature in most of her varieties
(although I think that they have occasionally not used her very well);
but what on earth--of earth, and sea, and Nature--have the others seen?
Not a half, nor a tenth part so much as Pope. While they sneer at his
Windsor Forest, have they ever seen any thing of Windsor except its

"When they have really seen life--when they have felt it--when they have
travelled beyond the far distant boundaries of the wilds of
Middlesex--when they have overpassed the Alps of Highgate, and traced to
its sources the Nile of the New River--then, and not till then, can it
properly be permitted to them to despise Pope; who had, if not _in
Wales_, been _near_ it, when he described so beautifully the
'_artificial_' works of the Benefactor of Nature and mankind, the 'Man
of Ross,' whose picture, still suspended in the parlour of the inn, I
have so often contemplated with reverence for his memory, and admiration
of the poet, without whom even his own still existing good works could
hardly have preserved his honest renown.

"If they had said nothing of _Pope_, they might have remained 'alone
with their glory' for aught I should have said or thought about them or
their nonsense. But if they interfere with the little 'Nightingale' of
Twickenham, they may find others who will bear it--_I_ won't. Neither
time, nor distance, nor grief, nor age, can ever diminish my veneration
for him, who is the great moral poet of all times, of all climes, of all
feelings, and of all stages of existence. The delight of my boyhood, the
study of my manhood, perhaps (if allowed to me to attain it) he may be
the consolation of my age. His poetry is the Book of Life. Without
canting, and yet without neglecting, religion, he has assembled all
that a good and great man can gather together of moral wisdom clothed in
consummate beauty. Sir William Temple observes, 'That of all the members
of mankind that live within the compass of a thousand years, for one man
that is born capable of making a _great poet_ there may be a _thousand_
born capable of making as great generals and ministers of state as any
in story.' Here is a statesman's opinion of poetry: it is honourable to
him and to the art. Such a 'poet of a thousand years' was _Pope_. A
thousand years will roll away before such another can be hoped for in
our literature. But it can _want_ them--he himself is a literature.

"One word upon his so brutally abused translation of Homer. 'Dr. Clarke,
whose critical exactness is well known, has _not been_ able to point out
above three or four mistakes _in the sense_ through the whole Iliad. The
real faults of the translation are of a different kind.' So says Warton,
himself a scholar. It appears by this, then, that he avoided the chief
fault of a translator. As to its other faults, they consist in his
having made a beautiful English poem of a sublime Greek one. It will
always hold. Cowper and all the rest of the blank pretenders may do
their best and their worst; they will never wrench Pope from the hands
of a single reader of sense and feeling.

"The grand distinction of the under forms of the new school of poets is
their _vulgarity_. By this I do not mean that they are coarse, but
'shabby-genteel,' as it is termed. A man may be _coarse_ and yet not
_vulgar_, and the reverse. Burns is often coarse, but never _vulgar_.
Chatterton is never vulgar, nor Wordsworth, nor the higher of the Lake
school, though they treat of low life in all its branches. It is in
their _finery_ that the new under school are _most_ vulgar, and they may
be known by this at once; as what we called at Harrow 'a Sunday blood'
might be easily distinguished from a gentleman, although his clothes
might be better cut, and his boots the best blackened, of the
two;--probably because he made the one or cleaned the other with his own

"In the present case, I speak of writing, not of persons. Of the latter,
I know nothing; of the former, I judge as it is found. * * They may be
honourable and _gentlemanly_ men, for what I know, but the latter
quality is studiously excluded from their publications. They remind me
of Mr. Smith and the Miss Broughtons at the Hampstead Assembly, in
'Evelina.' In these things (in private life, at least) I pretend to some
small experience: because, in the course of my youth, I have seen a
little of all sorts of society, from the Christian prince and the
Mussulman sultan and pacha, and the higher ranks of their countries,
down to the London boxer, the '_flash and the swell_,' the Spanish
muleteer, the wandering Turkish dervise, the Scotch Highlander, and the
Albanian robber;--to say nothing of the curious varieties of Italian
social life. Far be it from me to presume that there are now, or can be,
such a thing as an _aristocracy_ of _poets_; but there _is_ a nobility
of thought and of style, open to all stations, and derived partly from
talent, and partly from education,--which is to be found in Shakspeare,
and Pope, and Burns, no less than in Dante and Alfieri, but which is
nowhere to be perceived in the mock birds and bards of Mr. Hunt's little
chorus. If I were asked to define what this gentlemanliness is, I should
say that it is only to be defined by _examples_--of those who have it,
and those who have it not. In _life_, I should say that most _military_
men have it, and few _naval_; that several men of rank have it, and few
lawyers; that it is more frequent among authors than divines (when they
are not pedants); that _fencing_-masters have more of it than
dancing-masters, and singers than players; and that (if it be not _an
Irishism_ to say so) it is far more generally diffused among women than
among men. In poetry, as well as writing in general, it will never
_make_ entirely a poet or a poem; but neither poet nor poem will ever be
good for any thing without it. It is the _salt_ of society, and the
seasoning of composition. _Vulgarity_ is far worse than downright
_black-guardism_; for the latter comprehends wit, humour, and strong
sense at times; while the former is a sad abortive attempt at all
things, 'signifying nothing.' It does not depend upon low themes, or
even low-language, for Fielding revels in both;--but is he ever
_vulgar_? No. You see the man of education, the gentleman, and the
scholar, sporting with his subject,--its master, not its slave. Your
vulgar writer is always most vulgar the higher his subject; as the man
who showed the menagerie at Pidcock's was wont to say, 'This, gentlemen,
is the _Eagle_ of the _Sun_, from Archangel in Russia: the _otterer_ it
is, the _igherer_ he flies.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

In a note on a passage relative to Pope's lines upon Lady Mary W.
Montague, he says--

"I think that I could show, if necessary, that Lady Mary W. Montague was
also greatly to blame in that quarrel, _not_ for having rejected, but
for having encouraged him; but I would rather decline the task--though
she should have remembered her own line, '_He comes too near, that comes
to be denied._' I admire her so much--her beauty, her talents--that I
should do this reluctantly. I, besides, am so attached to the very name
of _Mary_, that as Johnson once said, 'If you called a dog _Harvey_, I
should love him;' so, if you were to call a female of the same species
'Mary,' I should love it better than others (biped or quadruped) of the
same sex with a different appellation. She was an extraordinary woman:
she could translate _Epictetus_, and yet write a song worthy of
Aristippus. The lines,

    "'And when the long hours of the public are past,
    And we meet, with champaigne and a chicken, at last,
    May every fond pleasure that moment endear.'
    Be banish'd afar both discretion and fear!
    Forgetting or scorning the airs of the crowd,
    He may cease to be formal, and I to be proud,
    Till,' &c. &c.

There, Mr. Bowles!--what say you to such a supper with such a woman? and
her own description too? Is not her '_champaigne and chicken_' worth a
forest or two? Is it not poetry? It appears to me that this stanza
contains the '_purée_' of the whole philosophy of Epicurus:--I mean the
_practical_ philosophy of his school, not the precepts of the master;
for I have been too long at the university not to know that the
philosopher was himself a moderate man. But after all, would not some of
us have been as great fools as Pope? For my part, I wonder that, with
his quick feelings, her coquetry, and his disappointment, he did no
more,--instead of writing some lines, which are to be condemned if
false, and regretted if true."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 11. 1821.

     "If I had but known your notion about Switzerland before, I should
     have adopted it at once. As it is, I shall let the child remain in
     her convent, where she seems healthy and happy, for the present;
     but I shall feel much obliged if you will _enquire_, when you are
     in the cantons, about the usual and better modes of education there
     for females, and let me know the result of your opinions. It is
     some consolation that both Mr. and Mrs. Shelley have written to
     approve entirely my placing the child with the nuns for the
     present. I can refer to my whole conduct, as having neither spared
     care, kindness, nor expense, since the child was sent to me. The
     people may say what they please, I must content myself with not
     deserving (in this instance) that they should speak ill.

     "The place is a country town in a good air, where there is a large
     establishment for education, and many children, some of
     considerable rank, placed in it. As a _country_ town, it is less
     liable to objections of every kind. It has always appeared to me,
     that the moral defect in Italy does _not_ proceed from a
     _conventual_ education,--because, to my certain knowledge, they
     come out of their convents innocent even to _ignorance_ of moral
     evil,--but to the state of society into which they are directly
     plunged on coming out of it. It is like educating an infant on a
     mountain-top, and then taking him to the sea and throwing him into
     it and desiring him to swim. The evil, however, though still too
     general, is partly wearing away, as the women are more permitted to
     marry from attachment: this is, I believe, the case also in France.
     And after all, what is the higher society of England? According to
     my own experience, and to all that I have seen and heard (and I
     have lived there in the very highest and what is called the
     _best_), no way of life can be more corrupt. In Italy, however, it
     is, or rather _was_, more _systematised_; but _now_, they
     themselves are ashamed of _regular_ Serventism. In England, the
     only homage which they pay to virtue is hypocrisy. I speak of
     course of the _tone_ of high life,--the middle ranks may be very

     "I have not got any copy (nor have yet had) of the letter on
     Bowles; of course I should be delighted to send it to you. How is
     Mrs. H.? well again, I hope. Let me know when you set out. I regret
     that I cannot meet you in the Bernese Alps this summer, as I once
     hoped and intended. With my best respects to madam, I am ever, &c.

     "P.S. I gave to a musician_er_ a letter for you some time ago--has
     he presented himself? Perhaps you could introduce him to the
     Ingrains and other dilettanti. He is simple and unassuming--two
     strange things in his profession--and he fiddles like Orpheus
     himself or Amphion: 'tis a pity that he can't make Venice dance
     away from the brutal tyrant who tramples upon it."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "May 14. 1821.

     "A Milan paper states that the play has been represented and
     universally condemned. As remonstrance has been vain, complaint
     would be useless. I presume, however, for your own sake (if not for
     mine), that you and my other friends will have at least published
     my different protests against its being brought upon the stage at
     all; and have shown that Elliston (in spite of the writer) _forced_
     it upon the theatre. It would be nonsense to say that this has not
     vexed me a good deal, but I am not dejected, and I shall not take
     the usual resource of blaming the public (which was in the right),
     or my friends for not preventing--what they could not help, nor I
     neither--a _forced_ representation by a speculating manager. It is
     a pity that you did not show them its _unfitness_ for the stage
     before the play was _published_, and exact a promise from the
     managers not to act it. In case of their refusal, we would not have
     published it at all. But this is too late.


     "P.S. I enclose Mr. Bowles's letters: thank him in my name for
     their candour and kindness.--Also a letter for Hodgson, which pray
     forward. The Milan paper states that I '_brought forward the
     play!!!_' This is pleasanter still. But don't let yourself be
     worried about it; and if (as is likely) the folly of Elliston
     checks the sale, I am ready to make any deduction, or the entire
     cancel of your agreement.

     "You will of course _not_ publish my defence of Gilchrist, as,
     after Bowles's good humour upon the subject, it would be too

     "Let me hear from you the particulars; for, as yet, I have only the
     simple fact.

     "If you knew what I have had to go through here, on account of the
     failure of these rascally Neapolitans, you would be amused; but it
     is now apparently over. They seemed disposed to throw the whole
     project and plans of these parts upon me chiefly."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "May 14. 1821.

     "If any part of the letter to Bowles has (unintentionally, as far
     as I remember the contents) vexed you, you are fully avenged; for I
     see by an Italian paper that, notwithstanding all my remonstrances
     through all my friends (and yourself among the rest), the managers
     persisted in attempting the tragedy, and that it has been
     'unanimously hissed!!' This is the consolatory phrase of the Milan
     paper, (which detests me cordially, and abuses me, on all
     occasions, as a Liberal,) with the addition that _I_ 'brought the
     play out' of my own good will.

     "All this is vexatious enough, and seems a sort of dramatic
     Calvinism--predestined damnation, without a sinner's own fault. I
     took all the pains poor mortal could to prevent this inevitable
     catastrophe--partly by appeals of all kinds up to the Lord
     Chamberlain, and partly to the fellows themselves. But, as
     remonstrance was vain, complaint is useless. I do not understand
     it--for Murray's letter of the 24th, and all his preceding ones,
     gave me the strongest hopes that there would be no representation.
     As yet, I know nothing but the fact, which I presume to be true, as
     the date is Paris, and the 30th. They must have been in a _hell_ of
     a hurry for this damnation, since I did not even know that it was
     published; and, without its being first published, the histrions
     could not have got hold of it. Any one might have seen, at a
     glance, that it was utterly impracticable for the stage; and this
     little accident will by no means enhance its merit in the closet.

     "Well, patience is a virtue, and, I suppose, practice will make it
     perfect. Since last year (spring, that is) I have lost a lawsuit,
     of great importance, on Rochdale collieries--have occasioned a
     divorce--have had my poesy disparaged by Murray and the critics--my
     fortune refused to be placed on an advantageous settlement (in
     Ireland) by the trustees--my life threatened last month (they put
     about a paper here to excite an attempt at my assassination, on
     account of politics, and a notion which the priests disseminated
     that I was in a league against the Germans,)--and, finally, my
     mother-in-law recovered last fortnight, and my play was damned last
     week! These are like 'the eight-and-twenty misfortunes of
     Harlequin.' But they must be borne. If I give in, it shall be after
     keeping up a spirit at least. I should not have cared so much about
     it, if our southern neighbours had not bungled us all out of
     freedom for these five hundred years to come.

     "Did you know John Keats? They say that he was killed by a review
     of him in the Quarterly--if he be dead, which I really don't know.
     I don't understand that _yielding_ sensitiveness. What I feel (as
     at this present) is an immense rage for eight-and-forty hours, and
     then, as usual--unless this time it should last longer. I must get
     on horseback to quiet me. Yours, &c.

     "Francis I. wrote, after the battle of Pavia, 'All is lost except
     our honour.' A hissed author may reverse it--'_Nothing_ is lost,
     except our honour.' But the horses are waiting, and the paper full.
     I wrote last week to you."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 19. 1821.

     "By the papers of Thursday, and two letters of Mr. Kinnaird, I
     perceive that the Italian gazette had lied most _Italically_, and
     that the drama had _not_ been hissed, and that my friends _had_
     interfered to prevent the representation. So it seems they
     continue to act it, in spite of us all: for this we must 'trouble
     them at 'size.' Let it by all means be brought to a plea: I am
     determined to try the right, and will meet the expenses. The reason
     of the Lombard lie was that the Austrians--who keep up an
     Inquisition throughout Italy, and a _list of names_ of all who
     think or speak of any thing but in favour of their despotism--have
     for five years past abused me in every form in the Gazette of
     Milan, &c. I wrote to you a week ago on the subject.

     "Now I should be glad to know what compensation Mr. Elliston would
     make me, not only for dragging my writings on the stage in _five_
     days, but for being the cause that I was kept for _four_ days (from
     Sunday to Thursday morning, the only post-days) in the _belief_
     that the _tragedy_ had been acted and 'unanimously hissed;' and
     this with the addition that _I_ 'had brought it upon the stage,'
     and consequently that none of my friends had attended to my request
     to the contrary. Suppose that I had burst a blood-vessel, like John
     Keats, or blown my brains out in a fit of rage,--neither of which
     would have been unlikely a few years ago. At present I am, luckily,
     calmer than I used to be, and yet I would not pass those four days
     over again for--I know not what[38].

     "I wrote to you to keep up your spirits, for reproach is useless
     always, and irritating--but my feelings were very much hurt, to be
     dragged like a gladiator to the fate of a gladiator by that
     '_retiarius_,' Mr. Elliston. As to his defence and offers of
     compensation, what is all this to the purpose? It is like Louis the
     Fourteenth, who insisted upon buying at any price Algernon Sydney's
     horse, and, on his refusal, on taking it by force, Sydney shot his
     horse. I could not shoot my tragedy, but I would have flung it into
     the fire rather than have had it represented.

     "I have now written nearly three _acts_ of another (intending to
     complete it in five), and am more anxious than ever to be preserved
     from such a breach of all literary courtesy and gentlemanly

     "If we succeed, well: if not, previous to any future publication,
     we will request a _promise_ not to be acted, which I would even pay
     for (as money is their object), or I will not publish--which,
     however, you will probably not much regret.

     "The Chancellor has behaved nobly. You have also conducted yourself
     in the most satisfactory manner; and I have no fault to find with
     any body but the stage-players and their proprietor. I was always
     so civil to Elliston personally, that he ought to have been the
     last to attempt to injure me.

     "There is a most rattling thunder-storm pelting away at this
     present writing; so that I write neither by day, nor by candle, nor
     torchlight, but by _lightning_ light: the flashes are as brilliant
     as the most gaseous glow of the gas-light company. My chimney-board
     has just been thrown down by a gust of wind: I thought that it was
     the 'Bold Thunder' and 'Brisk Lightning' in person.--_Three_ of us
     would be too many. There it goes--_flash_ again! but

        "I tax not you, ye elements, with unkindness;
        I never gave ye _franks_, nor _call'd_ upon you;

     as I have done by and upon Mr. Elliston.

     "Why do you not write? You should at least send me a line of
     particulars: I know nothing yet but by Galignani and the Honourable

     "Well, and how does our Pope controversy go on? and the pamphlet?
     It is impossible to write any news: the Austrian scoundrels rummage
     all letters.

     "P.S. I could have sent you a good deal of gossip and some _real_
     information, were it not that all letters pass through the
     Barbarians' inspection, and I have no wish to inform _them_ of any
     thing but my utter abhorrence of them and theirs. They have only
     conquered by treachery, however."

[Footnote 38: The account given, by Madame Guiccioli, of his anxiety on
this occasion, fully corroborates his own:--"His quiet was, in spite of
himself, often disturbed by public events, and by the attacks which,
principally in his character of author, the journals levelled at him. In
vain did he protest that he was indifferent to those attacks. The
impression was, it is true, but momentary, and he, from a feeling of
noble pride, but too much disdained to reply to his detractors. But,
however brief his annoyance was, it was sufficiently acute to occasion
him much pain, and to afflict those who loved him. Every occurrence
relative to the bringing Marino Faliero on the stage caused him
excessive inquietude. On, the occasion of an article in the Milan
Gazette, in which mention was made of this affair, he wrote to me in the
following manner:--'You will see here confirmation of what I told you
the other day! I am sacrificed in every way, without knowing the _why_
or the _wherefore_. The tragedy in question is not (nor ever was)
written for, or adapted to, the stage; nevertheless, the plan is not
romantic; it is rather regular than otherwise;--in point of unity of
time, indeed, perfectly regular, and failing but slightly in unity of
place. You well know whether it was ever my intention to have it acted,
since it was written at your side, and at a period assuredly rather more
_tragical_ to me as a _man_ than as an _author_; for _you_ were in
affliction and peril. In the mean time, I learn from your Gazette that a
cabal and party has been formed, while I myself have never taken the
slightest step in the business. It is said that the author read it
aloud!!!--here, probably, at Ravenna?--and to whom? perhaps to
Fletcher!!!--that illustrious literary character,'" &c. &c.--"Ma però la
sua tranquillità era suo malgrado sovente alterata dalle publiche
vicende, e dagli attachi che spesso si direggevano a lui nei giornali
come ad autore principalmente. Era invano che egli protestava
indifferenza per codesti attachi. L'impressione non era é vero che
momentanea, e purtroppo per una nobile fierezza sdegnava sempre di
rispondere ai suoi dettratori. Ma per quanto fosse breve quella
impressione era però assai forte per farlo molto soffrire e per
affliggere quelli che lo amavano. Tuttociò che ebbe luogo per la
rappresentazione del suo Marino Faliero lo inquictò pure moltissimo e
dietro ad un articolo di una Gazetta di Milano in cui si parlava di
quell' affare egli mi scrisse così--'Ecco la verità di ciò che io vi
dissi pochi giorni fa, come vengo sacrificato in tutte le maniere seza
sapere il _perché_ e il _come_. La tragedia di cui si parla non è (e non
era mai) nè scritta nè adattata al teatro; ma non è però romantico il
disegno, è piuttosto regolare--regolarissimo per l' unità del tempo, c
mancando poco a quella del sito. Voi sapete bene se io aveva intenzione
di farla rappresentare, poichè era scritta al vostro fianco e nei
momenti per certo più _tragici_ per me come _uomo_ che come
_autore_,--perchè _voi_ eravate in affanno ed in pericolo. Intanto sento
dalla vostra Gazetta che sia nata una cabala, un partito, e senza ch' io
vi abbia presa la minima parte. Si dice che _l'autore ne fece la
letlura!!!_--quì forse? a Ravenna?--ed a chi? forse a Fletcher!!!--quel
illustre litterato,'" &c. &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 20. 1821.

     "Since I wrote to you last week I have received English letters and
     papers, by which I perceive that what I took for an Italian _truth_
     is, after all, a French lie of the Gazette de France. It contains
     two ultra-falsehoods in as many lines. In the first place, Lord B.
     did _not_ bring forward his play, but opposed the same; and,
     secondly, it was _not_ condemned, but is continued to be acted, in
     despite of publisher, author, Lord Chancellor, and (for aught I
     know to the contrary) of audience, up to the first of May, at
     least--the latest date of my letters. You will oblige me, then, by
     causing Mr. Gazette of France to contradict himself, which, I
     suppose, he is used to. I never answer a foreign _criticism_; but
     this is a mere matter of fact, and not of _opinions_. I presume
     that you have English and French interest enough to do this for
     me--though, to be sure, as it is nothing but the _truth_ which we
     wish to state, the insertion may be more difficult.

     "As I have written to you often lately at some length, I won't bore
     you further now, than by begging you to comply with my request; and
     I presume the 'esprit du corps' (is it 'du' or 'de?' for this is
     more than I know) will sufficiently urge you, as one of '_ours_,'
     to set this affair in its real aspect. Believe me always yours ever
     and most affectionately,


       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 25. 1821.

     "I am very much pleased with what you say of Switzerland, and will
     ponder upon it. I would rather she married there than here for that
     matter. For fortune, I shall make all that I can spare (if I live
     and she is correct in her conduct); and if I die before she is
     settled, I have left her by will five thousand pounds, which is a
     fair provision _out_ of England for a natural child. I shall
     increase it all I can, if circumstances permit me; but, of course
     (like all other human things), this is very uncertain.

     "You will oblige me very much by interfering to have the FACTS of
     the play-acting stated, as these scoundrels appear to be organising
     a system of abuse against me, because I am in their '_list_.' I
     care nothing for _their criticism_, but the matter of fact. I have
     written _four_ acts of another tragedy, so you see they _can't_
     bully me.

     "You know, I suppose, that they actually keep a _list_ of all
     individuals in Italy who dislike them--it must be numerous. Their
     suspicions and actual alarms, about my conduct and presumed
     intentions in the late row, were truly ludicrous--though, not to
     bore you, I touched upon them lightly. They believed, and still
     believe here, or affect to believe it, that the whole plan and
     project of rising was settled by me, and the _means_ furnished, &c.
     &c. All this was more fomented by the barbarian agents, who are
     numerous here (one of them was stabbed yesterday, by the way, but
     not dangerously):--and although when the Commandant was shot here
     before my door in December, I took him into my house, where he had
     every assistance, till he died on Fletcher's bed; and although not
     one of them dared to receive him into their houses but myself, they
     leaving him to perish in the night in the streets, they put up a
     paper about three months ago, denouncing me as the Chief of the
     Liberals, and stirring up persons to assassinate me. But this shall
     never silence nor bully my opinions. All this came from the German

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 25. 1821.

     "Mr. Moray,

     "Since I wrote the enclosed a week ago, and for some weeks before,
     I have not had a line from you: now, I should be glad to know upon
     what principle of common or _un_common feeling, you leave me
     without any information but what I derive from garbled gazettes in
     English, and abusive ones in Italian (the Germans hating me as a
     _coal-heaver_), while all this kick-up has been going on about the
     play? You SHABBY fellow!!! Were it not for two letters from Douglas
     Kinnaird, I should have been as ignorant as you are negligent.

     "So, I hear Bowles has been abusing Hobhouse? If that's the case,
     he has broken the truce, like Morillo's successor, and I will cut
     him out, as Cochrane did the Esmeralda.

     "Since I wrote the enclosed packet, I have completed (but not
     copied out) four acts of a new tragedy. When I have finished the
     fifth, I will copy it out. It is on the subject of 'Sardanapalus,'
     the last king of the Assyrians. The words _Queen_ and _Pavilion_
     occur, but it is not an allusion to his Britannic Majesty, as you
     may tremulously imagine. This you will one day see (if I finish
     it), as I have made Sardanapalus _brave_, (though voluptuous, as
     history represents him,) and also as _amiable_ as my poor powers
     could render him:--so that it could neither be truth nor satire on
     any living monarch. I have strictly preserved all the unities
     hitherto, and mean to continue them in the fifth, if possible; but
     _not_ for _the stage_. Yours, in haste and hatred, you shabby
     correspondent! N."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 28. 1821.

     "Since my last of the 26th or 25th, I have dashed off my fifth act
     of the tragedy called 'Sardanapalus.' But now comes the copying
     over, which may prove heavy work--heavy to the writer as to the
     reader. I have written to you at least six times sans answer, which
     proves you to be a--bookseller. I pray you to send me a copy of Mr.
     _Wrangham_'s reformation of '_Langhorne_'s Plutarch.' I have the
     Greek, which is somewhat small of print, and the Italian, which is
     too heavy in style, and as false as a Neapolitan patriot
     proclamation. I pray you also to send me a Life, published some
     years ago, of the _Magician Apollonius_ of Tyana. It is in English,
     and I think edited or written by what Martin Marprelate calls '_a
     bouncing priest_.' I shall trouble you no farther with this sheet
     than with the postage. Yours, &c. N.

     "P.S. Since I wrote this, I determined to enclose it (as a half
     sheet) to Mr. Kinnaird, who will have the goodness to forward it.
     Besides, it saves sealing-wax."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 30. 1821.

     "Dear Moray,

     "You say you have written often: I have only received yours of the
     eleventh, which is very short. By this post, _five_ packets, I send
     you the tragedy of Sardanapalus, which is written in a rough hand:
     perhaps Mrs. Leigh can help you to decipher it. You will please to
     acknowledge it by return of post. You will remark that the
     _unities_ are all _strictly_ observed. The scene passes in the same
     _hall_ always: the time, a _summer's night_, about nine hours, or
     less, though it begins before sunset and ends after sun-rise. In
     the third act, when Sardanapalus calls for a _mirror_ to look at
     himself in his armour, recollect to quote the Latin passage from
     _Juvenal_ upon _Otho_ (a similar character, who did the same
     thing): Gifford will help you to it. The trait is perhaps too
     familiar, but it is historical, (of _Otho_, at least,) and natural
     in an effeminate character."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, May 31. 1821.

     "I enclose you another letter, which will only confirm what I have
     said to you.

     "About Allegra'--I will take some decisive step in the course of
     the year; at present, she is so happy where she is, that perhaps
     she had better have her _alphabet_ imparted in her convent.

     "What you say of the _Dante_ is the first I have heard of it--all
     seeming to be merged in the _row_ about the tragedy. Continue
     it!--Alas! what could Dante himself _now_ prophesy about Italy? I
     am glad you like it, however, but doubt that you will be singular
     in your opinion. My _new_ tragedy is completed.

     "The B * * is _right_,--I ought to have mentioned her _humour_ and
     _amiability_, but I thought at her _sixty_, beauty would be most
     agreeable or least likely. However, it shall be rectified in a new
     edition; and if any of the parties have either looks or qualities
     which they wish to be noticed, let me have a minute of them. I have
     no private nor personal dislike to _Venice_, rather the contrary,
     but I merely speak of what is the subject of all remarks and all
     writers upon her present state. Let me hear from you before you

     "Believe me, ever, &c.

     "P.S. Did you receive two letters of Douglas Kinnaird's in an
     endorse from me? Remember me to Mengaldo, Soranzo, and all who care
     that I should remember them. The letter alluded to in the
     enclosed, 'to the _Cardinal_,' was in answer to some queries of
     the government, about a poor devil of a Neapolitan, arrested at
     Sinigaglia on suspicion, who came to beg of me here; being without
     breeches, and consequently without pockets for halfpence, I
     relieved and forwarded him to his country, and they arrested him at
     Pesaro on suspicion, and have since interrogated me (civilly and
     politely, however,) about him. I sent them the poor man's petition,
     and such information as I had about him, which I trust will get him
     out again, that is to say, if they give him a fair hearing.

     "I _am_ content with the article. Pray, did you receive, some posts
     ago, Moore's lines which I enclosed to you, written at Paris?"

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, June 4. 1821.

     "You have not written lately, as is the usual custom with literary
     gentlemen, to console their friends with their observations in
     cases of magnitude. I do not know whether I sent you my 'Elegy on
     the _recovery_ of Lady * *:'--

        "Behold the blessings of a lucky lot--
        My play is damn'd, and Lady * * _not_.

     "The papers (and perhaps your letters) will have put you in
     possession of Muster Elliston's dramatic behaviour. It is to be
     presumed that the play was _fitted_ for the stage by Mr. Dibdin,
     who is the tailor upon such occasions, and will have taken measure
     with his usual accuracy. I hear that it is still continued to be
     performed--a piece of obstinacy for which it is some consolation to
     think that the discourteous histrio will be out of pocket.

     "You will be surprised to hear that I have finished another tragedy
     in _five_ acts, observing all the unities strictly. It is called
     'Sardanapalus,' and was sent by last post to England. It is _not
     for_ the stage, any more than the other was intended for it--and I
     shall take better care _this_ time that they don't get hold on't.

     "I have also sent, two months ago, a further letter on Bowles, &c.;
     but he seems to be so taken up with my 'respect' (as he calls it)
     towards him in the former case, that I am not sure that it will be
     published, being somewhat too full of' pastime and prodigality.' I
     learn from some private letters of Bowles's, that _you_ were 'the
     gentleman in asterisks.' Who would have dreamed it? you see what
     mischief that clergyman has done by printing notes without names.
     How the deuce was I to suppose that the first four asterisks meant
     'Campbell' and _not_ 'Pope,' and that the blank signature meant
     Thomas Moore[39]? You see what comes of being familiar with
     parsons. His answers have not yet reached me, but I understand from
     Hobhouse, that _he_ (H.) is attacked in them. If that be the case,
     Bowles has broken the truce, (which he himself proclaimed, by the
     way,) and I must have at him again.

     "Did you receive my letters with the two or three concluding sheets
     of Memoranda?

     "There are no news here to interest much. A German spy (_boasting_
     himself such) was stabbed last week, but _not_ mortally. The moment
     I heard that he went about bullying and boasting, it was easy for
     me, or any one else, to foretell what would occur to him, which I
     did, and it came to pass in two days after. He has got off,
     however, for a slight incision.

     "A row the other night, about a lady of the place, between her
     various lovers, occasioned a midnight discharge of pistols, but
     nobody wounded. Great scandal, however--planted by her lover--_to
     be_ thrashed by her husband, for inconstancy to her regular
     Servente, who is coming home post about it, and she herself retired
     in confusion into the country, although it is the acme of the opera
     season. All the women furious against her (she herself having been
     censorious) for being _found out_. She is a pretty woman--a
     Countess * * * *--a fine old Visigoth name, or Ostrogoth.

     "The Greeks! what think you? They are my old acquaintances--but
     what to think I know not. Let us hope howsomever.



[Footnote 39: In their eagerness, like true controversialists, to avail
themselves of every passing advantage, and convert even straws into
weapons on an emergency, my two friends, during their short warfare,
contrived to place me in that sort of embarrassing position, the most
provoking feature of which is, that it excites more amusement than
sympathy. On the one side, Mr. Bowles chose to cite, as a support to his
argument, a short fragment of a note, addressed to him, as be stated, by
"a gentleman of the highest literary," &c. &c., and saying, in reference
to Mr. Bowles's former pamphlet, "You have hit the right nail on the
head, and * * * * too." This short scrap was signed with four asterisks;
and when, on the appearance of Mr. Bowles's Letter, I met with it in his
pages, not the slightest suspicion ever crossed my mind that I had been
myself the writer of it;--my communications with my reverend friend and
neighbour having been (for years, I am proud to say) sufficiently
frequent to allow of such a hasty compliment to his disputative powers
passing from my memory. When Lord Byron took the field against Mr.
Bowles's Letter, this unlucky scrap, so authoritatively brought forward,
was, of course, too tempting a mark for his facetiousness to be
resisted; more especially as the person mentioned in it, as having
suffered from the reverend critic's vigour, appeared, from the number of
asterisks employed in designating him, to have been Pope himself,
though, in reality, the name was that of Mr. Bowles's former antagonist,
Mr. Campbell. The noble assailant, it is needless to say, made the most
of this vulnerable point; and few readers could have been more diverted
than I was with his happy ridicule of "the gentleman in asterisks,"
little thinking that I was myself, all the while, this veiled
victim,--nor was it till about the time of the receipt of the above
letter, that, by some communication on the subject from a friend in
England, I was startled into the recollection of my own share in the

While by one friend I was thus unconsciously, if not innocently, drawn
into the scrape, the other was not slow in rendering me the same
friendly service;--for, on the appearance of Lord Byron's answer to Mr.
Bowles, I had the mortification of finding that, with a far less
pardonable want of reserve, he had all but named me as his authority for
an anecdote of his reverend opponent's early days, which I had, in the
course of an after-dinner conversation, told him at Venice, and
which,--pleasant in itself, and, whether true or false,
harmless,--derived its sole sting from the manner in which the noble
disputant triumphantly applied it. Such are the consequences of one's
near and dear friends taking to controversy.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, June 22. 1821.

     "Your dwarf of a letter came yesterday. That is right;--keep to
     your 'magnum opus '--magnoperate away. Now, if we were but together
     a little to combine our 'Journal of Trevoux!' But it is useless to
     sigh, and yet very natural,--for I think you and I draw better
     together, in the social line, than any two other living authors.

     "I forgot to ask you, if you had seen your own panegyric in the
     correspondence of Mrs. Waterhouse and Colonel Berkeley? To be sure
     _their_ moral is not quite exact; but _your passion_ is fully
     effective; and all poetry of the Asiatic kind--I mean Asiatic, as
     the Romans called _Asiatic_ oratory,' and not because the scenery
     is Oriental--must be tried by that test only. I am not quite sure
     that I shall allow the Miss Byrons (legitimate or illegitimate) to
     read Lalla Rookh--in the first place, on account of this said
     _passion_; and, in the second, that they mayn't discover that there
     was a better poet than papa.

     "You say nothing of politics--but, alas! what can be said?

        "The world is a bundle of hay,
          Mankind are the asses who pull,
        Each tugs it a different way,--
          And the greatest of all is John Bull!

     "How do you call your new project? I have sent Murray a new
     tragedy, ycleped 'Sardanapalus,' writ according to Aristotle--all,
     save the chorus--could not reconcile me to that. I have begun
     another, and am in the second act;--so you see I saunter on as

     "Bowles's answers have reached me; but I can't go on disputing for
     ever,--particularly in a polite manner. I suppose he will take
     being _silent_ for _silenced_. He has been so civil that I can't
     find it in my liver to be facetious with him,--else I had a savage
     joke or two at his service. * * *

     "I can't send you the little journal, because it is in boards, and
     I can't trust it per post. Don't suppose it is any thing
     particular; but it will show the _intentions_ of the natives at
     that time--and one or two other things, chiefly personal, like the
     former one.

     "So, Longman don't _bite_.--It was my wish to have made that work
     of use. Could you not raise a sum upon it (however small),
     reserving the power of redeeming it, on repayment?

     "Are you in Paris, or a villaging? If you are in the city, you will
     never resist the Anglo-invasion you speak of. I do not see an
     Englishman in half a year, and, when I do, I turn my horse's head
     the other way. The fact, which you will find in the last note to
     the Doge, has given me a good excuse for quite dropping the least
     connection with travellers.

     "I do not recollect the speech you speak of, but suspect it is not
     the Doge's, but one of Israel Bertuccio to Calendaro. I hope you
     think that Elliston behaved shamefully--it is my only consolation.
     I made the Milanese fellows contradict their lie, which they did
     with the grace of people used to it.

     "Yours, &c.


       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, July 5. 1821.

     "How could you suppose that I ever would allow any thing that
     _could_ be said on your account to weigh with _me_? I only regret
     that Bowles had not _said_ that you were the writer of that note,
     until afterwards, when out he comes with it, in a private letter to
     Murray, which Murray sends to me. D----n the controversy!

              "D----n Twizzle,
              D----n the bell,
        And d----n the fool who rung it--Well!
        From all such plagues I'll quickly be deliver'd.

     "I have had a friend of your Mr. Irving's--a very pretty lad--a Mr.
     Coolidge, of Boston--only somewhat too full of poesy and
     'entusymusy.' I was very civil to him during his few hours' stay,
     and talked with him much of Irving, whose writings are my delight.
     But I suspect that he did not take quite so much to me, from his
     having expected to meet a misanthropical gentleman, in wolf-skin
     breeches, and answering in fierce monosyllables, instead of a man
     of this world. I can never get people to understand that poetry is
     the expression of _excited passion_, and that there is no such
     thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake,
     or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever _shave_ themselves in
     such a state?

     "I have had a curious letter to-day from a girl in England (I never
     saw her), who says she is given over of a decline, but could not go
     out of the world without thanking me for the delight which my poesy
     for several years, &c. &c. &c. It is signed simply N.N.A. and has
     not a word of 'cant' or preachment in it upon _any_ opinions. She
     merely says that she is dying, and that as I had contributed so
     highly to her existing pleasure, she thought that she might say so,
     begging me to _burn_ her _letter_--which, by the way, I can _not_
     do, as I look upon such a letter in such circumstances as better
     than a diploma from Gottingen. I once had a letter from Drontheim,
     in _Norway_ (but not from a dying woman), in verse, on the same
     score of gratulation. These are the things which make one at times
     believe one's self a poet. But if I must believe that * * * * * and
     such fellows, are poets also, it is better to be out of the corps.

     "I am now in the fifth act of 'Foscari,' being the third tragedy in
     twelve months, besides _proses_; so you perceive that I am not at
     all idle. And are you, too, busy? I doubt that your life at Paris
     draws too much upon your time, which is a pity. Can't you divide
     your day, so as to combine both? I have had plenty of all sorts of
     worldly business on my hands last year, and yet it is not so
     difficult to give a few hours to the Muses. This sentence is so
     like * * * * that ----

     "Ever, &c.

     "If we were together, I should publish both my plays (periodically)
     in our _joint_ journal. It should be our plan to publish all our
     best things in that way."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the Journal entitled "Detached Thoughts," I find the tribute to his
genius which he here mentions, as well as some others, thus
interestingly dwelt upon.

"As far as fame goes (that is to say, _living_ fame) I have had my
share, perhaps--indeed, _certainly_--more than my deserts.

"Some odd instances have occurred to my own experience, of the wild and
strange places to which a name may penetrate, and where it may impress.
Two years ago (almost three, being in August or July, 1819,) I received
at Ravenna a letter, in _English_ verse, from _Drontheim_ in Norway,
written by a Norwegian, and full of the usual compliments, &c. &c. It is
still somewhere amongst my papers. In the same month I received an
invitation into _Holstein_ from a Mr. Jacobsen (I think) of Hamburgh:
also, by the same medium, a translation of Medora's song in The Corsair
by a Westphalian baroness (_not_ 'Thunderton-Tronck'), with some
original verses of hers (very pretty and Klopstock-ish), and a prose
translation annexed to them, on the subject of my wife:--as they
concerned her more than me. I sent them to her, together with Mr.
Jacobsen's letter. It was odd enough to receive an invitation to pass
the _summer_ in _Holstein_ while in _Italy_, from people I never knew.
The letter was addressed to Venice. Mr. Jacobsen talked to me of the
'wild roses growing in the Holstein summer.' Why then did the Cimbri and
Teutones emigrate?

"What a strange thing is life and man! Were I to present myself at the
door of the house where my daughter now is, the door would be shut in my
face--unless (as is not impossible) I knocked down the porter; and if I
had gone in that year (and perhaps now) to Drontheim (the furthest town
in Norway), or into Holstein, I should have been received with open arms
into the mansion of strangers and foreigners, attached to me by no tie
but that of mind and rumour.

"As far as _fame_ goes, I have had my share: it has indeed been leavened
by other human contingencies, and this in a greater degree than has
occurred to most literary men of a _decent_ rank in life; but, on the
whole, I take it that such equipoise is the condition of humanity."

Of the visit, too, of the American gentleman, he thus speaks in the same

"A young American, named Coolidge, called on me not many months ago. He
was intelligent, very handsome, and not more than twenty years old,
according to appearances; a little romantic, but that sits well upon
youth, and mighty fond of poesy, as may be suspected from his
approaching me in my cavern. He brought me a message from an old
servant of my family (Joe Murray), and told me that _he_ (Mr. Coolidge)
had obtained a copy of my bust from Thorwaldsen at Rome, to send to
America. I confess I was more flattered by this young enthusiasm of a
solitary trans-Atlantic traveller, than if they had decreed me a statue
in the Paris Pantheon (I have seen emperors and demagogues cast down
from their pedestals even in my own time, and Grattan's name rased from
the street called after him in Dublin); I say that I was more flattered
by it, because it was _single, unpolitical_, and was without motive or
ostentation,--the pure and warm feeling of a boy for the poet he
admired. It must have been expensive, though;--_I_ would not pay the
price of a Thorwaldsen bust for any human head and shoulders, except
Napoleon's, or my children's, or some '_absurd womankind's_,' as
Monkbarns calls them,--or my sister's. If asked _why_, then, I sat for
my own?--Answer, that it was at the particular request of J.C. Hobhouse,
Esq. and for no one else. A _picture_ is a different matter;--every body
sits for their picture;--but a bust looks like putting up pretensions to
permanency, and smacks something of a hankering for _public_ fame rather
than private remembrance.

"Whenever an American requests to see me (which is not unfrequently), I
comply, firstly, because I respect a people who acquired their freedom
by their firmness without excess; and, secondly, because these
trans-Atlantic visits, 'few and far between,' make me feel as if talking
with posterity from the other side of the Styx. In a century or two the
new English and Spanish Atlantides will be masters of the old countries,
in all probability, as Greece and Europe overcame their mother Asia in
the older or earlier ages, as they are called."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, July 6. 1821.

     "In agreement with a wish expressed by Mr. Hobhouse, it is my
     determination to omit the stanza upon the _horse of Semiramis_ in
     the fifth Canto of Don Juan. I mention this in case you are, or
     intend to be, the publisher of the remaining Cantos.

     "At the particular request of the Contessa G. I have promised _not_
     to continue Don Juan. You will therefore look upon these three
     Cantos as the last of the poem. She had read the two first in the
     French translation, and never ceased beseeching me to write no more
     of it. The reason of this is not at first obvious to a superficial
     observer of FOREIGN manners; but it arises from the wish of all
     women to exalt the sentiment of the passions, and to keep up the
     illusion which is their empire. Now Don Juan strips off this
     illusion, and laughs at that and most other things. I never knew a
     woman who did _not_ protect _Rousseau_, nor one who did not dislike
     De Grammont, Gil Bias, and all the comedy of the passions, when
     brought out naturally. But 'king's blood must keep word,' as
     Serjeant Bothwell says."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "July 14. 1821.

     "I trust that Sardanapalus will not be mistaken for a _political_
     play, which was so far from my intention, that I thought of nothing
     but Asiatic history. The Venetian play, too, is rigidly historical.
     My object has been to dramatise, like the Greeks (a _modest_
     phrase), striking passages of history, as they did of history and
     mythology. You will find all this very _un_like Shakspeare; and so
     much the better in one sense, for I look upon him to be the _worst_
     of models[40], though the most extraordinary of writers. It has
     been my object to be as simple and severe as Alfieri, and I have
     broken down the _poetry_ as nearly as I could to common language.
     The hardship is, that in these times one can neither speak of kings
     nor queens without suspicion of politics or personalities. I
     intended neither.

     "I am not very well, and I write in the midst of unpleasant scenes
     here: they have, without trial or process, banished several of the
     first inhabitants of the cities--here and all around the Roman
     states--amongst them many of my personal friends, so that every
     thing is in confusion and grief: it is a kind of thing which cannot
     be described without an equal pain as in beholding it.

     "You are very niggardly in your letters.

     "Yours truly,


[Footnote 40: In venturing this judgment upon Shakspeare, Lord Byron but
followed in the footsteps of his great idol Pope. "It was mighty simple
in Rowe," says this poet, "to write a play now professedly in
Shakspeare's style, that is, professedly in the style of a bad
age."--Spence, sect. 4. 1734-36. Of Milton, too, Pope seems to have held
pretty nearly the same opinion as that professed by Lord Byron in some
of these letters. See, in Spence, sect. 5 1737-39, a passage on which
his editor remarks--"Perhaps Pope did not relish Shakspeare more than he
seems to have done Milton."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, July 22. 1821.

     "The printer has done wonders;--he has read what I cannot--my own

     "I _oppose_ the 'delay till winter:' I am particularly anxious to
     print while the _winter theatres_ are _closed_, to gain time, in
     case they try their former piece of politeness. Any _loss_ shall be
     considered in our contract, whether occasioned by the season or
     other causes; but print away, and publish.

     "I think they must own that I have more _styles_ than one.
     'Sardanapalus' is, however, almost a comic character: but, for that
     matter, so is Richard the Third. Mind the _unities_, which are my
     great object of research. I am glad that Gifford likes it: as for
     'the million,' you see I have carefully consulted any thing but the
     _taste_ of the day for extravagant 'coups de théâtre.' Any probable
     loss, as I said before, will be allowed for in our accompts. The
     reviews (except one or two--Blackwood's, for instance) are cold
     enough; but never mind those fellows: I shall send them to the
     right about, if I take it into my head. I always found the English
     _baser_ in some things than any other nation. You stare, but it's
     true as to gratitude,--perhaps because they are prouder, and proud
     people hate obligations.

     "The tyranny of the Government here is breaking out. They have
     exiled about a thousand people of the best families all over the
     Roman states. As many of my friends are amongst them, I think of
     moving too, but not till I have had your answers. Continue _your
     address_ to me _here_, as usual, and quickly. What you will _not_
     be sorry to hear is, that the _poor_ of the place, hearing that I
     meant to go, got together a petition to the Cardinal to request
     that _he_ would request me to _remain_. I only heard of it a day or
     two ago, and it is no dishonour to them nor to me; but it will have
     displeased the higher powers, who look upon me as a Chief of the
     Coalheavers. They arrested a servant of mine for a street quarrel
     with an officer (they drew upon one another knives and pistols),
     but as _the officer_ was out of uniform, and in the _wrong_
     besides, on my protesting stoutly, he was released. I was not
     present at the affray, which happened by night near my stables. My
     man (an Italian), a very stout and not over-patient personage,
     would have taken a fatal revenge afterwards, if I had not prevented
     him. As it was, he drew his stiletto, and, but for passengers,
     would have carbonadoed the captain, who, I understand, made but a
     poor figure in the quarrel, except by beginning it. He applied to
     me, and I offered him any satisfaction, either by turning away the
     man, or otherwise, because he had drawn a knife. He answered that
     a reproof would be sufficient. I reproved him; and yet, after
     this, the shabby dog complained to the _Government_,--after being
     quite satisfied, as he said. _This_ roused me, and I gave them a
     remonstrance which had some effect. The captain has been
     reprimanded, the servant released, and the business at present
     rests there."

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the victims of the "black sentence and proscription" by which the
rulers of Italy were now, as appears from the above letters, avenging
their late alarm upon all who had even in the remotest degree
contributed to it, the two Gambas were, of course, as suspected Chiefs
of the Carbonari of Romagna, included. About the middle of July, Madame
Guiccioli, in a state of despair, wrote to inform Lord Byron that her
father, in whose palazzo she was at that time residing, had just been
ordered to quit Ravenna within twenty-four hours, and that it was the
intention of her brother to depart the following morning. The young
Count, however, was not permitted to remain even so long, being arrested
that very night, and conveyed by soldiers to the frontier; and the
Contessa herself, in but a few days after, found that she also must join
the crowd of exiles. The prospect of being again separated from her
noble friend seems to have rendered banishment little less fearful, in
her eyes, than death. "This alone," she says in a letter to him, "was
wanting to fill up the measure of my despair. Help me, my dear Byron,
for I am in a situation most terrible; and without you, I can resolve
upon nothing. * * has just been with me, having been sent by * * to
tell me that I must depart from Ravenna before next Tuesday, as my
husband has had recourse to Rome, for the purpose of either forcing me
to return to him, or else putting me in a convent; and the answer from
thence is expected in a few days. I must not speak of this to any
one,--I roust escape by night; for, if my project should be discovered,
it will be impeded, and my passport (which the goodness of Heaven has
permitted me, I know not how, to obtain) will be taken from me. Byron! I
am in despair!--If I must leave you here without knowing when I shall
see you again, if it is your will that I should suffer so cruelly, I am
resolved to remain. They may put me in a convent; I shall die,--but--but
then you cannot aid me, and I cannot reproach you. I know not what they
tell me, for my agitation overwhelms me;--and why? Not because I fear my
present danger, but solely, I call Heaven to witness, solely because I
must leave you."

Towards the latter end of July, the writer of this tender and truly
feminine letter found herself forced to leave Ravenna,--the home of her
youth, as it was, now, of her heart,--uncertain whither to go, or where
she should again meet Lord Byron. After lingering for a short time at
Bologna, under a faint expectation that the Court of Rome might yet,
through some friendly mediation [41], be induced to rescind its order
against her relatives, she at length gave up all hope, and joined her
father and brother at Florence.

It has been already seen, from Lord Byron's letters, that he had himself
become an object of strong suspicion to the Government, and it was,
indeed, chiefly in their desire to rid themselves of his presence, that
the steps taken against the Gamba family had originated;--the constant
benevolence which he exercised towards the poor of Ravenna being likely,
it was feared, to render him dangerously popular among a people unused
to charity on so enlarged a scale. "One of the principal causes," says
Madame Guiccioli, "of the exile of my relatives, was in reality the idea
that Lord Byron would share the banishment of his friends. Already the
Government were averse to Lord Byron's residence at Ravenna; knowing his
opinions, fearing his influence, and also exaggerating the extent of his
means for giving effect to them. They fancied that he provided money for
the purchase of arms, &c. and that he contributed pecuniarily to the
wants of the Society. The truth is, that, when called upon to exercise
his beneficence, he made no enquiries as to the political and religious
opinions of those who required his aid. Every unhappy and needy object
had an equal share in his benevolence. The Anti-Liberals, however,
insisted upon believing that he was the principal support of Liberalism
in Romagna, and were desirous of his departure; but, not daring to exact
it by any direct measure, they were in hopes of being able indirectly to
force him into this step."[42]

After stating the particulars of her own hasty departure, the lady
proceeds:--"Lord Byron, in the mean time, remained at Ravenna, in a town
convulsed by party spirit, where he had certainly, on account of his
opinions, many fanatical and perfidious enemies; and my imagination
always painted him surrounded by a thousand dangers. It may be
conceived, therefore, what that journey must have been to me, and what I
suffered at such a distance from him. His letters would have given me
comfort; but two days always elapsed between his writing and my
receiving them; and this idea embittered all the solace they would
otherwise have afforded me, so that my heart was torn by the most cruel
fears. Yet it was necessary for his own sake that he should remain some
time longer at Ravenna, in order that it might not be said that he also
was banished. Besides, he had conceived a very great affection for the
place itself; and was desirous, before he left it, of exhausting every
means and hope of procuring the recall of my relations from

[Footnote 41: Among the persons applied to by Lord Byron for their
interest on this occasion was the late Duchess of Devonshire, whose
answer, dated from Spa, I found among his papers. With the utmost
readiness her Grace undertakes to write to Rome on the subject, and
adds, "Believe me also, my Lord, that there is a character of justice,
goodness, and benevolence, in the present Government of Rome, which, if
they are convinced of the just claims of the Conte de Gamba and his son,
will make them grant their request."]

[Footnote 42: "Una delle principali ragioni per cui si erano esigliati i
miei parenti era la speranza che Lord Byron pure lascierebbe la Romagna
quando i suoi amici fossero partiti. Già da qualche tempo la permanenza
di Lord Byron in Ravenna era mal gradita dal Governo conoscendosile sue
opinione e temendosila sua influenza, ed essaggiandosi anche i suoi
mezzi per esercitarìa. Si credeva che egli somministrasse danaro per
provvedere armi, e che provvedesse ai bisogni della Società. La veritÃ
era che nello spargere le sue beneficenze egli non s'informava delle
opinioni politiche e religiose di quello che aveva bisogno del suo
soccorso; ogni misero ed ogni infelice aveva un eguale diviso alia sua
generosità. Ma in ogni modo gli Anti-Liberali lo credevano il principale
sostegno del Liberalismo della Romagna, e desideravano la sua partenza;
ma non osando provocarla in nessun modo diretto speravano di ottenerla

[Footnote 43: "Lord Byron restava frattanto a Ravenna in un paese
sconvolso dai partiti, e dove aveva certamente dei nemici di opinioni
fanatici e perfidi, e la mia immaginazione me lo dipingeva circondato
sempre da mille pericoli. Si può dunque pensare cosa dovesse essere qual
viaggio per me e cosa io dovessi soffrire nella sua lontananza. Le sue
lettere avrebbero potuto essermi di conforto; ma quando io le riceveva
era già trascorso lo spazio di due giorni dal momenta in cui furono
scritte, e questo pensiero distruggeva tutto il bene che esse potevano
farmi, e la mia anima era lacerata dai più crudeli timori. Frattanto era
necessario per la di lui convenienza che egli restasse ancora qualche
tempo in Ravenna affinchè non avesse a dirsi che egli pure ne era
esigliato; ed oltreciò egli si era sominamente affezionato a quel
soggiorno e voleva innanzi di partire vedere esausiti tutti i tentativi
e tutte le speranze del ritorno dei miei parenti."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, July 23. 1821.

     "This country being in a state of proscription, and all my friends
     exiled or arrested--the whole family of Gamba obliged to go to
     Florence for the present--the father and son for politics--(and the
     Guiccioli, because menaced with a _convent_, as her father is _not_
     here,) I have determined to remove to Switzerland, and they also.
     Indeed, my life here is not supposed to be particularly safe--but
     that has been the case for this twelvemonth past, and is therefore
     not the primary consideration.

     "I have written by this post to Mr. Hentsch, junior, the banker of
     Geneva, to provide (if possible) a house for me, and another for
     Gamba's family, (the father, son, and daughter,) on the _Jura_ side
     of the lake of Geneva, furnished, and with stabling (for _me_ at
     least) for eight horses. I shall bring Allegra with me. Could you
     assist me or Hentsch in his researches? The Gambas are at Florence,
     but have authorised me to treat for them. You know, or do not know,
     that they are great patriots--and both--but the son in
     particular--very fine fellows. _This_ I know, for I have seen them
     lately in very awkward situations--_not_ pecuniary, but
     personal--and they behaved like heroes, neither yielding nor

     "You have no idea what a state of oppression this country is
     in--they arrested above a thousand of high and low throughout
     Romagna--banished some and confined others, without _trial_,
     _process_, or even _accusation_!! Every body says they would have
     done the same by me if they dared proceed openly. My motive,
     however, for remaining, is because _every one_ of my acquaintance,
     to the amount of hundreds almost, have been exiled.

     "Will you do what you can in looking out for a couple of houses
     _furnished_, and conferring with Hentsch for us? We care nothing
     about society, and are only anxious for a temporary and tranquil
     asylum and individual freedom.

     "Believe me, &c.

     "P.S. Can you give me an idea of the comparative expenses of
     Switzerland and Italy? which I have forgotten. I speak merely of
     those of decent _living, horses_, &c. and not of luxuries or high
     living. Do _not_, however, decide any thing positively till I have
     your answer, as I can then know how to think upon these topics of
     transmigration, &c. &c. &c."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, July 30. 1821.

     "Enclosed is the best account of the Doge Faliero, which was only
     sent to me from an old MS. the other day. Get it translated, and
     append it as a note to the next edition. You will perhaps be
     pleased to see that my conceptions of his character were correct,
     though I regret not having met with this extract before. You will
     perceive that he himself said exactly what he is made to say about
     the Bishop of Treviso. You will see also that' he spoke very
     little, and those only words of rage and disdain,' _after_ his
     arrest, which is the case in the play, except when he breaks out at
     the close of Act Fifth. But his speech to the conspirators is
     better in the MS. than in the play. I wish that I had met with it
     in time. Do not forget this note, with a translation.

     "In a former note to the Juans, speaking of Voltaire, I have quoted
     his famous 'Zaire, tu pleures,' which is an error; it should be
     'Zaire, _vous pleures_.' Recollect this.

     "I am so busy here about those poor proscribed exiles, who are
     scattered about, and with trying to get some of them recalled, that
     I have hardly time or patience to write a short preface, which will
     be proper for the two plays. However, I will make it out on
     receiving the next proofs.

     "Yours ever, &c.

     "P.S. Please to append the letter about _the Hellespont_ as a note
     to your next opportunity of the verses on Leander, &c. &c. &c. in
     Childe Harold. Don't forget it amidst your multitudinous
     avocations, which I think of celebrating in a Dithyrambic Ode to
     Albemarle Street.

     "Are you aware that Shelley has written an Elegy on Keats, and
     accuses the Quarterly of killing him?

        "'Who kill'd John Keats?"
          'I,' says the Quarterly,
        So savage and Tartarly;
          'Twas one of my feats.'

        "'Who shot the arrow?'
          The poet-priest Milman
          (So ready to kill man),
        Or Southey or Barrow.'

     "You know very well that I did not approve of Keats's poetry, or
     principles of poetry, or of his abuse of Pope; but, as he is dead,
     omit _all_ that is said _about him_ in any MSS. of mine, or
     publication. His Hyperion is a fine monument, and will keep his
     name. I do not envy the man who wrote the article;--you Review
     people have no more right to kill than any other footpads. However,
     he who would die of an article in a Review would probably have died
     of something else equally trivial. The same thing nearly happened
     to Kirke White, who died afterwards of a consumption."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, August 2. 1821.

     "I had certainly answered your last letter, though but briefly, to
     the part to which you refer, merely saying, 'damn the controversy;'
     and quoting some verses of George Colman's, not as allusive to you,
     but to the disputants. Did you receive this letter? It imports me
     to know that our letters are not intercepted or mislaid.

     "Your Berlin drama [44] is an honour, unknown since the days of
     Elkanah Settle, whose 'Emperor of Morocco' was represented by the
     Court ladies, which was, as Johnson says, 'the last blast of
     inflammation' to poor Dryden, who could not bear it, and fell foul
     of Settle without mercy or moderation, on account of that and a
     frontispiece, which he dared to put before his play.

     "Was not your showing the Memoranda to * * somewhat perilous? Is
     there not a facetious allusion or two which might as well be
     reserved for posterity?

     "I know S * * well--that is to say, I have met him occasionally at
     Copet. Is he not also touched lightly in the Memoranda? In a review
     of Childe Harold, Canto 4th, three years ago, in Blackwood's
     Magazine, they quote some stanzas of an elegy of S * *'s on Rome,
     from which they say that I _might_ have taken some ideas. I give
     you my honour that I never saw it except in that criticism, which
     gives, I think, three or four stanzas, sent them (they say) for the
     nonce by a correspondent--perhaps himself. The fact is easily
     proved; for I don't understand German, and there was, I believe, no
     translation--at least, it was the first time that I ever heard of,
     or saw, either translation or original.

     "I remember having some talk with S * * about Alfieri, whose merit
     he denies. He was also wroth about the Edinburgh Review of Goethe,
     which was sharp enough, to be sure. He went about saying, too, of
     the French--'I meditate a terrible vengeance against the French--I
     will prove that Molière is no poet[45].'

     "I don't see why you should talk of 'declining.' When I saw you,
     you looked thinner, and yet younger, than you did when we parted
     several years before. You may rely upon this as fact. If it were
     not, I should say _nothing_, for I would rather not say unpleasant
     _personal_ things to anyone--but, as it was the pleasant _truth_, I
     tell it you. If you had led my life, indeed, changing climates and
     connections--_thinning_ yourself with fasting and
     purgatives--besides the wear and tear of the vulture passions, and
     a very bad temper besides, you might talk in this way--but _you_! I
     know no man who looks so well for his years, or who deserves to
     look better and to be better, in all respects. You are a * * *,
     and, what is perhaps better for your friends, a good fellow. So,
     don't talk of decay, but put in for eighty, as you well may.

     "I am, at present, occupied principally about these unhappy
     proscriptions and exiles, which have taken place here on account of
     politics. It has been a miserable sight to see the general
     desolation in families. I am doing what I can for them, high and
     low, by such interest and means as I possess or can bring to bear.
     There have been thousands of these proscriptions within the last
     month in the Exarchate, or (to speak modernly) the Legations.
     Yesterday, too, a man got his back broken, in extricating a dog of
     mine from under a mill-wheel. The dog was killed, and the man is in
     the greatest danger. I was not present--it happened before I was
     up, owing to a stupid boy taking the dog to bathe in a dangerous
     spot. I must, of course, provide for the poor fellow while he
     lives, and his family, if he dies. I would gladly have given a
     much greater sum than that will come to that he had never been
     hurt. Pray, let me hear from you, and excuse haste and hot weather.

     "Yours, &c.

     "You may have probably seen all sorts of attacks upon me in some
     gazettes in England some months ago. I only saw them, by Murray's
     bounty, the other day. They call me 'Plagiary,' and what not. I
     think I now, in my time, have been accused of _every_ thing.

     "I have not given you details of little events here; but they have
     been trying to make me out to be the chief of a conspiracy, and
     nothing but their want of proofs for an _English_ investigation has
     stopped them. Had it been a poor native, the suspicion were enough,
     as it has been for hundreds.

     "Why don't you write on Napoleon? I have no spirits, nor 'estro' to
     do so. His overthrow, from the beginning, was a blow on the head to
     me. Since that period, we have been the slaves of fools. Excuse
     this long letter. _Ecco_ a translation literal of a French epigram.

        "Egle, beauty and poet, has two little crimes,
        She makes her own face, and does _not_ make her rhymes.

     "I am going to ride, having been warned not to ride in a particular
     part of the forest, on account of the ultra-politicians.

     "Is there no chance of your return to England, and of _our_
     Journal? I would have published the two plays in it--two or three
     scenes per number--and, indeed, _all_ of mine in it. If you went
     to England, I would do so still."

[Footnote 44: There had been, a short time before, performed at the
Court of Berlin a spectacle founded on the Poem of Lalla Rookh, in which
the present Emperor of Russia personated Feramorz, and the Empress,
Lalla Rookh.]

[Footnote 45: This threat has been since acted upon;--the critic in
question having, to the great horror of the French literati, pronounced
Molière to be a "farceur."]

       *       *       *       *       *

About this time Mr. Shelley, who had now fixed his residence at Pisa,
received a letter from Lord Byron, earnestly requesting to see him, in
consequence of which he immediately set out for Ravenna; and the
following extracts from letters, written during his stay with his noble
friend, will be read with that double feeling of interest which is
always sure to be excited in hearing one man of genius express his
opinions of another.

     "Ravenna, August 7. 1821.

     "I arrived last night at ten o'clock, and sat up talking with Lord
     Byron until five this morning: I then went to sleep, and now awake
     at eleven; and having despatched my breakfast as quick as possible,
     mean to devote the interval until twelve, when the post departs, to

     "Lord Byron is very well, and was delighted, to see me. He has in
     fact completely recovered his health, and lives a life totally the
     reverse of that which he led at Venice. He has a permanent sort of
     liaison with the Contessa Guiccioli, who is now at Florence, and
     seems from her letters to be a very amiable woman. She is waiting
     there until something shall be decided as to their emigration to
     Switzerland or stay in Italy, which is yet undetermined on either
     side. She was compelled to escape from the Papal territory in great
     haste, as measures had already been taken to place her in a
     convent, where she would have been unrelentingly confined for
     life. The oppression of the marriage contract as existing in the
     laws and opinions of Italy, though less frequently exercised, is
     far severer than that of England.

     "Lord Byron had almost destroyed himself at Venice. His state of
     debility was such that he was unable to digest any food: he was
     consumed by hectic fever, and would speedily have perished but for
     this attachment, which reclaimed him from the excesses into which
     he threw himself, from carelessness and pride, rather than taste.
     Poor fellow I he is now quite well, and immersed in politics and
     literature. He has given me a number of the most interesting
     details on the former subject; but we will not speak of them in a
     letter. Fletcher is here, and--as if, like a shadow, he waxed and
     waned with the substance of his master--has also revived his good
     looks, and from amidst the unseasonable grey hairs, a fresh harvest
     of flaxen locks has put forth.

     "We talked a great deal of poetry and such matters last night; and,
     as usual, differed--and I think more than ever. He affects to
     patronise a system of criticism fit only for the production of
     mediocrity; and, although all his finer poems and passages have
     been produced in defiance of this system, yet I recognise the
     pernicious effects of it in the Doge of Venice; and it will cramp
     and limit his future efforts, however great they may be, unless he
     gets rid of it. I have read only parts of it, or rather he himself
     read them to me, and gave me the plan of the whole.

     "Ravenna, August 15. 1821.

     "We ride out in the evening through the pine forests which divide
     the city from the sea. Our way of life is this, and I have
     accommodated myself to it without much difficulty:--Lord Byron gets
     up at two--breakfasts--we talk, read, &c. until six--then we ride
     at eight, and after dinner sit talking until four or five in the
     morning. I get up at twelve, and am now devoting the interval
     between my rising and his to you.

     "Lord Byron is greatly improved in every respect--in genius, in
     temper, in moral views, in health and happiness. His connection
     with La Guiccioli has been an inestimable benefit to him. He lives
     in considerable splendour, but within his income, which is now
     about four thousand a year, one thousand of which he devotes to
     purposes of charity. He has had mischievous passions, but these he
     seems to have subdued; and he is becoming, what he should be, a
     virtuous man. The interest which he took in the politics of Italy,
     and the actions he performed in consequence of it, are subjects not
     fit to be written, but are such as will delight and surprise you.

     "He is not yet decided to go to Switzerland, a place, indeed,
     little fitted for him: the gossip and the cabals of those
     Anglicised coteries would torment him as they did before, and might
     exasperate him into a relapse of libertinism, which, he says, he
     plunged into not from taste, but from despair. La Guiccioli and her
     brother (who is Lord Byron's friend and confidant, and acquiesces
     perfectly in her connection with him) wish to go to Switzerland,
     as Lord Byron says, merely from the novelty and pleasure of
     travelling. Lord Byron prefers Tuscany or Lucca, and is trying to
     persuade them to adopt his views. He has made _me_ write a long
     letter to her to engage her to remain. An odd thing enough for an
     utter stranger to write on subjects of the utmost delicacy to his
     friend's mistress--but it seems destined that I am always to have
     some active part in every body's affairs whom I approach. I have
     set down, in tame Italian, the strongest reasons I can think of
     against the Swiss emigration. To tell you the truth, I should be
     very glad to accept as my fee his establishment in Tuscany. Ravenna
     is a miserable place: the people are barbarous and wild, and their
     language the most infernal _patois_ that you can imagine. He would
     be in every respect better among the Tuscans.

     "He has read to me one of the unpublished cantos of Don Juan, which
     is astonishingly fine. It sets him not only above, but far above
     all the poets of the day. Every word has the stamp of immortality.
     This canto is in a style (but totally free from indelicacy, and
     sustained with incredible ease and power) like the end of the
     second canto: there is not a word which the most rigid assertor of
     the dignity of human nature could desire to be cancelled: it
     fulfils, in a certain degree, what I have long preached,--of
     producing something wholly new, and relative to the age, and yet
     surpassingly beautiful. It may be vanity, but I think I see the
     trace of my earnest exhortations to him, to create something wholly
     new. * * * *

     "I am sure, if I asked, it would not be refused; yet there is
     something in me that makes it impossible. Lord Byron and I are
     excellent friends; and were I reduced to poverty, or were I a
     writer who had no claim to a higher station than I possess, or did
     I possess a higher than I deserve, we should appear in all things
     as such, and I would freely ask him any favour. Such is not now the
     case: the demon of mistrust and of pride lurks between two persons
     in our situation, poisoning the freedom of our intercourse. This is
     a tax, and a heavy one, which we must pay for being human. I think
     the fault is not on my side; nor is it likely,--I being the weaker.
     I hope that in the next world these things will be better managed.
     What is passing in the heart of another rarely escapes the
     observation of one who is a strict anatomist of his own. * * *

     "Lord Byron here has splendid apartments in the palace of Count
     Guiccioli, who is one of the richest men in Italy. She is divorced,
     with an allowance of twelve thousand crowns a year;--a miserable
     pittance from a man who has a hundred and twenty thousand a year.
     There are two monkeys, five cats, eight dogs, and ten horses, all
     of whom (except the horses) walk about the house like the masters
     of it. Tita, the Venetian, is here, and operates as my valet--a
     fine fellow, with a prodigious black beard, who has stabbed two or
     three people, and is the most good-natured-looking fellow I ever

     "Wednesday, Ravenna.

     "I told you I had written, by Lord Byron's desire, to La
     Guiccioli, to dissuade her and her family from Switzerland. Her
     answer is this moment arrived, and my representation seems to have
     reconciled them to the unfitness of the step. At the conclusion of
     a letter, full of all the fine things she says she has heard of me,
     is this request, which I transcribe:--'Signore, la vostra bontà mi
     fa ardita di chiedervi un favore, me lo accorderete voi? _Non
     partite da Ravenna senza Milord._' Of course, being now, by all the
     laws of knighthood, captive to a lady's request, I shall only be at
     liberty on _my parole_ until Lord Byron is settled at Pisa. I shall
     reply, of course, that the boon is granted, and that if Lord Byron
     is reluctant to quit Ravenna after I have made arrangements for
     receiving him at Pisa, I am bound to place myself in the same
     situation as now, to assail him with importunities to rejoin her.
     Of this there is fortunately no need; and I need not tell you that
     there is no fear that this chivalric submission of mine to the
     great general laws of antique courtesy, against which I never
     rebel, and which is my religion, should interfere with my soon
     returning, and long remaining with you, dear girl. * *

     "We ride out every evening as usual, and practise pistol-shooting
     at a pumpkin, and I am not sorry to observe that I approach towards
     my noble friend's exactness of aim. I have the greatest trouble to
     get away, and Lord Byron, as a reason for my stay, has urged, that
     without either me or the Guiccioli, he will certainly fall into his
     old habits. I then talk, and he listens to reason; and I earnestly
     hope that he is too well aware of the terrible and degrading
     consequences of his former mode of life, to be in danger from the
     short interval of temptation that will be left him."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, August 10. 1821.

     "Your conduct to Mr. Moore is certainly very handsome; and I would
     not say so if I could help it, for you are not at present by any
     means in my good graces.

     "With regard to additions, &c. there is a Journal which I kept in
     1814 which you may ask him for; also a Journal which you must get
     from Mrs. Leigh, of my journey in the Alps, which contains all the
     germs of Manfred. I have also kept a small Diary here for a few
     months last winter, which I would send you, and any continuation.
     You would find easy access to all my papers and letters, and do
     _not neglect this_ (in case of accidents) on account of the mass of
     confusion in which they are; for out of that chaos of papers you
     will find some curious ones of mine and others, if not lost or
     destroyed. If circumstances, however (which is almost impossible),
     made me ever consent to a publication in my lifetime, you would in
     that case, I suppose, make Moore some advance, in proportion to the
     likelihood or non-likelihood of success. You are both sure to
     survive me, however.

     "You must also have from Mr. Moore the correspondence between me
     and Lady B. to whom I offered the sight of all which regards
     herself in these papers. This is important. He has _her_ letter,
     and a copy of my answer. I would rather Moore edited me than

     "I sent you Valpy's letter to decide for yourself, and Stockdale's
     to amuse you. _I_ am always loyal with you, as I was in Galignani's
     affair, and _you_ with me--now and then.

     "I return you Moore's letter, which is very creditable to him, and
     you, and me.

     "Yours ever."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, August 16. 1821.

     "I regret that Holmes can't or won't come: it is rather shabby, as
     I was always very civil and punctual with him. But he is but one *
     * more. One meets with none else among the English.

     "I wait the proofs of the MSS. with proper impatience.

     "So you have published, or mean to publish, the new Juans? Ar'n't
     you afraid of the Constitutional Assassination of Bridge Street?
     When first I saw the name of _Murray_, I thought it had been yours;
     but was solaced by seeing that your synonyme is an attorneo, and
     that you are not one of that atrocious crew.

     "I am in a great discomfort about the probable war, and with my
     trustees not getting me out of the funds. If the funds break, it is
     my intention to go upon the highway. All the other English
     professions are at present so ungentlemanly by the conduct of those
     who follow them, that open robbing is the only fair resource left
     to a man of any principles; it is even honest, in comparison, by
     being undisguised.

     "I wrote to you by last post, to say that you had done the handsome
     thing by Moore and the Memoranda. You are very good as times go,
     and would probably be still better but for the 'march of events'
     (as Napoleon called it), which won't permit any body to be better
     than they should be.

     "Love to Gifford. Believe me, &c.

     "P.S. I restore Smith's letter, whom thank for his good opinion. Is
     the bust by Thorwaldsen arrived?"

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, August 23. 1821.

     "Enclosed are the two acts corrected. With regard to the charges
     about the shipwreck, I think that I told both you and Mr. Hobhouse,
     years ago, that there was not a _single circumstance_ of it not
     taken from _fact_; not, indeed, from any _single_ shipwreck, but
     all from actual facts of different wrecks[46]. Almost all Don Juan
     is _real_ life, either my own, or from people I knew. By the way,
     much of the description of the _furniture_, in Canto third, is
     taken from _Tully's Tripoli_ (pray _note this_), and the rest from
     my own observation. Remember, I never meant to conceal this at all,
     and have only not stated it, because Don Juan had no preface nor
     name to it. If you think it worth while to make this statement, do
     so in your own way. _I_ laugh at such charges, convinced that no
     writer ever borrowed less, or made his materials more his own. Much
     is coincidence: for instance, Lady Morgan (in a really _excellent_
     book, I assure you, on Italy) calls Venice an _ocean Rome_: I have
     the very same expression in Foscari, and yet _you_ know that the
     play was written months ago, and sent to England: the 'Italy' I
     received only on the 16th instant.

     "Your friend, like the public, is not aware, that my dramatic
     simplicity is _studiously_ Greek, and must continue so: _no_ reform
     ever succeeded at first[47]. I admire the old English dramatists;
     but this is quite another field, and has nothing to do with theirs.
     I want to make a _regular_ English drama, no matter whether for the
     stage or not, which is not my object,--but a _mental theatre_.


     "P.S. Can't accept your courteous offer.

        "For Orford and for Waldegrave
        You give much more than me you gave;
        Which is not fairly to behave,
                              My Murray.

        "Because if a live dog, 'tis said,
        Be worth a lion fairly sped,
        A _live lord_ must be worth _two_ dead,
                              My Murray.

        "And if as the opinion goes,
        Verse hath a better sale than prose--
        Certes, I should have more than those,
                              My Murray.

        "But now this sheet is nearly cramm'd,
        So, if _you will_, _I_ sha'n't be shamm'd,
        And if you _won't_, _you_ may be damn'd,
                              My Murray.

     "These matters must be arranged with Mr. Douglas Kinnaird. He is my
     trustee, and a man of honour. To him you can state all your
     mercantile reasons, which you might not like to state to me
     personally, such as 'heavy season'--'flat public'--'don't go
     off'--'Lordship writes too much'--won't take advice'--'declining
     popularity'--deduction for the trade'--'make very
     little'--'generally lose by him'--'pirated edition'--'foreign
     edition'--'severe criticisms,' &c. with other hints and howls for
     an oration, which I leave Douglas, who is an orator, to answer.

     "You can also state them more freely to a third person, as between
     you and me they could only produce some smart postscripts, which
     would not adorn our mutual archives.

     "I am sorry for the Queen, and that's more than you are."

[Footnote 46: One of the charges of plagiarism brought against him by
some scribblers of the day was founded (as I have already observed in
the first volume of this work) on his having sought in the authentic
records of real shipwrecks those materials out of which he has worked
his own powerful description in the second Canto of Don Juan. With as
much justice might the Italian author, (Galeani, if I recollect right,)
who wrote a Discourse on the Military Science displayed by Tasso in his
battles, have reproached that poet with the sources from which he drew
his knowledge:--with as much justice might Puysegur and Segrais, who
have pointed out the same merit in Homer and Virgil, have withheld their
praise because the science on which this merit was founded must have
been derived by the skill and industry of these poets from others.

So little was Tasso ashamed of those casual imitations of other poets
which are so often branded as plagiarisms, that, in his Commentary on
his Rime, he takes pains to point out and avow whatever coincidences of
this kind occur in his own verses.

While on this subject, I may be allowed to mention one single instance,
where a thought that had lain perhaps indistinctly in Byron's memory
since his youth, comes out so improved and brightened as to be, by every
right of genius, his own. In the Two Noble Kinsmen of Beaumont and
Fletcher (a play to which the picture of passionate friendship,
delineated in the characters of Palamon and Arcite, would be sure to
draw the attention of Byron in his boyhood,) we find the following

           "Oh never
    Shall we two exercise, like twins of Honour,
    Our arms again, and _feel our fiery horses
    Like proud seas under us_."

Out of this somewhat forced simile, by a judicious transposition of the
comparison, and by the substitution of the more definite word "waves"
for "seas" the clear, noble thought in one of the Cantos of Childe
Harold has been produced:--

    "Once more upon the waters! yet once more!
    And the waves bound beneath me, as a steed
    That knows his rider."]

[Footnote 47: "No man ever rose (says Pope) to any degree of perfection
in writing but through obstinacy and an inveterate resolution against
the stream of mankind."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, August 24. 1821.

     "Yours of the 5th only yesterday, while I had letters of the 8th
     from London. Doth the post dabble into our letters? Whatever
     agreement you make with Murray, if satisfactory to _you_, must be
     so to me. There need be no scruple, because, though I used
     sometimes to buffoon to myself, loving a quibble as well as the
     barbarian himself (Shakspeare, to wit)--'that, like a Spartan, I
     would sell my _life_ as _dearly_ as possible'--it never was my
     intention to turn it to personal, pecuniary account, but to
     bequeath it to a friend--yourself--in the event of survivorship. I
     anticipated that period, because we happened to meet, and I urged
     you to make what was possible _now_ by it, for reasons which are
     obvious. It has been no possible _privation_ to me, and therefore
     does not require the acknowledgments you mention. So, for God's
     sake, don't consider it like * * *

     "By the way, when you write to Lady Morgan, will you thank her for
     her handsome speeches in her book about _my_ books? I do not know
     her address. Her work is fearless and excellent on the subject of
     Italy--pray tell her so--and I know the country. I wish she had
     fallen in with _me_, I could have told her a thing or two that
     would have confirmed her positions.

     "I am glad you are satisfied with Murray, who seems to value dead
     lords more than live ones. I have just sent him the following answer
     to a proposition of his,

        "For Orford and for Waldegrave, &c.

     "The argument of the above is, that he wanted to 'stint me of my
     sizings,' as Lear says,--that is to say, _not_ to propose an
     extravagant price for an extravagant poem, as is becoming. Pray
     take his guineas, by all means--_I_ taught him that. He made me a
     filthy offer of _pounds_ once, but I told him that, like
     physicians, poets must be dealt with in guineas, as being the only
     advantage poets could have in the association with _them_, as
     votaries of Apollo. I write to you in hurry and bustle, which I
     will expound in my next.

     "Yours ever, &c.

     "P.S. You mention something of an attorney on his way to me on
     legal business. I have had no warning of such an apparition. What
     can the fellow want? I have some lawsuits and business, but have
     not heard of any thing to put me to the expense of a _travelling_
     lawyer. They do enough, in that way, at home.

     "Ah, poor Queen I but perhaps it is for the best, if Herodotus's
     anecdote is to be believed.

     "Remember me to any friendly Angles of our mutual acquaintance.
     What are you doing? Here I have had my hands full with tyrants and
     their victims. There never _was_ such oppression, even in Ireland,

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, August 31. 1821.

     "I have received the Juans, which are printed so _carelessly_,
     especially the fifth Canto, as to be disgraceful to me, and not
     creditable to you. It really must be _gone over again_ with the
     _manuscript_, the errors are so gross;--words added--changed--so as
     to make cacophony and nonsense. You have been careless of this poem
     because some of your squad don't approve of it; but I tell you that
     it will be long before you see any thing half so good as poetry or
     writing. Upon what principle have you omitted the note on Bacon and
     Voltaire? and one of the concluding stanzas sent as an addition?
     because it ended, I suppose, with--

        "And do not link two virtuous souls for life
        Into that _moral centaur_ man and wife?

     "Now, I must say, once for all, that I will not permit any human
     being to take such liberties with my writings because I am absent.
     I desire the omissions to be replaced (except the stanza on
     Semiramis)--particularly the stanza upon the Turkish marriages; and
     I request that the whole be carefully gone over with the MS.

     "I never saw such stuff as is printed:--Gu_ll_eyaz instead of
     Gu_lb_eyaz, &c. Are you aware that Gulbeyaz is a real name, and the
     other nonsense? I copied the _Cantos_ out carefully, so that there
     is _no_ excuse, as the printer read, or at least _prints_, the MS.
     of the plays without error.

     "If you have no feeling for your own reputation, pray have some
     little for mine. I have read over the poem carefully, and I tell
     you, _it is poetry_. Your little envious knot of parson-poets may
     say what they please: time will show that I am not in this instance

     "Desire my friend Hobhouse to correct the press, especially of the
     last Canto, from the manuscript as it is. It is enough to drive one
     out of one's reason to see the infernal torture of words from the
     original. For instance the line--

        "And _pair_ their rhymes as Venus yokes her doves--

     is printed

        "And _praise_ their rhymes, &c.

     Also '_precarious_' for '_precocious_;' and this line, stanza 133.

        "_And this strong extreme effect to tire no longer._

     Now do turn to the manuscript and see if I ever wrote such a
     _line_: it is _not verse_.

     "No wonder the poem should fail (which, however, it won't, you will
     see) with such things allowed to creep about it. Replace what is
     omitted, and correct what is so shamefully misprinted, and let the
     poem have fair play; and I fear nothing.

     "I see in the last two numbers of the Quarterly a strong itching to
     assail me (see the review of 'The Etonian'); let it, and see if
     they sha'n't have enough of it. I do not allude to Gifford, who has
     always been my friend, and whom I do not consider as responsible
     for the articles written by others.

     "You will publish the plays when ready. I am in such a humour
     about this printing of Don Juan so inaccurately, that I must close


     "P.S. I presume that you have _not_ lost the _stanza_ to which I
     allude? It was sent afterwards: look over my letters and find it."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "The enclosed letter is written in bad humour, but not without
     provocation. However, let it (that is, the bad humour) go for
     little; but I must request your serious attention to the abuses of
     the printer, which ought never to have been permitted. You forget
     that all the fools in London (the chief purchasers of your
     publications) will condemn in me the stupidity of your printer. For
     instance, in the notes to Canto fifth, 'the _Adriatic_ shore of the
     Bosphorus' instead of the _Asiatic!!_ All this may seem little to
     you, so fine a gentleman with your ministerial connections, but it
     is serious to me, who am thousands of miles off, and have no
     opportunity of not proving myself the fool your printer makes me,
     except your pleasure and leisure, forsooth.

     "The gods prosper you, and forgive you, for I can't."

[Footnote 48: Written in the envelope of the preceding Letter.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, September 3. 1821.

     "By Mr. Mawman (a paymaster in the corps, in which you and I are
     privates) I yesterday expedited to your address, under cover one,
     two paper books, containing the _Giaour_-nal, and a thing or two.
     It won't _all_ do--even for the posthumous public--but extracts
     from it may. It is a brief and faithful chronicle of a month or
     so--parts of it not very discreet, but sufficiently sincere. Mr.
     Mawman saith that he will, in person or per friend, have it
     delivered to you in your Elysian fields.

     "If you have got the new Juans, recollect that there are some very
     gross printer's blunders, particularly in the fifth Canto,--such as
     'praise' for 'pair'--'precarious' for 'precocious'--'Adriatic' for
     'Asiatic'--'case' for 'chase'--besides gifts of additional words
     and syllables, which make but a cacophonous rhythmus. Put the pen
     through the said, as I would mine through * *'s ears, if I were
     alongside him. As it is, I have sent him a rattling letter, as
     abusive as possible. Though he is publisher to the 'Board of
     _Longitude_,' he is in no danger of discovering it.

     "I am packing for Pisa--but direct your letters _here_, till
     further notice. Yours ever," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the "paper-books" mentioned in this letter as intrusted to Mr.
Mawman for me, contained a portion, to the amount of nearly a hundred
pages, of a prose story, relating the adventures of a young Andalusian
nobleman, which had been begun by him, at Venice, in 1817. The following
passage is all I shall extract from this amusing Fragment:--

     "A few hours afterwards we were very good friends, and a few days
     after she set out for Arragon, with my son, on a visit to her
     father and mother. I did not accompany her immediately, having been
     in Arragon before, but was to join the family in their Moorish
     château within a few weeks.

     "During her journey I received a very affectionate letter from
     Donna Josepha, apprising me of the welfare of herself and my son.
     On her arrival at the château, I received another still more
     affectionate, pressing me, in very fond, and rather foolish, terms,
     to join her immediately. As I was preparing to set out from
     Seville, I received a third--this was from her father, Don Jose di
     Cardozo, who requested me, in the politest manner, to dissolve my
     marriage. I answered him with equal politeness, that I would do no
     such thing. A fourth letter arrived--it was from Donna Josepha, in
     which she informed me that her father's letter was written by her
     particular desire. I requested the reason by return of post--she
     replied, by express, that as reason had nothing to do with the
     matter, it was unnecessary to give any--but that she was an injured
     and excellent woman. I then enquired why she had written to me the
     two preceding affectionate letters, requesting me to come to
     Arragon. She answered, that was because she believed me out of my
     senses--that, being unfit to take care of myself, I had only to set
     out on this journey alone, and making my way without difficulty to
     Don Jose di Cardozo's, I should there have found the tenderest of
     wives and--a strait waistcoat.

     "I had nothing to reply to this piece of affection but a
     reiteration of my request for some lights upon the subject. I was
     answered that they would only be related to the Inquisition. In the
     mean time, our domestic discrepancy had become a public topic of
     discussion: and the world, which always decides justly, not only in
     Arragon but in Andalusia, determined that I was not only to blame,
     but that all Spain could produce nobody so blamable. My case was
     supposed to comprise all the crimes which could, and several which
     could not, be committed, and little less than an auto-da-fé was
     anticipated as the result. But let no man say that we are abandoned
     by our friends in adversity--it was just the reverse. Mine thronged
     around me to condemn, advise, and console me with their
     disapprobation.--They told me all that was, would, or could be said
     on the subject. They shook their heads--they exhorted me--deplored
     me, with tears in their eyes, and--went to dinner."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, September 4. 1821.

     "By Saturday's post, I sent you a fierce and furibund letter upon
     the subject of the printer's blunders in Don Juan. I must solicit
     your attention to the topic, though my wrath hath subsided into

     "Yesterday I received Mr. ----, a friend of yours, and because he
     is a friend of _yours_; and that's more than I would do in an
     _English_ case, except for those whom I honour. I was as civil as I
     could be among packages even to the very chairs and tables, for I
     am going to _Pisa_ in a few weeks, and have sent and am sending
     off my chattels. It regretted me[49] that, my books and every thing
     being packed, I could not send you a few things I meant for you;
     but they were all sealed and baggaged, so as to have made it a
     month's work to get at them again. I gave him an envelope, with the
     Italian scrap in it[50], alluded to in my Gilchrist defence.
     Hobhouse will make it out for you, and it will make you laugh, and
     him too, the _spelling_ particularly. The '_Mericani_,' of whom
     they call me the 'Capo' (or Chief), mean 'Americans,' which is the
     name given in _Romagna_ to a part of the Carbonari; that is to say,
     to the _popular_ part, the _troops_ of the Carbonari. They are
     originally a society of hunters in the forest, who took the name of
     Americans, but at present comprise some thousands, &c.; but I
     shan't let you further into the secret, which may be participated
     with the postmasters. Why they thought me their Chief, I know not:
     their Chiefs are like 'Legion, being many. However, it is a post of
     more honour than profit, for, now that they are persecuted, it is
     fit that I should aid them; and so I have done, as far as my means
     would permit. They will rise again some day, for these fools of
     the government are blundering: they actually seem to know
     _nothing_; for they have arrested and banished many of their _own_
     party, and let others escape who are not their friends.

     "What think'st thou of Greece?

     "Address to me here as usual, till you hear further from me.

     "By Mawman I have sent a Journal to Moore; but it won't do for the
     public,--at least a great deal of it won't;--_parts_ may.

     "I read over the Juans, which are excellent. Your squad are quite
     wrong; and so you will find by and by. I regret that I do not go on
     with it, for I had all the plan for several cantos, and different
     countries and climes. You say nothing of the _note_ I enclosed to
     you[51], which will explain why I agreed to discontinue it (at
     Madame G----'s request); but you are so grand, and sublime, and
     occupied, that one would think, instead of publishing for 'the
     Board of _Longitude_,' that you were trying to discover it.

     "Let me hear that Gifford is _better_. He can't be spared either by
     you or me."

[Footnote 49: It will be observed, from this and a few other instances,
that notwithstanding the wonderful purity of English he was able to
preserve in his writings, while living constantly with persons speaking
a different language, he had already begun so far to feel the influence
of this habit as to fall occasionally into Italianisms in his familiar
letters.--"I am in the case to know"--"I have caused write"--"It regrets
me," &c.]

[Footnote 50: An anonymous letter which he had received, threatening him
with assassination.]

[Footnote 51: In this note, so highly honourable to the fair writer, she
says, "Remember, my Byron, the promise you have made me. Never shall I
be able to tell you the satisfaction I feel from it, so great are the
sentiments of pleasure and confidence with which the sacrifice you have
made has inspired me." In a postscript to the note she adds, "I am only
sorry that Don Juan was not left in the infernal regions."--"Ricordati,
mio Byron, della promessa che mi hai fatta. Non potrei mai dirti la
satisfazione ch' io ne provo!--sono tanti i sentimenti di piacere e di
confidenza che il tuo sacrificio m'inspira."--"Mi reveresce solo che Don
Giovanni non resti all' Inferno."

In enclosing the lady's note to Mr. Murray, July 4th, Lord B. says,
"This is the note of acknowledgment for the promise not to continue Don
Juan. She says, in the postscript, that she is only sorry that D.J. does
not _remain_ in Hell (or go there)".]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, September 12. 1821.

     "By Tuesday's post, I forwarded, in three packets, the drama of
     Cain in three acts, of which I request the acknowledgment when
     arrived. To the last speech of _Eve_, in the last act (_i.e._ where
     she curses Cain), add these three lines to the concluding one--

        "May the grass wither from thy foot! the woods
        Deny thee shelter! earth a home! the dust
        A grave! the sun his light! and Heaven her God!

     "There's as pretty a piece of imprecation for you, when joined to
     the lines already sent, as you may wish to meet with in the course
     of your business. But don't forget the addition of the above three
     lines, which are clinchers to Eve's speech.

     "Let me know what Gifford thinks (if the play arrives in safety);
     for I have a good opinion of the piece, as poetry; it is in my gay
     metaphysical style, and in the Manfred line.

     "You must at least commend my facility and variety, when you
     consider what I have done within the last fifteen months, with my
     head, too, full of other and of mundane matters. But no doubt you
     will avoid saying any good of it, for fear I should raise the price
     upon you: that's right: stick to business. Let me know what your
     other ragamuffins are writing, for I suppose you don't like
     starting too many of your vagabonds at once. You may give them the
     start, for any thing I care.

     "Why don't you publish my _Pulci_--the best thing I ever
     wrote,--with the Italian to it? I wish I was alongside of you;
     nothing is ever done in a man's absence; every body runs counter,
     because they _can_. If ever I _do_ return to England, (which I
     sha'n't, though,) I will write a poem to which 'English Bards,' &c.
     shall be new milk, in comparison. Your present literary world of
     mountebanks stands in need of such an Avatar. But I am not yet
     quite bilious enough: a season or two more, and a provocation or
     two, will wind me up to the point, and then have at the whole set!

     "I have no patience with the sort of trash you send me out by way
     of books; except Scott's novels, and three or four other things, I
     never saw such work, or works. Campbell is lecturing--Moore
     idling--S * * twaddling--W * * drivelling--C * * muddling--* *
     piddling--B * * quibbling, squabbling, and snivelling. * * will
     _do_, if he don't cant too much, nor imitate Southey; the fellow
     has poesy in him; but he is envious, and unhappy, as all the
     envious are. Still he is among the best of the day. B * * C * *
     will do better by-and-by, I dare say, if he don't get spoiled by
     green tea, and the praises of Pentonville and Paradise Row. The
     pity of these men is, that they never lived in _high life_, nor in
     _solitude_: there is no medium for the knowledge of the _busy_ or
     the _still_ world. If admitted into high life for a season, it is
     merely as spectators--they form no part of the mechanism thereof.
     Now Moore and I, the one by circumstances, and the other by birth,
     happened to be free of the corporation, and to have entered into
     its pulses and passions, _quarum partes fuimus_. Both of us have
     learnt by this much which nothing else could have taught us.


     "P.S. I saw one of your brethren, another of the allied sovereigns
     of Grub Street, the other day, Mawman the Great, by whom I sent due
     homage to your imperial self. To-morrow's post may perhaps bring a
     letter from you, but you are the most ungrateful and ungracious of
     correspondents. But there is some excuse for you, with your
     perpetual levee of politicians, parsons, scribblers, and loungers.
     Some day I will give you a poetical catalogue of them."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, September 17. 1821.

     "The enclosed lines[52], as you will directly perceive, are written
     by the Rev. W.L.B * *. Of course it is for _him_ to deny them if
     they are not.

     "Believe me yours ever and most affectionately,


     "P.S. Can you forgive this? It is only a reply to your lines
     against my Italians. Of course I will _stand_ by my lines against
     all men; but it is heart-breaking to see such things in a people as
     the reception of that unredeemed * * * * * * in an oppressed
     country. _Your_ apotheosis is now reduced to a level with his
     welcome, and their gratitude to Grattan is cancelled by their
     atrocious adulation of this, &c. &c. &c."

[Footnote 52: "The Irish Avatar." In this copy the following sentence
(taken from a letter of Curran, in the able Life of that true Irishman,
by his son) is prefixed as a motto to the Poem,--"And Ireland, like a
bastinadoed elephant, kneeling to receive the paltry rider."--_Letter of
Curran, Life_, vol. ii. p. 336. At the end of the verses are these
words:--"(Signed) W.L. B * *, M.A., and written with a view to a

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, September 19, 1821.

     "I am in all the sweat, dust, and blasphemy of an universal packing
     of all my things, furniture, &c. for Pisa, whither I go for the
     winter. The cause has been the exile of all my fellow Carbonics,
     and, amongst them, of the whole family of Madame G.; who, you know,
     was divorced from her husband last week, 'on account of P.P. clerk
     of this parish,' and who is obliged to join her father and
     relatives, now in exile there, to avoid being shut up in a
     monastery, because the Pope's decree of separation required her to
     reside in _casa paterna_, or else, for decorum's sake, in a
     convent. As I could not say with Hamlet, 'Get thee to a nunnery,' I
     am preparing to follow them.

     "It is awful work, this love, and prevents all a man's projects of
     good or glory. I wanted to go to Greece lately (as every thing
     seems up here) with her brother, who is a very fine, brave fellow
     (I have seen him put to the proof), and wild about liberty. But
     the tears of a woman who has left her husband for a man, and the
     weakness of one's own heart, are paramount to these projects, and I
     can hardly indulge them.

     "We were divided in choice between Switzerland and Tuscany, and I
     gave my vote for Pisa, as nearer the Mediterranean, which I love
     for the sake of the shores which it washes, and for my young
     recollections of 1809. Switzerland is a curst selfish, swinish
     country of brutes, placed in the most romantic region of the world.
     I never could bear the inhabitants, and still less their English
     visiters; for which reason, after writing for some information
     about houses, upon hearing that there was a colony of English all
     over the cantons of Geneva, &c. I immediately gave up the thought,
     and persuaded the Gambas to do the same.

     "By the last post I sent you 'The Irish Avatar,'--what think you?
     The last line--'a name never spoke but with curses or jeers'--must
     run either 'a name only uttered with curses or jeers,' or, 'a
     wretch never named but with curses or jeers.' Be_case_ as _how_,
     'spoke' is not grammar, except in the House of Commons; and I doubt
     whether we can say 'a name _spoken_,' for _mentioned_. I have some
     doubts, too, about 'repay,'--'and for murder repay with a shout and
     a smile.' Should it not be, 'and for murder repay him with shouts
     and a smile, 'or '_reward_ him with shouts and a smile?'

     "So, pray put your poetical pen through the MS. and take the least
     bad of the emendations. Also, if there be any further breaking of
     Priscian's head, will you apply a plaster? I wrote in the greatest
     hurry and fury, and sent it to you the day after; so, doubtless,
     there will be some awful constructions, and a rather lawless
     conscription of rhythmus.

     "With respect to what Anna Seward calls 'the liberty of
     transcript,'--when complaining of Miss Matilda Muggleton, the
     accomplished daughter of a choral vicar of Worcester Cathedral, who
     had abused the said 'liberty of transcript,' by inserting in the
     Malvern Mercury Miss Seward's 'Elegy on the South Pole,' as her
     _own_ production, with her _own_ signature, two years after having
     taken a copy, by permission of the authoress--with regard, I say,
     to the 'liberty of transcript,' I by no means oppose an occasional
     copy to the benevolent few, provided it does not degenerate into
     such licentiousness of Verb and Noun as may tend to 'disparage my
     parts of speech' by the carelessness of the transcribblers.

     "I do not think that there is much danger of the 'King's Press
     being abused' upon the occasion, if the publishers of journals have
     any regard for their remaining liberty of person. It is as pretty a
     piece of invective as ever put publisher in the way to 'Botany.'
     Therefore, if _they_ meddle with it, it is at _their_ peril. As for
     myself, I will answer any jontleman--though I by no means recognise
     a 'right of search' into an unpublished production and unavowed
     poem. The same applies to things published _sans_ consent. I hope
     you like, at least, the concluding lines of the _Pome_?

     "What are you doing, and where are you? in England? Nail
     Murray--nail him to his own counter, till he shells out the
     thirteens. Since I wrote to you, I have sent him another
     tragedy--'Cain' by name--making three in MS. now in his hands, or
     in the printer's. It is in the Manfred, metaphysical style, and
     full of some Titanic declamation;--Lucifer being one of the dram.
     pers. who takes Cain a voyage among the stars, and afterwards to
     'Hades,' where he shows him the phantoms of a former world, and its
     inhabitants. I have gone upon the notion of Cuvier, that the world
     has been destroyed three or four times, and was inhabited by
     mammoths, behemoths, and what not; but _not_ by man till the Mosaic
     period, as, indeed, is proved by the strata of bones found;--those
     of all unknown animals, and known, being dug out, but none of
     mankind. I have, therefore, supposed Cain to be shown, in the
     _rational_ Preadamites, beings endowed with a higher intelligence
     than man, but totally unlike him in form, and with much greater
     strength of mind and person. You may suppose the small talk which
     takes place between him and Lucifer upon these matters is not quite

     "The consequence is, that Cain comes back and kills Abel in a fit
     of dissatisfaction, partly with the politics of Paradise, which had
     driven them all out of it, and partly because (as it is written in
     Genesis) Abel's sacrifice was the more acceptable to the Deity. I
     trust that the Rhapsody has arrived--it is in three acts, and
     entitled 'A Mystery,' according to the former Christian custom, and
     in honour of what it probably will remain to the reader.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "September 20. 1821.

     "After the stanza on Grattan, concluding with 'His soul o'er the
     freedom implored and denied,' will it please you to cause insert
     the following 'Addenda,' which I dreamed of during to-day's Siesta:

        "Ever glorious Grattan! &c. &c. &c.

     I will tell you what to do. Get me twenty copies of the whole
     carefully and privately printed off, as _your_ lines were on the
     Naples affair. Send me _six_, and distribute the rest according to
     your own pleasure.

     "I am in a fine vein, 'so full of pastime and prodigality!'--So
     here's to your health in a glass of grog. Pray write, that I may
     know by return of post--address to me at Pisa. The gods give you

     "Where are you? in Paris? Let us hear. You will take care that
     there be no printer's name, nor author's, as in the Naples stanza,
     at least for the present."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, September 20. 1821.

     "You need not send 'The Blues,' which is a mere buffoonery, never
     meant for publication.[53]

     "The papers to which I allude, in case of survivorship, are
     collections of letters, &c. since I was sixteen years old,
     contained in the trunks in the care of Mr. Hobhouse. This
     collection is at least doubled by those I have now here, all
     received since my last ostracism. To these I should wish the editor
     to have access, _not_ for the purpose of _abusing confidences_, nor
     of _hurting_ the feelings of correspondents living, nor the
     memories of the dead; but there are things which would do neither,
     that I have left unnoticed or unexplained, and which (like all such
     things) time only can permit to be noticed or explained, though
     some are to my credit. The task will, of course, require delicacy;
     but that will not be wanting, if Moore and Hobhouse survive me,
     and, I may add, yourself; and that you may all three do so, is, I
     assure you, my very sincere wish. I am not sure that long life is
     desirable for one of my temper and constitutional depression of
     spirits, which of course I suppress in society; but which breaks
     out when alone, and in my writings, in spite of myself. It has been
     deepened, perhaps, by some long-past events (I do not allude to my
     marriage, &c.--on the contrary, that raised them by the persecution
     giving a fillip to my spirits); but I call it constitutional, as I
     have reason to think it. You know, or you do _not_ know, that my
     maternal grandfather (a very clever man, and amiable, I am told)
     was strongly suspected of suicide (he was found drowned in the Avon
     at Bath), and that another very near relative of the same branch
     took poison, and was merely saved by antidotes. For the first of
     these events there was no apparent cause, as he was rich,
     respected, and of considerable intellectual resources, hardly forty
     years of age, and not at all addicted to any unhinging vice. It
     was, however, but a strong suspicion, owing to the manner of his
     death and his melancholy temper. The _second had_ a cause, but it
     does not become me to touch upon it: it happened when I was far too
     young to be aware of it, and I never heard of it till after the
     death of that relative, many years afterwards. I think, then, that
     I may call this dejection _constitutional_. I had always been told
     that I resembled more my maternal grandfather than any of my
     _father's_ family--that is, in the gloomier part of his temper, for
     he was what you call a good-natured man, and I am not.

     "The Journal here I sent to Moore the other day; but as it is a
     mere diary, only _parts_ of it would ever do for publication. The
     other Journal, of the Tour in 1816, I should think Augusta might
     let you have a copy of.

     "I am much mortified that Gifford don't take to my new dramas. To
     be sure, they are as opposite to the English drama as one thing can
     be to another; but I have a notion that, if understood, they will
     in time find favour (though _not_ on the stage) with the reader.
     The simplicity of plot is intentional, and the avoidance of _rant_
     also, as also the compression of the speeches in the more severe
     situations. What I seek to show in 'The Foscaris' is the
     _suppressed_ passions, rather than the rant of the present day. For
     that matter--

                      "Nay, if thou'lt mouth,
        I'll rant as well as thou--

     would not be difficult, as I think I have shown in my younger
     productions--_not dramatic_ ones, to be sure. But, as I said
     before, I am mortified that Gifford don't like them; but I see no
     remedy, our notions on that subject being so different. How is
     he?--well, I hope? let me know. I regret his demur the more that he
     has been always my grand patron, and I know no praise which would
     compensate me in my own mind for his censure. I do not mind
     _Reviews_, as I can work them at their own weapons.

     "Yours, &c.

     "Address to me at _Pisa_, whither I am going. The reason is, that
     all my Italian friends here have been exiled, and are met there for
     the present, and I go to join them, as agreed upon, for the

[Footnote 53: This short satire, which is wholly unworthy of his pen,
appeared afterwards in the Liberal.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, September 24. 1821.

     "I have been thinking over our late correspondence, and wish to
     propose to you the following articles for our future:--

     "1stly. That you shall write to me of yourself, of the health,
     wealth, and welfare of all friends; but of _me_ (_quoad me_) little
     or nothing.

     "2dly. That you shall send me soda-powders, tooth-powder,
     tooth-brushes, or any such anti-odontalgic or chemical articles, as
     heretofore,'ad libitum,' upon being reimbursed for the same.

     "3dly. That you shall not send me any modern, or (as they are
     called) _new_ publications, in _English whatsoever_, save and
     excepting any writing, prose or verse, of (or reasonably presumed
     to be of) Walter Scott, Crabbe, Moore, Campbell, Rogers, Gifford,
     Joanna Baillie, _Irving_ (the American), Hogg, Wilson (Isle of
     Palms man), or _any_ especial _single_ work of fancy which is
     thought to be of considerable merit; _Voyages_ and _Travels_,
     provided that they are _neither in Greece, Spain, Asia Minor,
     Albania, nor Italy_, will be welcome. Having travelled the
     countries mentioned, I know that what is said of them can convey
     nothing farther which I desire to know about them.--No other
     English works whatsoever.

     "4thly. That you send me no periodical works whatsoever--_no_
     Edinburgh, Quarterly, Monthly, nor any review, magazine, or
     newspaper, English or foreign, of any description.

     "5thly. That you send me no opinions whatsoever, either _good_,
     _bad_, or _indifferent_, of yourself, or your friends, or others,
     concerning any work, or works, of mine, past, present, or to come.

     "6thly. That all negotiations in matters of business between you
     and me pass through the medium of the Hon. Douglas Kinnaird, my
     friend and trustee, or Mr. Hobhouse, as 'alter ego,' and tantamount
     to myself during my absence--or presence.

     "Some of these propositions may at first seem strange, but they are
     founded. The quantity of trash I have received as books is
     incalculable, and neither amused nor instructed. Reviews and
     magazines are at the best but ephemeral and superficial reading:
     who thinks of the _grand article of last year_ in any _given
     Review_? In the next place, if they regard myself, they tend to
     increase _egotism_. If favourable, I do not deny that the praise
     _elates_, and if unfavourable, that the abuse _irritates_. The
     latter may conduct me to inflict a species of satire which would
     neither do good to you nor to your friends: _they_ may smile _now_,
     and so may _you_; but if I took you all in hand, it would not be
     difficult to cut you up like gourds. I did as much by as powerful
     people at nineteen years old, and I know little as yet, in
     three-and-thirty, which should prevent me from making all your ribs
     gridirons for your hearts, if such were my propensity: but it is
     _not_; therefore let me hear none of your provocations. If any
     thing occurs so very gross as to require my notice, I shall hear of
     it from my legal friends. For the rest, I merely request to be left
     in ignorance.

     "The same applies to opinions, _good_, _bad_, or _indifferent_, of
     persons in conversation or correspondence. These do not
     _interrupt_, but they _soil_ the _current_ of my _mind_. I am
     sensitive enough, but _not_ till I am _troubled_; and here I am
     beyond the touch of the short arms of literary England, except the
     few feelers of the polypus that crawl over the channels in the way
     of extract.

     "All these precautions _in_ England would be useless; the libeller
     or the flatterer would there reach me in spite of all; but in Italy
     we know little of literary England, and think less, except what
     reaches us through some garbled and brief extract in some miserable
     gazette. For _two years_ (excepting two or three articles cut out
     and sent to _you_ by the post) I never read a newspaper which was
     not forced upon me by some accident, and know, upon the whole, as
     little of England as you do of Italy, and God knows _that_ is
     little enough, with all your travels, &c. &c. &c. The English
     travellers _know Italy as you_ know Guernsey: how much is _that_?

     "If any thing occurs so violently gross or personal as requires
     notice, Mr. Douglas Kinnaird will let me _know_; but of _praise_ I
     desire to hear _nothing_.

     "You will say, 'to what tends all this?' I will answer THAT;--to
     keep my mind _free and unbiassed_ by all paltry and personal
     irritabilities of praise or censure--to let my genius take its
     natural direction, while my feelings are like the dead, who know
     nothing and feel nothing of all or aught that is said or done in
     their regard.

     "If you can observe these conditions, you will spare yourself and
     others some pain: let me not be worked upon to rise up; for if I
     do, it will not be for a little. If you _cannot_ observe these
     conditions, we shall cease to be correspondents,--but not
     _friends_, for I shall always be yours ever and truly,


     "P.S. I have taken these resolutions not from any irritation
     against you or _yours_, but simply upon reflection that all
     reading, either praise or censure, of myself has done me harm. When
     I was in Switzerland and Greece, I was out of the way of hearing
     either, and _how I wrote there!_--In Italy I am out of the way of
     it too; but latterly, partly through my fault, and partly through
     your kindness in wishing to send me the _newest_ and most
     periodical publications, I have had a crowd of Reviews, &c. thrust
     upon me, which have bored me with their jargon, of one kind or
     another, and taken off my attention from greater objects. You have
     also sent me a parcel of trash of poetry, for no reason that I can
     conceive, unless to provoke me to write a new 'English Bards.' Now
     _this_ I wish to avoid; for if ever I _do_, it will be a strong
     production; and I desire peace as long as the fools will keep their
     nonsense out of my way."[54]

[Footnote 54: It would be difficult to describe more strongly or more
convincingly than Lord Byron has done in this letter the sort of petty,
but thwarting obstructions and distractions which are at present thrown
across the path of men of real talent by that swarm of minor critics and
pretenders with whom the want of a vent in other professions has crowded
all the walks of literature. Nor is it only the writers of the day that
suffer from this multifarious rush into the mart;--the readers also,
from having (as Lord Byron expresses it in another letter) "the
superficies of too many things presented to them at once," come to lose
by degrees their powers of discrimination; and, in the same manner as
the palate becomes confused in trying various wines, so the public taste
declines in proportion as the impressions to which it is exposed

       *       *       *       *       *


     "September 27. 1821.

     "It was not Murray's fault. I did not send the MS. _overture_, but
     I send it now[55], and it may be restored;--or, at any rate, you
     may keep the original, and give any copies you please. I send it,
     as written, and as I _read_ it to you--I have no other copy.

     "By last week's _two_ posts, in two packets, I sent to your
     address, at _Paris_, a longish poem upon the late Irishism of your
     countrymen in their reception of * * *. Pray, have you received it?
     It is in 'the high Roman fashion,' and full of ferocious phantasy.
     As _you_ could not well take up the matter with Paddy (being of the
     same nest), I have;--but I hope still that I have done justice to
     his great men and his good heart. As for * * *, you will find it
     laid on with a trowel. I delight in your 'fact historical'--is it a

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. You have not answered me about Schlegel--why not? Address to
     me at Pisa, whither I am going, to join the exiles--a pretty
     numerous body at present. Let me hear how you are, and what you
     mean to do. Is there no chance of your recrossing the Alps? If the
     G. Rex marries again, let him not want an Epithalamium--suppose a
     joint concern of you and me, like Sternhold and Hopkins!"

[Footnote 55: The lines "Oh Wellington," which I had missed in their
original place at the opening of the third Canto, and took for granted
that they had been suppressed by his publisher.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "September 28. 1821.

     "I add another cover to request you to ask Moore to obtain (if
     possible) my letters to the late Lady Melbourne from Lady Cowper.
     They are very numerous, and ought to have been restored long ago,
     as I was ready to give back Lady Melbourne's in exchange. These
     latter are in Mr. Hobhouse's custody with my other papers, and
     shall be punctually restored if required. I did not choose before
     to apply to Lady Cowper, as her mother's death naturally kept me
     from intruding upon her feelings at the time of its occurrence.
     Some years have now elapsed, and it is essential that I should have
     my own epistles. They are essential as confirming that part of the
     'Memoranda' which refers to the two periods (1812 and 1814) when my
     marriage with her niece was in contemplation, and will tend to show
     what my real views and feelings were upon that subject.

     "You need not be alarmed; the 'fourteen years[56]' will hardly
     elapse without some mortality amongst us; it is a long lease of
     life to speculate upon. So your calculation will not be in so much
     peril, as the 'argosie' will sink before that time, and 'the pound
     of flesh' be withered previously to your being so long out of a

     "I also wish to give you a hint or two (as you have really behaved
     very handsomely to Moore in the business, and are a fine fellow in
     your line) for your advantage. _If_ by your own management you can
     extract any of my epistles from Lady ----, (* * * * * * *), they
     might be of use in your collection (sinking of course the _names_
     and _all such circumstances_ as might hurt _living_ feelings, or
     _those_ of _survivors_); they treat of more topics than love

     "I will tell you who may _happen_ to have some letters of mine in
     their possession: Lord Powerscourt, some to his late brother; Mr.
     Long of--(I forget his place)--but the father of Edward Long of the
     Guards, who was drowned in going to Lisbon early in 1809; Miss
     Elizabeth Pigot, of Southwell, Notts (she may be _Mistress_ by this
     time, for she had a year or two more than I): _they_ were _not_
     love-letters, so that you might have them without scruple. There
     are, or might be, some to the late Rev. J.C. Tattersall, in the
     hands of his brother (half-brother) Mr. Wheatley, who resides near
     Canterbury, I think. There are some of Charles Gordon, now of
     Dulwich; and some few to Mrs. Chaworth; but these latter are
     probably destroyed or inaccessible.

     "I mention these people and particulars merely as _chances_. Most
     of them have probably destroyed the letters, which in fact are of
     little import, many of them written when very young, and several at
     school and college.

     "Peel (the _second_ brother of the Secretary) was a correspondent
     of mine, and also Porter, the son of the Bishop of Clogher; Lord
     Clare a very voluminous one; William Harness (a friend of Milman's)
     another; Charles Drummond (son of the banker); William Bankes (the
     voyager), your friend: R.C. Dallas, Esq.; Hodgson; Henry Drury;
     Hobhouse you were already aware of.

     "I have gone through this long list[57] of

        "'The cold, the faithless, and the dead,'

     because I know that, like 'the curious in fish-sauce,' you are a
     researcher of such things.

     "Besides these, there are other occasional ones to literary men and
     so forth, complimentary, &c. &c. &c. not worth much more than the
     rest. There are some hundreds, too, of Italian notes of mine,
     scribbled with a noble contempt of the grammar and dictionary, in
     very English Etruscan; for I _speak_ Italian very fluently, but
     write it carelessly and incorrectly to a degree."

[Footnote 56: He here adverts to a passing remark, in one of Mr.
Murray's letters, that, as his Lordship's "Memoranda" were not to be
published in his lifetime, the sum now paid for the work, 2100_l_. would
most probably, upon a reasonable calculation of survivorship, amount
ultimately to no less than 8000_l_.]

[Footnote 57: To all the persons upon this list who were accessible,
application has, of course, been made,--with what success it is in the
reader's power to judge from the communications that have been laid
before him. Among the companions of the poet's boyhood there are (as I
have already had occasion to mention and regret) but few traces of his
youthful correspondence to be found; and of all those who knew him at
that period, his fair Southwell correspondent alone seems to have been
sufficiently endowed with the gift of second-sight to anticipate the
Byron of a future day, and foresee the compound interest that Time and
Fame would accumulate on every precious scrap of the young bard which
she hoarded. On the whole, however, it is not unsatisfactory to be able
to state that, with the exception of a very small minority (only one of
whom is possessed of any papers of much importance), every distinguished
associate and intimate of the noble poet, from the very outset to the
close of his extraordinary career, have come forward cordially to
communicate whatever memorials they possessed of him,--trusting, as I am
willing to flatter myself, that they confided these treasures to one,
who, if not able to do full justice to the memory of their common
friend, would, at least, not willingly suffer it to be dishonoured in
his hands.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "September 29. 1821.

     "I send you two rough things, prose and verse, not much in
     themselves, but which will show, one of them, the state of the
     country, and the other, of your friend's mind, when they were
     written. Neither of them were sent to the person concerned, but you
     will see, by the style of them, that they were sincere, as I am in
     signing myself

     "Yours ever and truly,


       *       *       *       *       *

Of the two enclosures, mentioned in the foregoing note, one was a letter
intended to be sent to Lady Byron relative to his money invested in the
funds, of which the following are extracts:--

     "Ravenna, Marza 1mo, 1821.

     "I have received your message, through my sister's letter, about
     English security, &c. &c. It is considerate, (and true, even,) that
     such is to be found--but not that I shall find it. Mr. * *, for his
     own views and purposes, will thwart all such attempts till he has
     accomplished his own, viz. to make me lend my fortune to some
     client of his choosing.

     "At this distance--after this absence, and with my utter ignorance
     of affairs and business--with my temper and impatience, I have
     neither the means nor the mind to resist. Thinking of the funds as
     I do, and wishing to secure a reversion to my sister and her
     children, I should jump at most expedients.

     "What I told you is come to pass--the Neapolitan war is declared.
     Your funds will fall, and I shall be in consequence ruined. That's
     nothing--but my blood relations will be so. You and your child are
     provided for. Live and prosper--I wish so much to both. Live and
     prosper--you have the means. I think but of my real kin and
     kindred, who may be the victims of this accursed bubble.

     "You neither know nor dream of the consequences of this war. It is
     a war of _men_ with monarchs, and will spread like a spark on the
     dry, rank grass of the vegetable desert. What it is with you and
     your English, you do not know, for ye sleep. What it is with us
     here, I know, for it is before, and around, and within us.

     "Judge of my detestation of England and of all that it inherits,
     when I avoid returning to your country at a time when not only my
     pecuniary interests, but, it may be, even my personal security,
     require it. I can say no more, for all letters are opened. A short
     time will decide upon what is to be done here, and then you will
     learn it without being more troubled with me or my correspondence.
     Whatever happens, an individual is little, so the cause is

     "I have no more to say to you on the score of affairs, or on any
     other subject."

       *       *       *       *       *

The second enclosure in the note consisted of some verses, written by
him, December 10th, 1820, on seeing the following paragraph in a
newspaper:--"Lady Byron is this year the lady patroness at the annual
Charity Ball given at the Town Hall at Hinckley, Leicestershire, and Sir
G. Crewe, Bart, the principal steward." These verses are full of strong
and indignant feeling,--every stanza concluding pointedly with the words
"Charity Ball,"--and the thought that predominates through the whole may
be collected from a few of the opening lines:--

    "What matter the pangs of a husband and father,
      If his sorrows in exile be great or be small,
    So the Pharisee's glories around her she gather,
      And the Saint patronises her 'Charity Ball.'

    "What matters--a heart, which though faulty was feeling,
      Be driven to excesses which once could appal--
    That the Sinner should suffer is only fair dealing,
      As the Saint keeps her charity back for 'the Ball,'" &c. &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "September--no--October 1. 1821.

     "I have written to you lately, both in prose and verse, at great
     length, to Paris and London. I presume that Mrs. Moore, or whoever
     is your Paris deputy, will forward my packets to you in London.

     "I am setting off for Pisa, if a slight incipient intermittent
     fever do not prevent me. I fear it is not strong enough to give
     Murray much chance of realising his thirteens again. I hardly
     should regret it, I think, provided you raised your price upon
     him--as what Lady Holderness (my sister's grandmother, a
     Dutchwoman) used to call Augusta, her _Residee Legatoo_--so as to
     provide for us all: _my_ bones with a splendid and larmoyante
     edition, and you with double what is extractable during my

     "I have a strong presentiment that (bating some out of the way
     accident) you will survive me. The difference of eight years, or
     whatever it is, between our ages, is nothing. I do not feel (nor
     am, indeed, anxious to feel) the principle of life in me tend to
     longevity. My father and mother died, the one at thirty-five or
     six, and the other at forty-five; and Dr. Rush, or somebody else,
     says that nobody lives long, without having _one parent_, at least,
     an old stager.

     "I _should_, to be sure, like to see out my eternal mother-in-law,
     not so much for her heritage, but from my natural antipathy. But
     the indulgence of this natural desire is too much to expect from
     the Providence who presides over old women. I bore you with all
     this about lives, because it has been put in my way by a
     calculation of insurances which Murray has sent me. I _really
     think_ you should have more, if I evaporate within a reasonable

     "I wonder if my 'Cain' has got safe to England. I have written
     since about sixty stanzas of a poem, in octave stanzas, (in the
     Pulci style, which the fools in England think was invented by
     Whistlecraft--it is as old as the hills in Italy,) called 'The
     Vision of of Judgment, by Quevedo Redivivus,' with this motto--

        "'A Daniel come to _judgment_, yea, a Daniel:
        I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.'

     "In this it is my intent to put the said George's Apotheosis in a
     Whig point of view, not forgetting the Poet Laureate for his
     preface and his other demerits.

     "I am just got to the pass where Saint Peter, hearing that the
     royal defunct had opposed Catholic Emancipation, rises up, and,
     interrupting Satan's oration, declares _he_ will change places with
     Cerberus sooner than let him into heaven, while _he_ has the keys

     "I must go and ride, though rather feverish and chilly. It is the
     ague season; but the agues do me rather good than harm. The feel
     after the _fit_ is as if one had got rid of one's body for good and

     "The gods go with you!--Address to Pisa.

     "Ever yours.

     "P.S. Since I came back I feel better, though I stayed out too late
     for this malaria season, under the thin crescent of a very young
     moon, and got off my horse to walk in an avenue with a Signora for
     an hour. I thought of you and

        'When at eve thou rovest
        By the star thou lovest.'

     But it was not in a romantic mood, as I should have been once; and
     yet it was a _new_ woman, (that is, new to me,) and, of course,
     expected to be made love to. But I merely made a few common-place
     speeches. I feel, as your poor friend Curran said, before his
     death, 'a mountain of lead upon my heart,' which I believe to be
     constitutional, and that nothing will remove it but the same

       *       *       *       *       *


     "October 6. 1821.

     "By this post I have sent my nightmare to balance the incubus of *
     * *'s impudent anticipation of the Apotheosis of George the Third.
     I should like you to take a look over it, as I think there are two
     or three things in it which might please 'our puir hill folk.'

     "By the last two or three posts I have written to you at length. My
     _ague_ bows to me every two or three days, but we are not as yet
     upon intimate speaking terms. I have an intermittent generally
     every two years, when the climate is favourable (as it is here),
     but it does me no harm. What I find worse, and cannot get rid of,
     is the growing depression of my spirits, without sufficient cause.
     I ride--I am not intemperate in eating or drinking--and my general
     health is as usual, except a slight ague, which rather does good
     than not. It must be constitutional; for I know nothing more than
     usual to depress me to that degree.

     "How do _you_ manage? I think you told me, at Venice, that your
     spirits did not keep up without a little claret. I _can_ drink, and
     bear a good deal of wine (as you may recollect in England); but it
     don't exhilarate--it makes me savage and suspicious, and even
     quarrelsome. Laudanum has a similar effect; but I can take much of
     _it_ without any effect at all. The thing that gives me the
     highest spirits (it seems absurd, but true) is a close of
     _salts_--I mean in the afternoon, after their effect.[58] But one
     can't take _them_ like champagne.

     "Excuse this old woman's letter; but my _lemancholy_ don't depend
     upon health, for it is just the same, well or ill, or here or

     "Yours," &c.

[Footnote 58: It was, no doubt, from a similar experience of its effects
that Dryden always took physic when about to write any thing of
importance. His caricature, Bayes, is accordingly made to say, "When I
have a grand design, I ever take physic and let blood; for, when you
would have pure swiftness of thought and fiery flights of fancy, you
must have a care of the pensive part;--in short," &c. &c.

On this subject of the effects of medicine upon the mind and spirits,
some curious facts and illustrations have been, with his usual research,
collected by Mr. D'Israeli, in his amusing "Curiosities of Literature."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, October 9. 1821.

     "You will please to present or convey the enclosed poem to Mr.
     Moore. I sent him another copy to Paris, but he has probably left
     that city.

     "Don't forget to send me my first act of 'Werner' (if Hobhouse can
     find it amongst my papers)--send it by the post (to Pisa); and also
     cut out Harriet Lee's 'German's Tale' from the 'Canterbury Tales,'
     and send it in a letter also. I began that tragedy in 1815.

     "By the way, you have a good deal of my prose tracts in MS.? Let me
     have proofs of them _all_ again--I mean the controversial ones,
     including the last two or three years of time. Another
     question!--The Epistle of St. Paul, which I translated from the
     Armenian, for what reason have you kept it back, though you
     published that stuff which gave rise to the 'Vampire?' Is it
     because you are afraid to print any thing in opposition to the cant
     of the Quarterly about Manicheism? Let me have a proof of that
     Epistle directly. I am a better Christian than those parsons of
     yours, though not paid for being so.

     "Send--Faber's Treatise on the Cabiri.

     "Sainte Croix's Mystères du Paganisme (scarce, perhaps, but to be
     found, as Mitford refers to his work frequently).

     "A common Bible, of a good legible print (bound in russia). I
     _have_ one; but as it was the last gift of my sister (whom I shall
     probably never see again), I can only use it carefully, and less
     frequently, because I like to keep it in good order. Don't forget
     this, for I am a great reader and admirer of those books, and had
     read them through and through before I was eight years old,--that
     is to say, the _Old_ Testament, for the New struck me as a task,
     but the other as a pleasure. I speak as a _boy_, from the
     recollected impression of that period at Aberdeen in 1796.

     "Any novels of Scott, or poetry of the same. Ditto of Crabbe,
     Moore, and the Elect; but none of your curst common-place
     trash,--unless something starts up of actual merit, which may very
     well be, for 'tis time it should."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "October 20. 1821.

     "If the errors _are_ in the MS. write me down an ass: they are
     _not_, and I am content to undergo any penalty if they be. Besides,
     the _omitted_ stanza (last but one or two), sent _afterwards_, was
     that in the MS. too?

     "As to 'honour,' I will trust no man's honour in affairs of barter.
     I will tell you why: a state of bargain is Hobbes's 'state of
     nature--a state of war.' It is so with all men. If I come to a
     friend, and say, 'Friend, lend me five hundred pounds,'--he either
     does it, or says that he can't or won't; but if I come to Ditto,
     and say, 'Ditto, I have an excellent house, or horse, or carriage,
     or MSS., or books, or pictures, or, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. honestly
     worth a thousand pounds, you shall have them for five hundred,'
     what does Ditto say? why, he looks at them, he _hums_, he
     _ha's_,--he _humbugs_, if he can, to get a bargain as cheaply as he
     can, because _it is_ a bargain. This is in the blood and bone of
     mankind; and the same man who would lend another a thousand pounds
     without interest, would not buy a horse of him for half its value
     if he could help it. It is so: there's no denying it; and therefore
     I will have as much as I can, and you will give as little; and
     there's an end. All men are intrinsical rascals, and I am only
     sorry that, not being a dog, I can't bite them.

     "I am filling another book for you with little anecdotes, to my own
     knowledge, or well authenticated, of Sheridan, Curran, &c. and such
     other public men as I recollect to have been acquainted with, for I
     knew most of them more or less. I will do what I can to prevent
     your losing by my obsequies.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, October 21. 1821.

     "I shall be (the gods willing) in Bologna on Saturday next. This is
     a curious answer to your letter; but I have taken a house in Pisa
     for the winter, to which all my chattels, furniture, horses,
     carriages, and live stock are already removed, and I am preparing
     to follow.

     "The cause of this removal is, shortly, the exile or proscription
     of all my friends' relations and connections here into Tuscany, on
     account of our late politics; and where they go, I accompany them.
     I merely remained till now to settle some arrangements about my
     daughter, and to give time for my furniture, &c. to precede me. I
     have not here a seat or a bed hardly, except some jury chairs, and
     tables, and a mattress for the week to come.

     "If you will go on with me to Pisa, I can lodge you for as long as
     you like; (they write that the house, the Palazzo Lanfranchi, is
     spacious: it is on the Arno;) and I have four carriages, and as
     many saddle-horses (such as they are in these parts), with all
     other conveniences, at your command, as also their owner. If you
     could do this, we may, at least, cross the Apennines together; or
     if you are going by another road, we shall meet at Bologna, I hope.
     I address this to the post-office (as you desire), and you will
     probably find me at the Albergo di _San Marco_. If you arrive
     first, wait till I come up, which will be (barring accidents) on
     Saturday or Sunday at farthest.

     "I presume you are alone in your voyages. Moore is in London
     _incog._ according to my latest advices from those climes.

     "It is better than a lustre (five years and six months and some
     days, more or less) since we met; and, like the man from Tadcaster
     in the farce ('Love laughs at Locksmiths'), whose acquaintances,
     including the cat and the terrier, who 'caught a halfpenny in his
     mouth,' were all 'gone dead,' but too many of our acquaintances
     have taken the same path. Lady Melbourne, Grattan, Sheridan,
     Curran, &c. &c. almost every body of much name of the old school.
     But 'so am not I, said the foolish fat scullion,' therefore let us
     make the most of our remainder.

     "Let me find two lines from you at 'the hostel or inn.'

     "Yours ever, &c.


       *       *       *       *       *


     "Ravenna, Oct. 28. 1821.

     "''Tis the middle of night by the castle clock,' and in three hours
     more I have to set out on my way to Pisa--sitting up all night to
     be sure of rising. I have just made them take off my
     bed-clothes--blankets inclusive--in case of temptation from the
     apparel of sheets to my eyelids.

     "Samuel Rogers is--or is to be--at Bologna, as he writes from

     "I thought our Magnifico would 'pound you,' if possible. He is
     trying to 'pound' me, too; but I'll specie the rogue--or, at least,
     I'll have the odd shillings out of him in keen iambics.

     "Your approbation of 'Sardanapalus' is agreeable, for more reasons
     than one. Hobhouse is pleased to think as you do of it, and so do
     some others--but the 'Arimaspian,' whom, like 'a Gryphon in the
     wilderness,' I will 'follow for his gold' (as I exhorted you to do
     before), did or doth disparage it--'stinting me in my sizings.' His
     notable opinions on the 'Foscari' and 'Cain' he hath not as yet
     forwarded; or, at least, I have not yet received them, nor the
     proofs thereof, though promised by last post.

     "I see the way that he and his Quarterly people are tending--they
     want a _row_ with me, and they shall have it. I only regret that I
     am not in England for the _nonce_; as, here, it is hardly fair
     ground for me, isolated and out of the way of prompt rejoinder and
     information as I am. But, though backed by all the corruption, and
     infamy, and patronage of their master rogues and slave renegadoes,
     if they do once rouse me up,

        "'They had better gall the devil, Salisbury.'

     "I have that for two or three of them, which they had better not
     move me to put in motion;--and yet, after all, what a fool I am to
     disquiet myself about such fellows! It was all very well ten or
     twelve years ago, when I was a 'curled darling,' and _min_ded such
     things. At present, I _rate_ them at their true value; but, from
     natural temper and bile, am not able to keep quiet.

     "Let me hear from you on your return from Ireland, which ought to
     be ashamed to see you, after her Brunswick blarney. I am of
     Longman's opinion, that you should allow your friends to liquidate
     the Bermuda claim. Why should you throw away the two thousand
     _pounds_ (of the _non_-guinea Murray) upon that cursed piece of
     treacherous inveiglement? I think you carry the matter a little too
     far and scrupulously. When we see patriots begging publicly, and
     know that Grattan received a fortune from his country, I really do
     not see why a man, in no whit inferior to any or all of them,
     should shrink from accepting that assistance from his private
     friends which every tradesman receives from his connections upon
     much less occasions. For, after all, it was not _your debt_--it was
     a piece of swindling _against_ you. As to * * * *, and the 'what
     noble creatures![59] &c. &c.' it is all very fine and very well,
     but, till you can persuade me that there is _no credit_, and no
     _self-applause_ to be obtained by being of use to a celebrated man,
     I must retain the same opinion of the human _species_, which I do
     of our friend Ms. Spe_cie_."

[Footnote 59: I had mentioned to him, with all the praise and gratitude
such friendship deserved, some generous offers of aid which, from more
than one quarter, I had received at this period, and which, though
declined, have been not the less warmly treasured in my recollection.]

       *       *       *       *       *

In the month of August, Madame Guiccioli had joined her father at Pisa,
and was now superintending the preparations at the Casa Lanfranchi,--one
of the most ancient and spacious palaces of that city,--for the
reception of her noble friend. "He left Ravenna," says this lady, "with
great regret, and with a presentiment that his departure would be the
forerunner of a thousand evils to us. In every letter he then wrote to
me, he expressed his displeasure at this step. 'If your father should be
recalled,' he said, '_I immediately return_ to Ravenna; and if he is
recalled _previous_ to my departure, _I remain_.' In this hope he
delayed his journey for several months; but, at last, no longer having
any expectation of our immediate return, he wrote to me, saying--'I set
out most unwillingly, foreseeing the most evil results for all of you,
and principally for yourself. I say no more, but you will see.' And in
another letter he says, 'I leave Ravenna so unwillingly, and with such a
persuasion on my mind that my departure will lead from one misery to
another, each greater than the former, that I have not the heart to
utter another word on the subject.' He always wrote to me at that time
in Italian, and I transcribe his exact words. How entirely were these
presentiments verified by the event!"[60]

After describing his mode of life while at Ravenna, the lady thus

"This sort of simple life he led until the fatal day of his departure
for Greece, and the few variations he made from it may be said to have
arisen solely from the greater or smaller number of occasions which were
offered him of doing good, and from the generous actions he was
continually performing. Many families (in Ravenna principally) owed to
him the few prosperous days they ever enjoyed. His arrival in that town
was spoken of as a piece of public good fortune, and his departure as a
public calamity; and this is the life which many attempted to asperse as
that of a libertine. But the world must at last learn how, with so good
and generous a heart, Lord Byron, susceptible, it is true, of the most
energetic passions, yet, at the same time, of the sublimest and most
pure, and rendering homage in his _acts_ to every virtue--how he, I say,
could afford such scope to malice and to calumny. Circumstances, and
also, probably, an eccentricity of disposition, (which, nevertheless,
had its origin in a virtuous feeling, an excessive abhorrence for
hypocrisy and affectation,) contributed, perhaps, to cloud the splendour
of his exalted nature in the opinion of many. But you will well know how
to analyse these contradictions in a manner worthy of your noble friend
and of yourself, and you will prove that the goodness of his heart was
not inferior to the grandeur of his genius."[61]

At Bologna, according to the appointment made between them, Lord Byron
and Mr. Rogers met; and the record which this latter gentleman has, in
his Poem on Italy, preserved of their meeting, conveys so vivid a
picture of the poet at this period, with, at the same time, so just and
feeling a tribute to his memory, that, narrowed as my limits are now
becoming, I cannot refrain from giving the sketch entire.

[Footnote 60: "Egli era partito con molto riverescimento da Ravenna, e
col pressentimento che la sua partenza da Ravenna ci sarebbe cagione di
molti mali. In ogni lettera che egli mi scriveva allora egli mi
esprimeva il suo dispiacere di lasciare Ravenna. 'Se papà è richiamato
(mi scriveva egli) io torno in quel istante a Ravenna, e se è richiamato
_prima_ della mia partenza, _io non parto_.' In questa speranza egli
differi varii mesi a partire. Ma, finalmente, non potendo più sperare il
nostro ritorno prossimo, egli mi scriveva--'Io parto molto mal
volontieri prevedendo dei mali assai grandi per voi altri e massime per
voi; altro non dico,--lo vedrete.' E in un altra lettera, 'Io lascio
Ravenna così mal volontieri, e così persuaso che la mia partenza non può
che condurre da un male ad un altro più grande che non ho cuore di
scrivere altro in questo punto.' Egli mi scriveva allora sempre in
Italiano e trascrivo le sue precise parole--ma come quei suoi
pressentimenti si verificarono poi in appresso!]

[Footnote 61: The leaf that contains the original of this extract I have
unluckily mislaid.]

       *       *       *       *       *


    "'Twas night; the noise and bustle of the day
    Were o'er. The mountebank no longer wrought
    Miraculous cures--he and his stage were gone;
    And he who, when the crisis of his tale
    Came, and all stood breathless with hope and fear,
    Sent round his cap; and he who thrumm'd his wire
    And sang, with pleading look and plaintive strain
    Melting the passenger. Thy thousand cries [62],
    So well portray'd and by a son of thine,
    Whose voice had swell'd the hubbub in his youth,
    Were hush'd, BOLOGNA, silence in the streets,
    The squares, when hark, the clattering of fleet hoofs;
    And soon a courier, posting as from far,
    Housing and holster, boot and belted coat
    And doublet stain'd with many a various soil,
    Stopt and alighted. 'Twas where hangs aloft
    That ancient sign, the Pilgrim, welcoming
    All who arrive there, all perhaps save those
    Clad like himself, with staff and scallop-shell,
    Those on a pilgrimage: and now approach'd
    Wheels, through the lofty porticoes resounding,
    Arch beyond arch, a shelter or a shade
    As the sky changes. To the gate they came;
    And, ere the man had half his story done,
    Mine host received the Master--one long used
    To sojourn among strangers, every where
    (Go where he would, along the wildest track)
    Flinging a charm that shall not soon be lost,
    And leaving footsteps to be traced by those
    Who love the haunts of Genius; one who saw,
    Observed, nor shunn'd the busy scenes of life,
    But mingled not; and mid the din, the stir,
    Lived as a separate Spirit.
                                "Much had pass'd
    Since last we parted; and those five short years--
    Much had they told! His clustering locks were turn'd
    Grey; nor did aught recall the youth that swam
    From Sestos to Abydos. Yet his voice,
    Still it was sweet; still from his eye the thought
    Flash'd lightning-like, nor lingered on the way,
    Waiting for words. Far, far into the night
    We sat, conversing--no unwelcome hour,
    The hour we met; and, when Aurora rose,
    Rising, we climb'd the rugged Apennine.
      "Well I remember how the golden sun
    Fill'd with its beams the unfathomable gulfs
    As on we travell'd, and along the ridge,
    'Mid groves of cork, and cistus, and wild fig,
    His motley household came.--Not last nor least,
    Battista, who upon the moonlight-sea
    Of Venice had so ably, zealously
    Served, and at parting, thrown his oar away
    To follow through the world; who without stain
    Had worn so long that honourable badge[63],
    The gondolier's, in a Patrician House
    Arguing unlimited trust.--Not last nor least,
    Thou, though declining in thy beauty and strength,
    Faithful Moretto, to the latest hour
    Guarding his chamber-door, and now along
    The silent, sullen strand of MISSOLONGHI
    Howling in grief.
                      "He had just left that Place
    Of old renown, once in the ADRIAN sea[64],
    RAVENNA; where from DANTE'S sacred tomb
    He had so oft, as many a verse declares[65],
    Drawn inspiration; where at twilight-time,
    Through the pine-forest wandering with loose rein,
    Wandering and lost, he had so oft beheld[66]
    (What is not visible to a poet's eye?)
    The spectre-knight, the hell-hounds, and their prey,
    The chase, the slaughter, and the festal mirth
    Suddenly blasted. 'Twas a theme he loved,
    But others claim'd their turn; and many a tower,
    Shatter'd uprooted from its native rock,
    Its strength the pride of some heroic age,
    Appear'd and vanish'd (many a sturdy steer[67]
    Yoked and unyoked), while, as in happier days,
    He pour'd his spirit forth. The past forgot,
    All was enjoyment. Not a cloud obscured
    Present or future.
                       "He is now at rest;
    And praise and blame fall on his ear alike,
    Now dull in death. Yes, BYRON, thou art gone,
    Gone like a star that through the firmament
    Shot and was lost, in its eccentric course
    Dazzling, perplexing. Yet thy heart, methinks,
    Was generous, noble--noble in its scorn
    Of all things low or little; nothing there
    Sordid or servile. If imagined wrongs
    Pursued thee, urging thee sometimes to do
    Things long regretted, oft, as many know,
    None more than I, thy gratitude would build
    On slight foundations: and, if in thy life
    Not happy, in thy death thou surely wert,
    Thy wish accomplish'd; dying in the land
    Where thy young mind had caught ethereal fire,
    Dying in GREECE, and in a cause so glorious!
      "They in thy train--ah, little did they think,
    As round we went, that they so soon should sit
    Mourning beside thee, while a Nation mourn'd,
    Changing her festal for her funeral song;
    That they so soon should hear the minute-gun,
    As morning gleam'd on what remain'd of thee,
    Roll o'er the sea, the mountains, numbering
    Thy years of joy and sorrow.
                                 "Thou art gone;
    And he who would assail thee in thy grave,
    Oh, let him pause! For who among us all,
    Tried as thou wert--even from thine earliest years,
    When wandering, yet unspoilt, a highland boy--Tried
    as thou wert, and with thy soul of flame;
    Pleasure, while yet the down was on thy cheek,
    Uplifting, pressing, and to lips like thine,
    Her charmed cup--ah, who among us all
    Could say he had not err'd as much, and more?"

[Footnote 62: "See the Cries of Bologna, as drawn by Aunibal Caracci. He
was of very humble origin; and, to correct his brother's vanity, once
sent him a portrait of their father, the tailor, threading his needle."]

[Footnote 63: "The principal gondolier, il fante di poppa, was almost
always in the confidence of his master, and employed on occasions that
required judgment and address."]

[Footnote 64: "Adrianum mare.--CICERO."]

[Footnote 65: "See the Prophecy of Dante."]

[Footnote 66: "See the tale as told by Boccaccio and Dryden."]

[Footnote 67: "They wait for the traveller's carriage at the foot of
every hill."]

       *       *       *       *       *

On the road to Bologna he had met with his early and dearest friend,
Lord Clare, and the following description of their short interview is
given in his "Detached Thoughts."

"Pisa, November 5. 1821.

"'There is a strange coincidence sometimes in the little things of this
world, Sancho,' says Sterne in a letter (if I mistake not), and so I
have often found it.

"Page 128. article 91. of this collection, I had alluded to my friend
Lord Clare in terms such as my feelings suggested. About a week or two
afterwards I met him on the road between Imola and Bologna, after not
having met for seven or eight years. He was abroad in 1814, and came
home just as I set out in 1816.

"This meeting annihilated for a moment all the years between the present
time and the days of _Harrow_. It was a new and inexplicable feeling,
like rising from the grave, to me. Clare, too, was much agitated--more
in _appearance_ than was myself; for I could feel his heart beat to his
fingers' ends, unless, indeed, it was the pulse of my own which made me
think so. He told me that I should find a note from him left at Bologna.
I did. We were obliged to part for our different journeys, he for Rome,
I for Pisa, but with the promise to meet again in spring. We were but
five minutes together, and on the public road; but I hardly recollect an
hour of my existence which could be weighed against them. He had heard
that I was coming on, and had left his letter for me at Bologna, because
the people with whom he was travelling could not wait longer.

"Of all I have ever known, he has always been the least altered in every
thing from the excellent qualities and kind affections which attached me
to him so strongly at school. I should hardly have thought it possible
for society (or the world, as it is called) to leave a being with so
little of the leaven of bad passions.

"I do not speak from personal experience only, but from all I have ever
heard of him from others, during absence and distance."

       *       *       *       *       *

After remaining a day at Bologna, Lord Byron crossed the Apennines with
Mr. Rogers; and I find the following note of their visit together to the
Gallery at Florence:--

"I revisited the Florence Gallery, &c. My former impressions were
confirmed; but there were too many visiters there to allow one to _feel_
any thing properly. When we were (about thirty or forty) all stuffed
into the cabinet of gems and knick-knackeries, in a corner of one of the
galleries, I told Rogers that it 'felt like being in the watchhouse.' I
left him to make his obeisances to some of his acquaintances, and
strolled on alone--the only four minutes I could snatch of any feeling
for the works around me. I do not mean to apply this to a _tête-à-tête_
scrutiny with Rogers, who has an excellent taste, and deep feeling for
the arts, (indeed much more of both than I can possess, for of the
FORMER I have not much,) but to the crowd of jostling starers and
travelling talkers around me.

"I heard one bold Briton declare to the woman on his arm, looking at the
Venus of Titian, 'Well, now, this is really very fine indeed,'--an
observation which, like that of the landlord in Joseph Andrews on 'the
certainty of death,' was (as the landlord's wife observed) 'extremely

"In the Pitti Palace, I did not omit Goldsmith's prescription for a
connoisseur, viz. 'that the pictures would have been better if the
painter had taken more pains, and to praise the works of Pietro

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, November 3. 1821.

     "The two passages cannot be altered without making Lucifer talk
     like the Bishop of Lincoln, which would not be in the character of
     the former. The notion is from Cuvier (that of the _old worlds_),
     as I have explained in an additional note to the preface. The other
     passage is also in character: if _nonsense_, so much the better,
     because then it can do no harm, and the sillier Satan is made, the
     safer for every body. As to 'alarms,' &c. do you really think such
     things ever led any body astray? Are these people more impious than
     Milton's Satan? or the Prometheus of Æschylus? or even than the
     Sadducees of * *, the 'Fall of Jerusalem' * *? Are not Adam, Eve,
     Adah, and Abel, as pious as the catechism?

     "Gifford is too wise a man to think that such things can have any
     _serious_ effect: _who_ was ever altered by a poem? I beg leave to
     observe, that there is no creed nor personal hypothesis of mine in
     all this; but I was obliged to make Cain and Lucifer talk
     consistently, and surely this has always been permitted to poesy.
     Cain is a proud man: if Lucifer promised him kingdom, &c. it would
     _elate_ him: the object of the Demon is to _depress_ him still
     further in his own estimation than he was before, by showing him
     infinite things and his own abasement, till he falls into the frame
     of mind that leads to the catastrophe, from mere _internal_
     irritation, _not_ premeditation, or envy of _Abel_ (which would
     have made him contemptible), but from the rage and fury against
     the inadequacy of his state to his conceptions, and which
     discharges itself rather against life, and the Author of life, than
     the mere living.

     "His subsequent remorse is the natural effect of looking on his
     sudden deed. Had the _deed_ been _premeditated_, his repentance
     would have been tardier.

     "Either dedicate it to Walter Scott, or, if you think he would like
     the dedication of 'The Foscaris' better, put the dedication to 'The
     Foscaris.' Ask him which.

     "Your first note was queer enough; but your two other letters, with
     Moore's and Gifford's opinions, set all right again. I told you
     before that I can never _recast_ any thing. I am like the tiger: if
     I miss the first spring, I go grumbling back to my jungle again;
     but if I do _hit_, it is crushing. * * * You disparaged the last
     three cantos to me, and kept them back above a year; but I have
     heard from England that (notwithstanding the errors of the press)
     they are well thought of; for instance, by American Irving, which
     last is a feather in my (fool's) cap.

     "You have received my letter (open) through Mr. Kinnaird, and so,
     pray, send me no more reviews of any kind. I will read no more of
     evil or good in that line. Walter Scott has not read a review of
     _himself_ for _thirteen years_.

     "The bust is not _my_ property, but _Hobhouse_'s. I addressed it to
     you as an Admiralty man, great at the Custom-house. Pray deduct the
     expenses of the same, and all others.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, Nov. 9. 1821.

     "I _never read_ the Memoirs at all, not even since they were
     written; and I never will: the pain of writing them was enough; you
     may spare me that of a perusal. Mr. Moore has (or may have) a
     discretionary power to omit any repetition, or expressions which do
     not seem _good_ to _him_, who is a better judge than you or I.

     "Enclosed is a lyrical drama, (entitled 'A Mystery,' from its
     subject,) which, perhaps may arrive in time for the volume. You
     will find _it pious_ enough, I trust,--at least some of the Chorus
     might have been written by Sternhold and Hopkins themselves for
     that, and perhaps for melody. As it is longer, and more lyrical and
     Greek, than I intended at first, I have not divided it into _acts_,
     but called what I have sent _Part First_, as there is a suspension
     of the action, which may either close there without impropriety, or
     be continued in a way that I have in view. I wish the first part to
     be published before the second, because, if it don't succeed, it is
     better to stop there than to go on in a fruitless experiment.

     "I desire you to acknowledge the arrival of this packet by return
     of post, if you can conveniently, with a proof.

     "Your obedient, &c.

     "P.S. My wish is to have it published at the same time, and, if
     possible, in the same volume, with the others, because, whatever
     the merits or demerits of these pieces may be, it will perhaps be
     allowed that each is of a different kind, and in a different style;
     so that, including the prose and the Don Juans, &c. I have at least
     sent you _variety_ during the last year or two."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, November 16. 1821.

     "There is here Mr. * *, an Irish genius, with whom we are
     acquainted. He hath written a really _excellent_ Commentary on
     Dante, full of new and true information, and much ingenuity. But
     his verse is such as it hath pleased God to endue him withal.
     Nevertheless, he is so firmly persuaded of its equal excellence,
     that he won't divorce the Commentary from the traduction, as I
     ventured delicately to hint,--not having the fear of Ireland before
     my eyes, and upon the presumption of having shotten very well in
     his presence (with common pistols too, not with my Manton's) the
     day before.

     "But he is eager to publish all, and must be gratified, though the
     Reviewers will make him suffer more tortures than there are in his
     original. Indeed, the _Notes_ are well worth publication; but he
     insists upon the translation for company, so that they will come
     out together, like Lady C * *t chaperoning Miss * *. I read a
     letter of yours to him yesterday, and he begs me to write to you
     about his Poeshie. He is really a good fellow, apparently, and I
     dare say that his verse is very good Irish.

     "Now, what shall we do for him? He says that he will risk part of
     the expense with the publisher. He will never rest till he is
     published and abused--for he has a high opinion of himself--and I
     see nothing left but to gratify him, so as to have him abused as
     little as possible; for I think it would kill him. You must write,
     then, to Jeffrey to beg him _not_ to review him, and I will do the
     same to Gifford, through Murray. Perhaps they might notice the
     Comment without touching the text. But I doubt the dogs--the text
     is too tempting. * *

     "I have to thank you again, as I believe I did before, for your
     opinion of 'Cain,' &c.

     "You are right to allow ---- to settle the claim; but I do not see
     why you should repay him out of your _legacy_--at least, not
     yet.[68] If you _feel_ about it (as you are ticklish on such
     points) pay him the interest now, and the principal when you are
     strong in cash; or pay him by instalments; or pay him as I do my
     creditors--that is, not till they make me.

     "I address this to you at Paris, as you desire. Reply soon, and
     believe me ever, &c.

     "P.S. What I wrote to you about low spirits is, however, very true.
     At present, owing to the climate, &c. (I can walk down into my
     garden, and pluck my own oranges,--and, by the way, have got a
     diarrhoea in consequence of indulging in this meridian luxury of
     proprietorship,) my spirits are much better. You seem to think that
     I could not have written the 'Vision,' &c. under the influence of
     low spirits; but I think there you err.[69] A man's poetry is a
     distinct faculty, or Soul, and has no more to do with the every-day
     individual than the Inspiration with the Pythoness when removed
     from her tripod."

[Footnote 68: Having discovered that, while I was abroad, a kind friend
had, without any communication with myself, placed at the disposal of
the person who acted for me a large sum for the discharge of this claim,
I thought it right to allow the money, thus generously destined, to be
employed as was intended, and then immediately repaid my friend out of
the sum given by Mr. Murray for the manuscript.

It may seem obtrusive, I fear, to enter into this sort of personal
details; but, without some few words of explanation, such passages as
the above would be unintelligible.]

[Footnote 69: My remark had been hasty and inconsiderate, and Lord
Byron's is the view borne out by all experience. Almost all the tragic
and gloomy writers have been, in social life, mirthful persons. The
author of the Night Thoughts was a "fellow of infinite jest;" and of the
pathetic Rowe, Pope says--"He would laugh all day long--he would do
nothing else but laugh."]

       *       *       *       *       *

The correspondence which I am now about to insert, though long since
published by the gentleman with whom it originated[70], will, I have no
doubt, even by those already acquainted with all the circumstances, be
reperused with pleasure; as, among the many strange and affecting
incidents with which these pages abound, there is not one, perhaps, so
touching and singular as that to which the following letters refer.


     "Frome, Somerset, November 21. 1821.

     "My Lord,

     "More than two years since, a lovely and beloved wife was taken
     from me, by lingering disease, after a very short union. She
     possessed unvarying gentleness and fortitude, and a piety so
     retiring as rarely to disclose itself in words, but so influential
     as to produce uniform benevolence of conduct. In the last hour of
     life, after a farewell look on a lately born and only infant, for
     whom she had evinced inexpressible affection, her last whispers
     were 'God's happiness! God's happiness!' Since the second
     anniversary of her decease, I have read some papers which no one
     had seen during her life, and which contain her most secret
     thoughts. I am induced to communicate to your Lordship a passage
     from these papers, which, there is no doubt, refers to yourself; as
     I have more than once heard the writer mention your agility on the
     rocks at Hastings.

     "'Oh, my God, I take encouragement from the assurance of thy word,
     to pray to Thee in behalf of one for whom I have lately been much
     interested. May the person to whom I allude (and who is now, we
     fear, as much distinguished for his neglect of Thee as for the
     transcendant talents thou hast bestowed on him) be awakened to a
     sense of his own danger, and led to seek that peace of mind in a
     proper sense of religion, which he has found this world's
     enjoyments unable to procure! Do Thou grant that his future example
     may be productive of far more extensive benefit than his past
     conduct and writings have been of evil; and may the Sun of
     righteousness, which, we trust, will, at some future period, arise
     on him, be bright in proportion to the darkness of those clouds
     which guilt has raised around him, and the balm which it bestows,
     healing and soothing in proportion to the keenness of that agony
     which the punishment of his vices has inflicted on him! May the
     hope that the sincerity of my own efforts for the attainment of
     holiness, and the approval of my own love to the great Author of
     religion, will render this prayer, and every other for the welfare
     of mankind, more efficacious!--Cheer me in the path of duty;--but,
     let me not forget, that, while we are permitted to animate
     ourselves to exertion by every innocent motive, these are but the
     lesser streams which may serve to increase the current, but which,
     deprived of the grand fountain of good, (a deep conviction of
     inborn sin, and firm belief in the efficacy of Christ's death for
     the salvation of those who trust in him, and really wish to serve
     him,) would soon dry up, and leave us barren of every virtue as

     "'July 31. 1814--Hastings.'

     "There is nothing, my Lord, in this extract which, in a literary
     sense, can _at all_ interest you; but it may, perhaps, appear to
     you worthy of reflection how deep and expansive a concern for the
     happiness of others the Christian faith can awaken in the midst of
     youth and prosperity. Here is nothing poetical and splendid, as in
     the expostulatory homage of M. Delamartine; but here is the
     _sublime_, my Lord; for this intercession was offered, on your
     account, to the supreme _Source_ of happiness. It sprang from a
     faith more confirmed than that of the French poet: and from a
     charity which, in combination with faith, showed its power
     unimpaired amidst the languors and pains of approaching
     dissolution. I will hope that a prayer, which, I am sure, was
     deeply sincere, may not be always unavailing.

     "It would add _nothing_, my Lord, to the fame with which your
     genius has surrounded you, for an unknown and obscure individual to
     express his admiration of it. I had rather be numbered with those
     who wish and pray, that 'wisdom from above,' and 'peace,' and 'joy,'
     may enter such a mind.


[Footnote 70: See "Thoughts on Private Devotion," by Mr. Sheppard.]

       *       *       *       *       *

However romantic, in the eyes of the cold and worldly, the piety of this
young person may appear, it were to be wished that the truly Christian
feeling which dictated her prayer were more common among all who profess
the same creed; and that those indications of a better nature, so
visible even through the clouds of his character, which induced this
innocent young woman to pray for Byron, while living, could have the
effect of inspiring others with more charity towards his memory, now
that he is dead.

The following is Lord Byron's answer to this affecting communication.


     "Pisa, December 8. 1821.


     "I have received your letter. I need not say, that the extract
     which it contains has affected me, because it would imply a want of
     all feeling to have read it with indifference. Though I am not
     quite _sure_ that it was intended by the writer for _me_, yet the
     date, the place where it was written, with some other circumstances
     that you mention, render the allusion probable. But for whomever it
     was meant, I have read it with all the pleasure which can arise
     from so melancholy a topic. I say _pleasure_--because your brief
     and simple picture of the life and demeanour of the excellent
     person whom I trust you will again meet, cannot be contemplated
     without the admiration due to her virtues, and her pure and
     unpretending piety. Her last moments were particularly striking;
     and I do not know that, in the course of reading the story of
     mankind, and still less in my observations upon the existing
     portion, I ever met with any thing so unostentatiously beautiful.
     Indisputably, the firm believers in the Gospel have a great
     advantage over all others,--for this simple reason, that, if true,
     they will have their reward hereafter; and if there be no
     hereafter, they can be but with the infidel in his eternal sleep,
     having had the assistance of an exalted hope, through life, without
     subsequent disappointment, since (at the worst for them) 'out of
     nothing, nothing can arise, not even sorrow. But a man's creed does
     not depend upon _himself_: _who_ can say, I _will_ believe this,
     that, or the other? and least of all, that which he least can
     comprehend. I have, however, observed, that those who have begun
     life with extreme faith, have in the end greatly narrowed it, as
     Chillingworth, Clarke (who ended as an Arian), Bayle, and Gibbon
     (once a Catholic), and some others; while, on the other hand,
     nothing is more common than for the early sceptic to end in a firm
     belief, like Maupertuis, and Henry Kirke White.

     "But my business is to acknowledge your letter, and not to make a
     dissertation. I am obliged to you for your good wishes, and more
     than obliged by the extract from the papers of the beloved object
     whose qualities you have so well described in a few words. I can
     assure you that all the fame which ever cheated humanity into
     higher notions of its own importance would never weigh in my mind
     against the pure and pious interest which a virtuous being may be
     pleased to take in my welfare. In this point of view, I would not
     exchange the prayer of the deceased in my behalf for the united
     glory of Homer, Cæsar, and Napoleon, could such be accumulated upon
     a living head. Do me at least the justice to suppose, that

        "'Video meliora proboque,'

     however the 'deteriora sequor' may have been applied to my conduct.

     "I have the honour to be

     "Your obliged and obedient servant,


     "P.S. I do not know that I am addressing a clergyman; but I presume
     that you will not be affronted by the mistake (if it is one) on the
     address of this letter. One who has so well explained, and deeply
     felt, the doctrines of religion, will excuse the error which led me
     to believe him its minister."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, December 4. 1821.

     "By extracts in the English papers,--in your holy ally, Galignani's
     'Messenger,'--I perceive that 'the two greatest examples of human
     vanity in the present age' are, firstly, 'the ex-Emperor Napoleon,'
     and, secondly, 'his Lordship, &c. the noble poet,'meaning your
     humble servant, 'poor guiltless I.'

     "Poor Napoleon! he little dreamed to what vile comparisons the turn
     of the wheel would reduce him!

     "I have got here into a famous old feudal palazzo, on the Arno,
     large enough for a garrison, with dungeons below and cells in the
     walls, and so full of ghosts, that the learned Fletcher (my valet)
     has begged leave to change his room, and then refused to occupy his
     _new_ room, because there were more ghosts there than in the other.
     It is quite true that there are most extraordinary noises (as in
     all old buildings), which have terrified the servants so as to
     incommode me extremely. There is one place where people were
     evidently _walled up_; for there is but one possible passage,
     broken through the wall, and then meant to be closed again upon
     the inmate. The house belonged to the Lanfranchi family, (the same
     mentioned by Ugolino in his dream, as his persecutor with
     Sismondi,) and has had a fierce owner or two in its time. The
     staircase, &c. is said to have been built by Michel Agnolo. It is
     not yet cold enough for a fire. What a climate!

     "I am, however, bothered about these spectres, (as they say the
     last occupants were, too,) of whom I have as yet seen nothing, nor,
     indeed, heard (_myself_); but all the other ears have been regaled
     by all kinds of supernatural sounds. The first night I thought I
     heard an odd noise, but it has not been repeated. I have now been
     here more than a month.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, December 10. 1821.

     "This day and this hour, (one, on the clock,) my daughter is six
     years old. I wonder when I shall see her again, or if ever I shall
     see her at all.

     "I have remarked a curious coincidence, which almost looks like a

     "My _mother_, my _wife_, my _daughter_, my _half-sister_, my
     _sisters mother_, my _natural daughter_ (as far at least as _I_ am
     concerned), and _myself_, are all only children.

     "My father, by his first marriage with Lady Conyers (an only
     child), had only my sister; and by his second marriage with an only
     child, an only child again. Lady Byron, as you know, was one also,
     and so is my daughter, &c.

     "Is not this rather odd--such a complication of only children? By
     the way, send me my daughter Ada's miniature. I have only the
     print, which gives little or no idea of her complexion.

     "Yours, &c. B."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, December 12. 1821.

     "What you say about Galignani's two biographies is very amusing;
     and, if I were not lazy, I would certainly do what you desire. But
     I doubt my present stock of facetiousness--that is, of good
     _serious_ humour, so as not to let the cat out of the bag.[71] I
     wish _you_ would undertake it. I will forgive and _indulge_ you
     (like a Pope) beforehand, for any thing ludicrous, that might keep
     those fools in their own dear belief that a man is a _loup garou_.

     "I suppose I told you that the Giaour story had actually some
     foundation on facts; or, if I did not, you will one day find it in
     a letter of Lord Sligo's, written to me _after_ the publication of
     the poem. I should not like marvels to rest upon any account of my
     own, and shall say nothing about it. However, the _real_ incident
     is still remote enough from the poetical one, being just such as,
     happening to a man of any imagination, might suggest such a
     composition. The worst of any _real_ adventures is that they
     involve living people--else Mrs. ----'s, ----'s, &c. are as 'german
     to the matter' as Mr. Maturin could desire for his novels. * * * *

     "The consummation you mentioned for poor * * was near taking place
     yesterday. Riding pretty sharply after Mr. Medwin and myself, in
     turning the corner of a lane between Pisa and the hills, he was
     spilt,--and, besides losing some claret on the spot, bruised
     himself a good deal, but is in no danger. He was bled, and keeps
     his room. As I was a-head of him some hundred yards, I did not see
     the accident; but my servant, who was behind, did, and says the
     horse did not fall--the usual excuse of floored equestrians. As * *
     piques himself upon his horsemanship, and his horse is really a
     pretty horse enough, I long for his personal narrative,--as I never
     yet met the man who would _fairly claim a tumble_ as his own

     "Could not you send me a printed copy of the 'Irish Avatar?'--I do
     not know what has become of Rogers since we parted at Florence.

     "Don't let the Angles keep you from writing. Sam told me that you
     were somewhat dissipated in Paris, which I can easily believe. Let
     me hear from you at your best leisure.

     "Ever and truly, &c.

     "P.S. December 13.

     "I enclose you some lines written not long ago, which you may do
     what you like with, as they are very harmless.[72] Only, if copied,
     or printed, or set, I could wish it more correctly than in the
     usual way, in which one's 'nothings are monstered,' as Coriolanus

     "You must really get * * published--he never will rest till he is
     so. He is just gone with his broken head to Lucca, at my desire, to
     try to save a _man_ from being _burnt_. The Spanish * * *, that has
     her petticoats over Lucca, had actually condemned a poor devil to
     the stake, for stealing the wafer box out of a church. Shelley and
     I, of course, were up in arms against this piece of piety, and have
     been disturbing every body to get the sentence changed. * * is gone
     to see what can be done.


[Footnote 71: Mr. Galignani having expressed a wish to be furnished with
a short Memoir of Lord Byron, for the purpose of prefixing it to the
French edition of his works, I had said jestingly in a preceding letter
to his Lordship, that it would he but a fair satire on the disposition
of the world to "bemonster his features," if he would write for the
public, English as well as French, a sort of mock-heroic account of
himself, outdoing, in horrors and wonders, all that had been yet related
or believed of him, and leaving even Goethe's story of the double murder
in Florence far behind.]

[Footnote 72: The following are the lines enclosed in this letter. In
one of his Journals, where they are also given, he has subjoined to them
the following note:--"I composed these stanzas (except the fourth, added
now) a few days ago, on the road from Florence to Pisa.

    "Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
    The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
    And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
    Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.

    "What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
    'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled.
    Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
    What care I for the wreaths that can _only_ give glory?

    "Oh Fame! if I e'er took delight in thy praises,
    'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
    Than to see the bright eyes of the dear One discover
    She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.

    "_There_ chiefly I sought thee, _there_ only I found thee;
    Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
    When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story,
    I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "December 12. 1821.

     "My dear Shelley,

     "Enclosed is a note for you from ----. His reasons are all very
     true, I dare say, and it might and may be of personal inconvenience
     to us. But that does not appear to me to be a reason to allow a
     being to be burnt without trying to save him. To save him by any
     means but _remonstrance_ is of course out of the question; but I do
     not see why a _temperate_ remonstrance should hurt any one. Lord
     Guilford is the man, if he would undertake it. He knows the Grand
     Duke personally, and might, perhaps, prevail upon him to interfere.
     But, as he goes to-morrow, you must be quick, or it will be
     useless. Make any use of my name that you please.

     "Yours ever," &c

       *       *       *       *       *


     "I send you the two notes, which will tell you the story I allude
     to of the Auto da Fè. Shelley's allusion to his 'fellow-serpent' is
     a buffoonery of mine. Goethe's Mephistofilus calls the serpent who
     tempted Eve 'my aunt, the renowned snake;' and I always insist that
     Shelley is nothing but one of her nephews, walking about on the tip
     of his tail."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Two o'clock, Tuesday Morning.

     "My dear Lord,

     "Although strongly persuaded that the story must be either an
     entire fabrication, or so gross an exaggeration as to be nearly so;
     yet, in order to be able to discover the truth beyond all doubt,
     and to set your mind quite at rest, I have taken the determination
     to go myself to Lucca this morning. Should it prove less false than
     I am convinced it is, I shall not fail to exert myself in _every
     way_ that I can imagine may have any success. Be assured of this.

     "Your Lordship's most truly,

     "* *.

     "P.S. To prevent _bavardage_, I prefer going in person to sending
     my servant with a letter. It is better for you to mention nothing
     (except, of course, to Shelley) of my excursion. The person I visit
     there is one on whom I can have every dependence in every way, both
     as to authority and truth."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Thursday Morning.

     "My dear Lord Byron,

     "I hear this morning that the design, which certainly had been in
     contemplation, of burning my fellow-serpent, has been abandoned,
     and that he has been condemned to the galleys. Lord Guilford is at
     Leghorn; and as your courier applied to me to know whether he ought
     to leave your letter for him or not, I have thought it best since
     this information to tell him to take it back.

     "Ever faithfully yours,

     "P.B. SHELLEY."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, January 12. 1822.

     "My dear Sir Walter,

     "I need not say how grateful I am for your letter, but I must own
     my ingratitude in not having written to you again long ago. Since I
     left England (and it is not for all the usual term of
     transportation) I have scribbled to five hundred blockheads on
     business, &c. without difficulty, though with no great pleasure;
     and yet, with the notion of addressing you a hundred times in my
     head, and always in my heart, I have not done what I ought to have
     done. I can only account for it on the same principle of tremulous
     anxiety with which one sometimes makes love to a beautiful woman of
     our own degree, with whom one is enamoured in good earnest;
     whereas, we attack a fresh-coloured housemaid without (I speak, of
     course, of earlier times) any sentimental remorse or mitigation of
     our virtuous purpose.

     "I owe to you far more than the usual obligation for the courtesies
     of literature and common friendship; for you went out of your way
     in 1817 to do me a service, when it required not merely kindness,
     but courage to do so: to have been recorded by you in such a
     manner, would have been a proud memorial at any time, but at such a
     time when 'all the world and his wife,' as the proverb goes, were
     trying to trample upon me, was something still higher to my
     self-esteem,--I allude to the Quarterly Review of the Third Canto
     of Childe Harold, which Murray told me was written by you,--and,
     indeed, I should have known it without his information, as there
     could not be two who _could_ and _would_ have done this at the
     time. Had it been a common criticism, however eloquent or
     panegyrical, I should have felt pleased, undoubtedly, and grateful,
     but not to the extent which the extraordinary good-heartedness of
     the whole proceeding must induce in any mind capable of such
     sensations. The very _tardiness_ of this acknowledgment will, at
     least, show that I have not forgotten the obligation; and I can
     assure you that my sense of it has been out at compound interest
     during the delay. I shall only add one word upon the subject, which
     is, that I think that you, and Jeffrey, and Leigh Hunt were the
     only literary men, of numbers whom I know (and some of whom I had
     served), who dared venture even an anonymous word in my favour just
     then: and that, of those three, I had never seen _one_ at all--of
     the second much less than I desired--and that the third was under
     no kind of obligation to me, whatever; while the other _two_ had
     been actually attacked by me on a former occasion; _one_, indeed,
     with some provocation, but the other wantonly enough. So you see
     you have been heaping 'coals of fire, &c.' in the true gospel
     manner, and I can assure you that they have burnt down to my very

     "I am glad that you accepted the Inscription. I meant to have
     inscribed 'The Foscarini' to you instead; but first, I heard that
     'Cain' was thought the least bad of the two as a composition; and,
     2dly, I have abused S * * like a pickpocket, in a note to the
     Foscarini, and I recollected that he is a friend of yours (though
     not of mine), and that it would not be the handsome thing to
     dedicate to one friend any thing containing such matters about
     another. However, I'll work the Laureate before I have done with
     him, as soon as I can muster Billingsgate therefor. I like a row,
     and always did from a boy, in the course of which propensity, I
     must needs say, that I have found it the most easy of all to be
     gratified, personally and poetically. You disclaim 'jealousies;'
     but I would ask, as Boswell did of Johnson, 'of _whom could_ you be
     _jealous_?'--of none of the living certainly, and (taking all and
     all into consideration) of which of the dead? I don't like to bore
     you about the Scotch novels, (as they call them, though two of them
     are wholly English, and the rest half so,) but nothing can or could
     ever persuade me, since I was the first ten minutes in your
     company, that you are _not_ the man. To me those novels have so
     much of 'Auld lang syne' (I was bred a canny Scot till ten years
     old) that I never move without them; and when I removed from
     Ravenna to Pisa the other day, and sent on my library before, they
     were the only books that I kept by me, although I already have them
     by heart.

     "January 27. 1822.

     "I delayed till now concluding, in the hope that I should have got
     'The Pirate,' who is under way for me, but has not yet hove in
     sight. I hear that your daughter is married, and I suppose by this
     time you are half a grandfather--a young one, by the way. I have
     heard great things of Mrs. Lockhart's personal and mental charms,
     and much good of her lord: that you may live to see as many novel
     Scotts as there are Scots' novels, is the very bad pun, but sincere
     wish of

     "Yours ever most affectionately, &c.

     "P.S. Why don't you take a turn in Italy? You would find yourself
     as well known and as welcome as in the Highlands among the natives.
     As for the English, you would be with them as in London; and I need
     not add, that I should be delighted to see you again, which is far
     more than I shall ever feel or say for England, or (with a few
     exceptions 'of kith, kin, and allies') any thing that it contains.
     But my 'heart warms to the tartan,' or to any thing of Scotland,
     which reminds me of Aberdeen and other parts, not so far from the
     Highlands as that town, about Invercauld and Braemar, where I was
     sent to drink goat's _fey_ in 1795-6, in consequence of a
     threatened decline after the scarlet fever. But I am gossiping, so,
     good night--and the gods be with your dreams!

     "Pray, present my respects to Lady Scott, who may, perhaps,
     recollect having seen me in town in 1815.

     "I see that one of your supporters (for like Sir Hildebrand, I am
     fond of Guillin) is a _mermaid_; it is my _crest_ too, and with
     precisely the same curl of tail. There's concatenation for you:--I
     am building a little cutter at Genoa, to go a cruising in the
     summer. I know _you_ like the sea too."

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTER 476. TO ----.[73]

     "Pisa, February 6. 1822.

     "'Try back the deep lane,' till we find a publisher for the
     'Vision;' and if none such is to be found, print fifty copies at my
     expense, distribute them amongst my acquaintance, and you will soon
     see that the booksellers _will_ publish them, even if we opposed
     them. That they are now afraid is natural, but I do not see that I
     ought to give way on that account. I know nothing of Rivington's
     'Remonstrance' by the 'eminent Churchman;' but I suppose he wants a
     living. I once heard of a preacher at Kentish Town against 'Cain.'
     The same outcry was raised against Priestley, Hume, Gibbon,
     Voltaire, and all the men who dared to put tithes to the question.

     "I have got S----'s pretended reply, to which I am surprised that
     you do not allude. What remains to be done is to call him out. The
     question is, would he come? for, if he would not, the whole thing
     would appear ridiculous, if I were to take a long and expensive
     journey to no purpose.

     "You must be my second, and, as such, I wish to consult you.

     "I apply to you, as one well versed in the duello, or monomachie.
     Of course I shall come to England as privately as possible, and
     leave it (supposing that I was the survivor) in the same manner;
     having no other object which could bring me to that country except
     to settle quarrels accumulated during my absence.

     "By the last post I transmitted to you a letter upon some Rochdale
     toll business, from which there are moneys in prospect. My agent
     says two thousand pounds, but supposing it to be only one, or even
     one hundred, still they may be moneys; and I have lived long enough
     to have an exceeding respect for the smallest current coin of any
     realm, or the least sum, which, although I may not want it myself,
     may do something for others who may need it more than I.

     "They say that 'Knowledge is Power:'--I used to think so; but I now
     know that they meant '_money_:' and when Socrates declared, 'that
     all he knew was, that he knew nothing,' he merely intended to
     declare, that he had not a drachm in the Athenian world.

     "The _circulars_ are arrived, and circulating like the vortices (or
     vortexes) of Descartes. Still I have a due care of the needful, and
     keep a look out ahead, as my notions upon the score of moneys
     coincide with yours, and with all men's who have lived to see that
     every guinea is a philosopher's stone, or at least his
     _touch_-stone. You will doubt me the less, when I pronounce my firm
     belief, that _Cash_ is _Virtue_.

     "I cannot reproach myself with much expenditure: my only extra
     expense (and it is more than I have spent upon myself) being a loan
     of two hundred and fifty pounds to ----; and fifty pounds worth of
     furniture, which I have bought for him; and a boat which I am
     building for myself at Genoa, which will cost about a hundred
     pounds more.

     "But to return. I am determined to have all the moneys I can,
     whether by my own funds, or succession, or lawsuit, or MSS. or any
     lawful means whatever.

     "I will pay (though with the sincerest reluctance) my remaining
     creditors, and every man of law, by instalments from the award of
     the arbitrators.

     "I recommend to you the notice in Mr. Hanson's letter, on the
     demands of moneys for the Rochdale tolls.

     "Above all, I recommend my interests to your honourable worship.

     "Recollect, too, that I expect some moneys for the various MSS. (no
     matter what); and, in short, 'Rem _quocunque modo_, Rem!'--the
     noble feeling of cupidity grows upon us with our years.

     "Yours ever," &c.

[Footnote 73: This letter has been already published, with a few others,
in a periodical work, and is known to have been addressed to the late
Mr. Douglas Kinnaird.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, February 8. 1822.

     "Attacks upon me were to be expected, but I perceive one upon _you_
     in the papers, which I confess that I did not expect. How, or in
     what manner, _you_ can be considered responsible for what _I_
     publish, I am at a loss to conceive.

     "If 'Cain' be 'blasphemous,' Paradise Lost is blasphemous; and the
     very words of the Oxford gentleman, 'Evil, be thou my good,' are
     from that very poem, from the mouth of Satan, and is there any
     thing more in that of Lucifer in the Mystery? Cain is nothing more
     than a drama, not a piece of argument. If Lucifer and Cain speak as
     the first murderer and the first rebel may be supposed to speak,
     surely all the rest of the personages talk also according to their
     characters--and the stronger passions have ever been permitted to
     the drama.

     "I have even avoided introducing the Deity as in Scripture, (though
     Milton does, and not very wisely either,) but have adopted his
     angel as sent to Cain instead, on purpose to avoid shocking any
     feelings on the subject by falling short of what all uninspired men
     must fall short in, viz. giving an adequate notion of the effect of
     the presence of Jehovah. The old Mysteries introduced him liberally
     enough, and all this is avoided in the new one.

     "The attempt to _bully you_, because they think it won't succeed
     with me, seems to me as atrocious an attempt as ever disgraced the
     times. What! when Gibbon's, Hume's, Priestley's, and Drummond's
     publishers have been allowed to rest in peace for seventy years,
     are you to be singled out for a work of _fiction_, not of history
     or argument? There must be something at the bottom of this--some
     private enemy of your own: it is otherwise incredible.

     "I can only say, 'Me, me; en adsum qui feci;'--that any proceedings
     directed against you, I beg, may be transferred to me, who am
     willing, and _ought_, to endure them all;--that if you have lost
     money by the publication, I will refund any or all of the
     copyright;--that I desire you will say that both _you_ and _Mr.
     Gifford_ remonstrated against the publication, as also Mr.
     Hobhouse;--that _I_ alone occasioned it, and I alone am the person
     who, either legally or otherwise, should bear the burden. If they
     prosecute, I will come to England--that is, if, by meeting it in my
     own person, I can save yours. Let me know. You sha'n't suffer for
     me, if I can help it. Make any use of this letter you please.

     "Yours ever, &c.

     "P.S. I write to you about all this row of bad passions and
     absurdities with the _summer_ moon (for here our winter is clearer
     than your dog-days) lighting the winding Arno, with all her
     buildings and bridges,--so quiet and still!--What nothings are we
     before the least of these stars!"

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, February 19. 1822.

     "I am rather surprised not to have had an answer to my letter and
     packets. Lady Noel is dead, and it is not impossible that I may
     have to go to England to settle the division of the Wentworth
     property, and what portion Lady B. is to have out of it; all which
     was left undecided by the articles of separation. But I hope not,
     if it can be done without,--and I have written to Sir Francis
     Burdett to be my referee, as he knows the property.

     "Continue to address here, as I shall not go if I can avoid it--at
     least, not on that account. But I may on another; for I wrote to
     Douglas Kinnaird to convey a message of invitation to Mr. Southey
     to meet me, either in England, or (as less liable to interruption)
     on the coast of France. This was about a fortnight ago, and I have
     not yet had time to have the answer. However, you shall have due
     notice; therefore continue to address to Pisa.

     "My agents and trustees have written to me to desire that I would
     take the name directly, so that I am yours very truly and


     "P.S. I have had no news from England, except on business; and
     merely know, from some abuse in that faithful _ex_ and _de_-tractor
     Galignani, that the clergy are up against 'Cain.' There is (if I am
     not mistaken) some good church preferment on the Wentworth estates;
     and I will show them what a good Christian I am, by patronising and
     preferring the most pious of their order, should opportunity occur.

     "M. and I are but little in correspondence, and I know nothing of
     literary matters at present. I have been writing on business only
     lately. What are _you_ about? Be assured that there is no such
     coalition as you apprehend."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, February 20. 1822.[74]

     "Your letter arrived since I wrote the enclosed. It is not likely,
     as I have appointed agents and arbitrators for the Noel estates,
     that I should proceed to England on that account,--though I may
     upon another, within stated. At any rate, _continue_ you to address
     here till you hear further from me. I could wish _you_ still to
     arrange for me, either with a London or Paris publisher, for the
     things, &c. I shall not quarrel with any arrangement you may please
     to make.

     "I have appointed Sir Francis Burdett my arbitrator to decide on
     Lady Byron's allowance out of the Noel estates, which are estimated
     at seven thousand a year, and _rents_ very well paid,--a rare thing
     at this time. It is, however, owing to their _consisting_ chiefly
     in pasture lands, and therefore less affected by corn bills, &c.
     than properties in tillage.

     "Believe me yours ever most affectionately,


     "Between my own property in the funds, and my wife's in land, I do
     not know which _side_ to cry out on in politics.

     "There is nothing against the immortality of the soul in 'Cain'
     that I recollect. I hold no such opinions;--but, in a drama, the
     first rebel and the first murderer must be made to talk according
     to their characters. However, the parsons are all preaching at it,
     from Kentish Town and Oxford to Pisa;--the scoundrels of priests,
     who do more harm to religion than all the infidels that ever forgot
     their catechisms!

     "I have not seen Lady Noel's death announced in Galignani.--How is

[Footnote 74: The preceding letter came enclosed in this.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, February 28. 1822.

     "I begin to think that the packet (a heavy one) of five acts of
     'Werner,' &c. can hardly have reached you, for your letter of last
     week (which I answered) did not allude to it, and yet I insured it
     at the post-office here.

     "I have no direct news from England, except on the Noel business,
     which is proceeding quietly, as I have appointed a gentleman (Sir
     F. Burdett) for my arbitrator. They, too, have said that they will
     recall the _lawyer_ whom _they_ had chosen, and will name a
     gentleman too. This is better, as the arrangement of the estates
     and of Lady B.'s allowance will thus be settled without quibbling.
     My lawyers are taking out a licence for the name and arms, which it
     seems I am to endue.

     "By another, and indirect, quarter, I hear that 'Cain' has been
     pirated, and that the Chancellor has refused to give Murray any
     redress. Also, that G.R. (_your_ friend 'Ben') has expressed great
     personal indignation at the said poem. All this is curious enough,
     I think,--after allowing Priestley, Hume, and Gibbon, and
     Bolingbroke, and Voltaire to be published, without depriving the
     booksellers of their rights. I heard from Rome a day or two ago,
     and, with what truth I know not, that * * *.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, March 1. 1822.

     "As I still have no news of my 'Werner,' &c. packet, sent to you on
     the 29th of January, I continue to bore you (for the fifth time, I
     believe) to know whether it has not miscarried. As it was fairly
     copied out, it will be vexatious if it be lost. Indeed, I insured
     it at the post-office to make them take more care, and directed it
     regularly to you at Paris.

     "In the impartial Galignani I perceive an extract from Blackwood's
     Magazine, in which it is said that there are people who have
     discovered that you and I are no poets. With regard to one of us, I
     know that this north-west passage to _my_ magnetic pole had been
     long discovered by some sages, and I leave them the full benefit of
     their penetration. I think, as Gibbon says of his History, 'that,
     perhaps, a hundred years hence it may still continue to be abused.'
     However, I am far from pretending to compete or compare with that
     illustrious literary character.

     "But, with regard to _you_, I thought that you had always been
     allowed to be _a poet_, even by the stupid as well as the
     envious--a bad one, to be sure--immoral, florid, Asiatic, and
     diabolically popular,--but still always a poet, _nem. con._ This
     discovery therefore, has to me all the grace of novelty, as well as
     of consolation (according to Rochefoucault), to find myself
     _no_-poetised in such good company. I am content to 'err with
     Plato;' and can assure you very sincerely, that I would rather be
     received a _non_-poet with you, than be crowned with all the bays
     of (the _yet_-uncrowned) Lakers in their society. I believe you
     think better of those worthies than I do. I know them * * * * * *

     "As for Southey, the answer to my proposition of a meeting is not
     yet come. I sent the message, with a short note, to him through
     Douglas Kinnaird, and Douglas's response is not arrived. If he
     accepts, I shall have to go to England; but if not, I do not think
     the Noel affairs will take me there, as the arbitrators can settle
     them without my presence, and there do not seem to be any
     difficulties. The licence for the new name and armorial bearings
     will be taken out by the regular application, in such cases, to the
     Crown, and sent to me.

     "Is there a hope of seeing you in Italy again ever? What are you
     doing?--_bored_ by me, I know; but I have explained _why_ before. I
     have no correspondence now with London, except through relations
     and lawyers and one or two friends. My greatest friend, Lord Clare,
     is at Rome: we met on the road, and our meeting was quite
     sentimental--_really_ pathetic on both sides. I have always loved
     him better than any _male_ thing in the world."

       *       *       *       *       *

The preceding was enclosed in that which follows.


     "Pisa, March 4. 1822.

     "Since I wrote the enclosed, I have waited another post, and now
     have your answer acknowledging the arrival of the packet--a
     troublesome one, I fear, to you in more ways than one, both from
     weight external and internal.

     "The unpublished things in your hands, in Douglas K.'s, and Mr.
     John Murray's, are, 'Heaven and Earth, a lyrical kind of Drama upon
     the Deluge, &c.;'--'Werner,' _now with you_;--a translation of the
     First Canto of the Morgante Maggiore;--_ditto_ of an Episode in
     Dante;--some stanzas to the Po, June 1st, 1819;--Hints from Horace,
     written in 1811, but a good deal, _since_, to be omitted;--several
     prose things, which may, perhaps, as well remain unpublished;--'The
     Vision, &c. of Quevedo Redivivus' in verse.

     "Here you see is 'more matter for a May morning;' but how much of
     this can be published is for consideration. The Quevedo (one of my
     best in that line) has appalled the Row already, and must take its
     chance at Paris, if at all. The new Mystery is less speculative
     than 'Cain,' and very pious; besides, it is chiefly lyrical. The
     Morgante is the _best_ translation that ever was or will be made;
     and the rest are--whatever you please to think them.

     "I am sorry you think Werner even _approaching_ to any fitness for
     the stage, which, with my notions upon it, is very far from my
     present object. With regard to the publication, I have already
     explained that I have no exorbitant expectations of either fame or
     profit in the present instances; but wish them published because
     they are written, which is the common feeling of all scribblers.

     "With respect to 'Religion,' can I never convince you that I have
     no such opinions as the characters in that drama, which seems to
     have frightened every body? Yet _they_ are nothing to the
     expressions in Goethe's Faust (which are ten times hardier), and
     not a whit more bold than those of Milton's Satan. My ideas of a
     character may run away with me: like all imaginative men, I, of
     course, embody myself with the character while I draw it, but not a
     moment after the pen is from off the paper.

     "I am no enemy to religion, but the contrary. As a proof, I am
     educating my natural daughter a strict Catholic in a convent of
     Romagna; for I think people can never have _enough_ of religion, if
     they are to have any. I incline, myself, very much to the Catholic
     doctrines; but if I am to write a drama, I must make my characters
     speak as I conceive them likely to argue.

     "As to poor Shelley, who is another bugbear to you and the world,
     he is, to my knowledge, the _least_ selfish and the mildest of
     men--a man who has made more sacrifices of his fortune and feelings
     for others than any I ever heard of. With his speculative opinions
     I have nothing in common, nor desire to have.

     "The truth is, my dear Moore, you live near the _stove_ of society,
     where you are unavoidably influenced by its heat and its vapours. I
     did so once--and too much--and enough to give a colour to my whole
     future existence. As my success in society was _not_
     inconsiderable, I am surely not a prejudiced judge upon the
     subject, unless in its favour; but I think it, as now constituted,
     _fatal_ to all great original undertakings of every kind. I never
     courted it _then_, when I was young and high in blood, and one of
     its 'curled darlings;' and do you think I would do so _now_, when I
     am living in a clearer atmosphere? One thing _only_ might lead me
     back to it, and that is, to try once more if I could do any good in
     _politics_; but _not_ in the petty politics I see now preying upon
     our miserable country.

     "Do not let me be misunderstood, however. If you speak your _own_
     opinions, they ever had, and will have, the greatest weight with
     _me_. But if you merely _echo_ the 'monde,' (and it is difficult
     not to do so, being in its favour and its ferment,) I can only
     regret that you should ever repeat any thing to which I cannot pay

     "But I am prosing. The gods go with you, and as much immortality of
     all kinds as may suit your present and all other existence.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, March 6. 1822.

     "The enclosed letter from Murray hath melted me; though I think it
     is against his own interest to wish that I should continue his
     connection. You may, therefore, send him the packet of _Werner,_
     which will save you all further trouble. And pray, _can you_
     forgive me for the bore and expense I have already put upon you? At
     least, _say_ so--for I feel ashamed of having given you so much for
     such nonsense.

     "The fact is, I cannot _keep_ my _resentments,_ though violent
     enough in their onset. Besides, now that all the world are at
     Murray on my account, I neither can nor ought to leave him; unless,
     as I really thought, it were better for _him_ that I should.

     "I have had no other news from England, except a letter from Barry
     Cornwall, the bard, and my old school-fellow. Though I have
     sickened you with letters lately, believe me

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. In your last letter you say, speaking of Shelley, that you
     would almost prefer the 'damning bigot' to the 'annihilating
     infidel.'[75] Shelley believes in immortality, however--but this by
     the way. Do you remember Frederick the Great's answer to the
     remonstrance of the villagers whose curate preached against the
     eternity of hell's torments? It was thus:--'If my faithful subjects
     of Schrausenhaussen prefer being eternally damned, let them.'

     "Of the two, I should think the long sleep better than the agonised
     vigil. But men, miserable as they are, cling so to any thing like
     life, that they probably would prefer damnation to quiet. Besides,
     they think themselves so _important_ in the creation, that nothing
     less can satisfy their pride--the insects!"

[Footnote 75: It will be seen from the extract I shall give presently of
the passage to which he refers, that he wholly mistook my meaning.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is Dr. Clarke, I think, who gives, in his Travels, rather a striking
account of a Tartar whom he once saw exercising a young, fiery horse,
upon a spot of ground almost surrounded by a steep precipice, and
describes the wantonness of courage with which the rider, as if
delighting in his own peril, would, at times, dash, with loose rein,
towards the giddy verge. Something of the same breathless apprehension
with which the traveller viewed that scene, did the unchecked daring of
Byron's genius inspire in all who watched its course,--causing them, at
the same moment, to admire and tremble, and, in those more especially
who loved him, awakening a sort of instinctive impulse to rush forward
and save him from his own headlong strength. But, however natural it was
in friends to give way to this feeling, a little reflection upon his now
altered character might have forewarned them that such interference
would prove as little useful to him as safe for themselves; and it is
not without some surprise I look back upon my own temerity and
presumption in supposing that, let loose as he was now, in the full
pride and consciousness of strength, with the wide regions of thought
outstretching before him, any representations that even friendship could
make would have the power--or _ought_ to have--of checking him. As the
motives, however, by which I was actuated in my remonstrances to him may
be left to speak for themselves, I shall, without dwelling any further
upon the subject, content myself with laying before the reader a few
such extracts from my own letters at this period[76] as may serve to
explain some allusions in those just given.

In writing to me under the date January 24th, it will be recollected
that he says--"be assured that there is no such coalition as you
apprehend." The following extracts from my previous communication to him
will explain what this means:--"I heard some days ago that Leigh Hunt
was on his way to you with all his family; and the idea seems to be,
that you and Shelley and he are to conspire together in the Examiner. I
cannot believe this,--and deprecate such a plan with all my might. Alone
you may do any thing; but partnerships in fame, like those in trade,
make the strongest party answerable for the deficiencies or
delinquencies of the rest, and I tremble even for you with such a
bankrupt >i>Co._--* * *. They are both clever fellows, and Shelley I
look upon as a man of real genius; but I must again say, that you could
not give your enemies (the * * *'s, 'et hoc genus omne') a greater
triumph than by forming such an unequal and unholy alliance. You are,
single-handed, a match for the world,--which is saying a good deal, the
world being, like Briareus, a very many-handed gentleman,--but, to be
so, you must stand alone. Recollect that the scurvy buildings about St.
Peter's almost seem to overtop itself."

[Footnote 76: It should have been mentioned before, that to the courtesy
of Lord Byron's executor, Mr. Hobhouse, who had the kindness to restore
to me such letters of mine as came into his hands, I am indebted for the
power of producing these and other extracts.]

The notices of Cain, in my letters to him, were, according to their
respective dates, as follow:--

"September 30. 1821.

"Since writing the above, I have read Foscari and Cain. The former does
not please me so highly as Sardanapalus. It has the fault of all those
violent Venetian stories, being unnatural and improbable, and therefore,
in spite of all your fine management of them, appealing but remotely to
one's sympathies. But Cain is wonderful--terrible--never to be
forgotten. If I am not mistaken, it will sink deep into the world's
heart; and while many will shudder at its blasphemy, all must fall
prostrate before its grandeur. Talk of Æschylus and his
Prometheus!--here is the true spirit both of the Poet--and the Devil."

"February 9. 1822.

"Do not take it into your head, my dear B. that the tide is at all
turning against you in England. Till I see some symptoms of people
_forgetting_ you a little, I will not believe that you lose ground. As
it is, 'te veniente die, te, decedente,'--nothing is hardly talked of
but you; and though good people sometimes bless themselves when they
mention you, it is plain that even _they_ think much more about you
than, for the good of their souls, they ought. Cain, to be sure, _has_
made a sensation; and, grand as it is, I regret, for many reasons, you
ever wrote it. * * For myself, I would not give up the _poetry_ of
religion for all the wisest results that _philosophy_ will ever arrive
at. Particular sects and creeds are fair game enough for those who are
anxious enough about their neighbours to meddle with them; but our faith
in the Future is a treasure not so lightly to be parted with; and the
dream of immortality (if philosophers will have it a dream) is one that,
let us hope, we shall carry into our last sleep with us."[77]

[Footnote 77: It is to this sentence Lord Byron refers at the conclusion
of his letter, March 4.]

"February 19. 1822.

"I have written to the Longmans to try the ground, for I do _not_ think
Galignani the man for you. The only thing he can do is what we can do,
ourselves, without him,--and that is, employ an English bookseller.
Paris, indeed, might be convenient for such refugee works as are set
down in the _Index Expurgatorius_ of London; and if you have any
political catamarans to explode, this is your place. But, _pray_, let
them be only political ones. Boldness, and even licence, in politics,
does good,--actual, present good; but, in religion, it profits neither
here nor hereafter; and, for myself, such a horror have I of both
extremes on this subject, that I know not _which_ I hate most, the bold,
damning bigot, or the bold, annihilating infidel. 'Furiosa res est in
tenebris impetus;'--and much as we are in the dark, even the wisest of
us, upon these matters, a little modesty, in unbelief as well as belief,
best becomes us. You will easily guess that, in all this, I am thinking
not so much of you, as of a friend and, at present, companion of yours,
whose influence over your mind (knowing you as I do, and knowing what
Lady B. _ought_ to have found out, that you are a person the most
tractable to those who live with you that, perhaps, ever existed) I own
I dread and deprecate most earnestly."[78]

[Footnote 78: This passage having been shown by Lord Byron to Mr.
Shelley, the latter wrote, in consequence, a letter to a gentleman with
whom I was then in habits of intimacy, of which the following is an
extract. The zeal and openness with which Shelley always professed his
unbelief render any scruple that might otherwise be felt in giving
publicity to such avowals unnecessary; besides which, the testimony of
so near and clear an observer to the state of Lord Byron's mind upon
religious subjects is of far too much importance to my object to be,
from any over-fastidiousness, suppressed. We have here, too strikingly
exemplified,--and in strong contrast, I must say, to the line taken by
Mr. Hunt in similar circumstances,--the good breeding, gentle temper,
and modesty for which Shelley was so remarkable, and of the latter of
which Dualities in particular the undeserved compliment to myself
affords a strong illustration, as showing how little this true poet had
yet learned to know his own place.

"Lord Byron has read me one or two letters of Moore to him, in which
Moore speaks with great kindness of me; and of course I cannot but feel
flattered by the approbation of a man, my inferiority to whom I am proud
to acknowledge. Amongst other things, however, Moore, after giving Lord
B, much good advice about public opinion, &c. seems to deprecate my
influence on his mind on the subject of religion, and to attribute the
tone assumed in Cain to my suggestions. Moore cautions him against any
influence on this particular with the most friendly zeal, and it is
plain that his motive springs from a desire of benefiting Lord B.
without degrading me. I think you know Moore. Pray assure him that I
have not the smallest influence over Lord Byron in this particular; if I
had, I certainly should employ it to eradicate from his great mind the
delusions of Christianity, which, in spite of his reason, seem
perpetually to recur, and to lay in ambush for the hours of sickness and
distress. Cain was _conceived_ many years ago, and begun before I saw
him last year at Ravenna. How happy should I not be to attribute to
myself, however indirectly, any participation in that immortal work!"]

"March 16. 1822.

"With respect to our Religious Polemics, I must try to set you right
upon one or two points. In the first place, I do _not_ identify you with
the blasphemies of Cain no more than I do myself with the impieties of
my Mokanna,--all I wish and implore is that you, who are such a powerful
manufacturer of these thunderbolts, would not _choose_ subjects that
make it necessary to launch them. In the next place, were you even a
decided atheist, I could not (except, perhaps, for the _decision_ which
is always unwise) blame you. I could only pity,--knowing from experience
how dreary are the doubts with which even the bright, poetic view I am
myself inclined to take of mankind and their destiny is now and then
clouded. I look upon Cuvier's book to be a most desolating one in the
conclusions to which it may lead some minds. But the young, the
simple,--all those whose hearts one would like to keep unwithered,
trouble their heads but little about Cuvier. _You_, however, have
embodied him in poetry which every one reads; and, like the wind,
blowing 'where you list,' carry this deadly chill, mixed up with your
own fragrance, into hearts that should be visited only by the latter.
This is what I regret, and what with all my influence I would deprecate
a repetition of. _Now_, do you understand me?

"As to your solemn peroration, 'the truth is, my dear Moore, &c. &c.'
meaning neither more nor less than that I give into the cant of the
world, it only proves, alas! the melancholy fact, that you and I are
hundreds of miles asunder. Could you hear me speak my opinions instead
of coldly reading them, I flatter myself there is still enough of
honesty and fun in this face to remind you that your friend Tom
Moore--whatever else he may be,--is no Canter."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, March 6. 1822.

     "You will long ago have received a letter from me (or should),
     declaring my opinion of the treatment you have met with about the
     recent publication. I think it disgraceful to those who have
     persecuted _you_. I make peace with you, though our war was for
     other reasons than this same controversy. I have written to Moore
     by this post to forward to you the tragedy of' Werner.' I shall not
     make or propose any present bargain about it or the new Mystery
     till we see if they succeed. If they don't sell (which is not
     unlikely), you sha'n't pay; and I suppose this is fair play, if you
     choose to risk it.

     "Bartolini, the celebrated sculptor, wrote to me to desire to take
     my bust: I consented, on condition that he also took that of the
     Countess Guiccioli. He has taken both, and I think it will be
     allowed that _hers_ is beautiful. I shall make you a present of
     them both, to show that I don't bear malice, and as a compensation
     for the trouble and squabble you had about Thorwaldsen's. Of my own
     I can hardly speak, except that it is thought very like what I _now
     am_, which is different from what I was, of course, since you saw
     me. The sculptor is a famous one; and as it was done by _his own_
     particular request, will be done well, probably.

     "What is to be done about * * and his Commentary? He will die if he
     is _not_ published; he will be damned, if he _is_; but that _he_
     don't mind. We must publish him.

     "All the _row_ about _me_ has no otherwise affected me than by the
     attack upon yourself, which is ungenerous in Church and State: but
     as all violence must in time have its proportionate re-action, you
     will do better by and by. Yours very truly,

     "NOEL BYRON."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, March 8. 1822.

     "You will have had enough of my letters by this time--yet one word
     in answer to your present missive. You are quite wrong in thinking
     that your '_advice_' had offended me; but I have already replied
     (if not answered) on that point.

     "With regard to Murray, as I really am the meekest and mildest of
     men since Moses (though the public and mine 'excellent wife' cannot
     find it out), I had already pacified myself and subsided back to
     Albemarle Street, as my yesterday's _ye_pistle will have informed
     you. But I thought that I had explained my causes of bile--at least
     to you. Some instances of vacillation, occasional neglect, and
     troublesome sincerity, real or imagined, are sufficient to put your
     truly great author and man into a passion. But reflection, with
     some aid from hellebore, hath already cured me 'pro tempore;' and,
     if it had not, a request from you and Hobhouse would have come upon
     me like two out of the 'tribus Anticyris,'--with which, however,
     Horace despairs of purging a poet. I really feel ashamed of having
     bored you so frequently and fully of late. But what could I do? You
     are a friend--an absent one, alas!--and as I trust no one more, I
     trouble you in proportion.

     "This war of 'Church and State' has astonished me more than it
     disturbs; for I really thought 'Cain' a speculative and hardy, but
     still a harmless, production. As I said before, I am really a great
     admirer of tangible religion; and am breeding one of my daughters a
     Catholic, that she may have her hands full. It is by far the most
     elegant worship, hardly excepting the Greek mythology. What with
     incense, pictures, statues, altars, shrines, relics, and the real
     presence, confession, absolution,--there is something sensible to
     grasp at. Besides, it leaves no possibility of doubt; for those who
     swallow their Deity, really and truly, in transubstantiation, can
     hardly find any thing else otherwise than easy of digestion.

     "I am afraid that this sounds flippant, but I don't mean it to be
     so; only my turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd
     point of view, that it breaks out in spite of me every now and
     then. Still, I do assure you that I am a very good Christian.
     Whether you will believe me in this, I do not know; but I trust you
     will take my word for being

     "Very truly and affectionately yours, &c.

     "P.S. Do tell Murray that one of the conditions of peace is, that
     he publisheth (or obtaineth a publisher for) * * *'s Commentary on
     Dante, against which there appears in the trade an unaccountable
     repugnance. It will make the man so exuberantly happy. He dines
     with me and half-a-dozen English to-day; and I have not the heart
     to tell him how the bibliopolar world shrink from his
     Commentary;--and yet it is full of the most orthodox religion and
     morality. In short, I make it a point that he shall be in print. He
     is such a good-natured, heavy-* * Christian, that we must give him
     a shove through the press. He naturally thirsts to be an author,
     and has been the happiest of men for these two months, printing,
     correcting, collating, dating, anticipating, and adding to his
     treasures of learning. Besides, he has had another fall from his
     horse into a ditch the other day, while riding out with me into the

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, March 15. 1822.

     "I am glad that you and your friends approve of my letter of the
     8th ultimo. You may give it what publicity you think proper in the
     circumstances. I have since written to you twice or thrice.

     "As to 'a Poem in the old way,' I shall attempt of that kind
     nothing further. I follow the bias of my own mind, without
     considering whether women or men are or are not to be pleased; but
     this is nothing to my publisher, who must judge and act according
     to popularity.

     "Therefore let the things take their chance: if _they pay,_ you
     will pay me in proportion; and if they don't, I must.

     "The Noel affairs, I hope, will not take me to England. I have no
     desire to revisit that country, unless it be to keep you out of a
     prison (if this can be effected by my taking your place), or
     perhaps to get myself into one, by exacting satisfaction from one
     or two persons who take advantage of my absence to abuse me.
     Further than this, I have no business nor connection with England,
     nor desire to have, _out_ of my own family and friends, to whom I
     wish all prosperity. Indeed, I have lived upon the whole so little
     in England (about five years since I was one-and-twenty), that my
     habits are too continental, and your climate would please me as
     little as the society.

     "I saw the Chancellor's Report in a French paper. Pray, why don't
     they prosecute the translation of _Lucretius_? or the original with

        "'Primus in orbe Deos fecit Timor,'


        "'Tantum Religio potuit suadere malorum?'

     "You must really get something done for Mr. * *'s Commentary: what
     can I say to him?

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, April 13. 1822.

     "Mr. Kinnaird writes that there has been an 'excellent Defence' of
     'Cain,' against 'Oxoniensis;' you have sent me nothing but a not
     very excellent _of_-fence of the same poem. If there be such a
     'Defender of the Faith,' you may send me his thirty-nine articles,
     as a counterbalance to some of your late communications.

     "Are you to publish, or not, what Moore and Mr. Kinnaird have in
     hand, and the 'Vision of Judgment?' If you publish the latter in a
     very cheap edition, so as to baffle the pirates by a low price, you
     will find that it will do. The 'Mystery' I look upon as good, and
     'Werner' too, and I expect that you will publish them speedily. You
     need not put your name to _Quevedo,_ but publish it as a foreign
     edition, and let it make its way. Douglas Kinnaird has it still,
     with the preface, I believe.

     "I refer you to him for documents on the late row here. I sent them
     a week ago.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, April 18. 1822.

     "I have received the Defence of 'Cain.' Who is my Warburton?--for
     he has done for me what the bishop did for the poet against
     Crousaz. His reply seems to me conclusive; and if you understood
     your own interest, you would print it together with the poem.

     "It is very odd that I do not hear from you. I have forwarded to
     Mr. Douglas Kinnaird the documents on a squabble here, which
     occurred about a month ago. The affair is still going on; but they
     make nothing of it hitherto. I think, what with home and abroad,
     there has been hot water enough for one while. Mr. Dawkins, the
     English minister, has behaved in the handsomest and most
     gentlemanly manner throughout the whole business.

     "Yours ever, &c.

     "P.S. I have got Lord Glenbervie's book, which is very amusing and
     able upon the topics which he touches upon, and part of the preface
     pathetic. Write soon."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, April 22. 1822.

     "You will regret to hear that I have received intelligence of the
     death of my daughter Allegra of a fever in the convent of Bagna
     Cavallo, where she was placed for the last year, to commence her
     education. It is a heavy blow for many reasons, but must be borne,
     with time.

     "It is my present intention to send her remains to England for
     sepulture in Harrow church (where I once hoped to have laid my
     own), and this is my reason for troubling you with this notice. I
     wish the funeral to be very private. The body is embalmed, and in
     lead. It will be embarked from Leghorn. Would you have any
     objection to give the proper directions on its arrival?

     "I am yours, &c. N.B.

     "P.S. You are aware that Protestants are not allowed holy ground in
     Catholic countries."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "April 23. 1822.

     "The blow was stunning and unexpected; for I thought the danger
     over, by the long interval between her stated amelioration and the
     arrival of the express. But I have borne up against it as I best
     can, and so far successfully, that I can go about the usual
     business of life with the same appearance of composure, and even
     greater. There is nothing to prevent your coming to-morrow; but,
     perhaps, to-day, and yester-evening, it was better not to have met.
     I do not know that I have any thing to reproach in my conduct, and
     certainly nothing in my feelings and intentions towards the dead.
     But it is a moment when we are apt to think that, if this or that
     had been done, such event might have been prevented,--though every
     day and hour shows us that they are the most natural and
     inevitable. I suppose that Time will do his usual work--Death has
     done his.

     "Yours ever, N.B."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, May 4. 1822.

     "My dear Sir Walter,

     "Your account of your family is very pleasing: would that I 'could
     answer this comfort with the like!' but I have just lost my natural
     daughter, Allegra, by a fever. The only consolation, save time, is
     the reflection, that she is either at rest or happy; for her few
     years (only five) prevented her from having incurred any sin,
     except what we inherit from Adam.

     "'Whom the gods love, die young.'"

     "I need not say that your letters are particularly welcome, when
     they do not tax your time and patience; and now that our
     correspondence is resumed, I trust it will continue.

     "I have lately had some anxiety, rather than trouble, about an
     awkward affair here, which you may perhaps have heard of; but our
     minister has behaved very handsomely, and the Tuscan Government as
     well as it is possible for such a government to behave, which is
     not saying much for the latter. Some other English, and Scots, and
     myself, had a brawl with a dragoon, who insulted one of the party,
     and whom we mistook for an officer, as he was medalled and well
     mounted, &c. but he turned out to be a sergeant-major. He called
     out the guard at the gates to arrest us (we being unarmed); upon
     which I and another (an Italian) rode through the said guard; but
     they succeeded in detaining others of the party. I rode to my
     house and sent my secretary to give an account of the attempted and
     illegal arrest to the authorities, and then, without dismounting,
     rode back towards the gates, which are near my present mansion.
     Half-way I met my man vapouring away and threatening to draw upon
     me (who had a cane in my hand, and no other arms). I, still
     believing him an officer, demanded his name and address, and gave
     him my hand and glove thereupon. A servant of mine thrust in
     between us (totally without orders), but let him go on my command.
     He then rode off at full speed; but about forty paces further was
     stabbed, and very dangerously (so as to be in peril), by some
     _Callum Beg_ or other of my people (for I have some rough-handed
     folks about me), I need hardly say without my direction or
     approval. The said dragoon had been sabring our unarmed countrymen,
     however, at the _gate, after they were in arrest,_ and held by the
     guards, and wounded one, Captain Hay, very severely. However, he
     got his paiks--having acted like an assassin, and being treated
     like one. _Who_ wounded him, though it was done before thousands of
     people, they have never been able to ascertain, or prove, nor even
     the _weapon_; some said a _pistol_, an _air-gun_, a stiletto, a
     sword, a lance, a pitchfork, and what not. They have arrested and
     examined servants and people of all descriptions, but can make out
     nothing. Mr. Dawkins, our minister, assures me, that no suspicion
     is entertained of the man who wounded him having been instigated by
     me, or any of the party. I enclose you copies of the depositions of
     those with us, and Dr. Craufurd, a canny Scot (_not_ an
     acquaintance), who saw the latter part of the affair. They are in

     "These are the only literary matters in which I have been engaged
     since the publication and row about 'Cain;'--but Mr. Murray has
     several things of mine in his obstetrical hands. Another Mystery--a
     Vision--a Drama--and the like. But _you won't_ tell me what _you_
     are doing--however, I shall find you out, write what you will. You
     say that I should like your son-in-law--it would be very difficult
     for me to dislike any one connected with you; but I have no doubt
     that his own qualities are all that you describe.

     "I am sorry you don't like Lord Orford's new work. My aristocracy,
     which is very fierce, makes him a favourite of mine. Recollect that
     those 'little factions' comprised Lord Chatham and Fox, the father,
     and that _we_ live in gigantic and exaggerated times, which make
     all under Gog and Magog appear pigmean. After having seen Napoleon
     begin like Tamerlane and end like Bajazet in our own time, we have
     not the same interest in what would otherwise have appeared
     important history. But I must conclude.

     "Believe me ever and most truly yours,

     "NOEL BYRON."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, May 17. 1822.

     "I hear that the Edinburgh has attacked the three dramas, which is
     a bad business for _you_; and I don't wonder that it discourages
     you. However, _that_ volume may be trusted to _time_,--depend upon
     it. I read it over with some attention since it was published, and
     I think the time will come when it will be preferred to my other
     writings, though not immediately. I say this without irritation
     against the critics or criticism, whatever they may be (for I have
     not seen them); and nothing that has or may appear in Jeffrey's
     Review can make me forget that he stood by me for ten good years
     without any motive to do so but his own good-will.

     "I hear Moore is in town; remember me to him, and believe me

     "Yours truly, N.B.

     "P.S. If you think it necessary, you may send me the Edinburgh.
     Should there be any thing that requires an answer, I will reply,
     but _temperately_ and _technically_; that is to say, merely with
     respect to the _principles_ of the criticism, and not personally or
     offensively as to its literary merits."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, May 17. 1822.

     "I hear you are in London. You will have heard from Douglas
     Kinnaird (who tells me you have dined with him) as much as you
     desire to know of my affairs at home and abroad. I have lately lost
     my little girl Allegra by a fever, which has been a serious blow to

     "I did not write to you lately (except one letter to Murray's), not
     knowing exactly your 'where-abouts.' Douglas K. refused to forward
     my message to Mr. Southey--_why_, he himself can explain.

     "You will have seen the statement of a squabble, &c.&c.[79] What
     are you about? Let me hear from you at your leisure, and believe me
     ever yours,


[Footnote 79: Here follows a repetition of the details given on this
subject to Sir Walter Scott and others.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Montenero[80], May 26. 1822.

     "Near Leghorn.

     "The body is embarked, in what ship I know not, neither could I
     enter into the details; but the Countess G.G. has had the goodness
     to give the necessary orders to Mr. Dunn, who superintends the
     embarkation, and will write to you. I wish it to be buried in
     Harrow church.

     "There is a spot in the church_yard_, near the footpath, on the
     brow of the hill looking towards Windsor, and a tomb under a large
     tree, (bearing the name of Peachie, or Peachey,) where I used to
     sit for hours and hours when a boy. This was my favourite spot;
     but, as I wish to erect a tablet to her memory, the body had better
     be deposited in the church. Near the door, on the left hand as you
     enter, there is a monument with a tablet containing these words:--

        "'When Sorrow weeps o'er Virtue's sacred dust,
        Our tears become us, and our grief is just:
        Such were the tears she shed, who grateful pays
        This last sad tribute of her love and praise.'

     I recollect them (after seventeen years), not from any thing
     remarkable in them, but because from my seat in the gallery I had
     generally my eyes turned towards that monument. As near it as
     convenient I could wish Allegra to be buried, and on the wall a
     marble tablet placed, with these words:--

              In Memory of
       Daughter of G.G. Lord Byron,
        who died at Bagna Cavallo,
        in Italy, April 20th, 1822,
     aged five years and three months.

     'I shall go to her, but she shall not return to me.'
                                            2d Samuel, xii. 23.

     "The funeral I wish to be as private as is consistent with decency;
     and I could hope that Henry Drury will, perhaps, read the service
     over her. If he should decline it, it can be done by the usual
     minister for the time being. I do not know that I need add more
     just now.

     "Since I came here, I have been invited by the Americans on board
     their squadron, where I was received with all the kindness which I
     could wish, and with _more ceremony_ than I am fond of. I found
     them finer ships than your own of the same class, well manned and
     officered. A number of American gentlemen also were on board at the
     time, and some ladies. As I was taking leave, an American lady
     asked me for a _rose_ which I wore, for the purpose, she said, of
     sending to America something which I had about me, as a memorial. I
     need not add that I felt the compliment properly. Captain Chauncey
     showed me an American and very pretty edition of my poems, and
     offered me a passage to the United States, if I would go there.
     Commodore Jones was also not less kind and attentive. I have since
     received the enclosed letter, desiring me to sit for my picture for
     some Americans. It is singular that, in the same year that Lady
     Noel leaves by will an interdiction for my daughter to see her
     father's portrait for many years, the individuals of a nation, not
     remarkable for their liking to the English in particular, nor for
     flattering men in general, request me to sit for my
     'pourtraicture,' as Baron Bradwardine calls it. I am also told of
     considerable literary honours in Germany. Goethe, I am told, is my
     professed patron and protector. At Leipsic, this year, the highest
     prize was proposed for a translation of two cantos of Childe
     Harold. I am not sure that this was at _Leipsic_, but Mr. Rowcroft
     was my authority--a good German scholar (a young American), and an
     acquaintance of Goethe's.

     "Goethe and the Germans are particularly fond of Don Juan, which
     they judge of as a work of art. I had heard something of this
     before through Baron Lutzerode. The translations have been very
     frequent of several of the works, and Goethe made a comparison
     between Faust and Manfred.

     "All this is some compensation for your English native brutality,
     so fully displayed this year to its highest extent.

     "I forgot to mention a little anecdote of a different kind. I went
     over the Constitution (the Commodore's flag-ship), and saw, among
     other things worthy of remark, a little boy _born_ on board of her
     by a sailor's wife. They had christened him 'Constitution Jones.'
     I, of course, approved the name; and the woman added, 'Ah, sir, if
     he turns out but half as good as his name!'

     "Yours ever," &c.

[Footnote 80: A hill, three or four miles from Leghorn, much resorted
to, as a place of residence during the summer months.]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Montenero, near Leghorn, May 29. 1822.

     "I return you the proofs revised. Your printer has made one odd
     mistake:--'poor as a _mouse_,' instead of 'poor as a _miser_.' The
     expression may seem strange, but it is only a translation of
     'semper avarus eget.' You will add the Mystery, and publish as soon
     as you can. I care nothing for your 'season,' nor the _blue_
     approbations or disapprobations. All that is to be considered by
     you on the subject is as a matter of _business_; and if I square
     that to your notions (even to the running the risk entirely
     myself), you may permit me to choose my own time and mode of
     publication. With regard to the late volume, the present run
     against _it_ or _me_ may impede it for a time, but it has the vital
     principle of permanency within it, as you may perhaps one day
     discover. I wrote to you on another subject a few days ago.

     Yours, N.B.

     "P.S. Please to send me the Dedication of Sardanapalus to Goethe. I
     shall prefix it to Werner, unless you prefer my putting another,
     stating that the former had been omitted by the publisher.

     "On the title-page of the present volume, put 'Published for the
     Author by J.M.'"

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Montenero, Leghorn, June 6. 1822.

     "I return you the revise of Werner, and expect the rest. With
     regard to the Lines to the Po, perhaps you had better put them
     quietly in a second edition (if you reach one, that is to say) than
     in the first; because, though they have been reckoned fine, and I
     wish them to be preserved, I do not wish them to attract IMMEDIATE
     observation, on account of the relationship of the lady to whom
     they are addressed with the first families in Romagna and the

     "The defender of 'Cain' may or may not be, as you term him, 'a tyro
     in literature:' however I think both you and I are under great
     obligation to him. I have read the Edinburgh review in Galignani's
     Magazine, and have not yet decided whether to answer them or not;
     for, if I do, it will be difficult for me not 'to make sport for
     the Philistines' by pulling down a house or two; since, when I once
     take pen in hand, I _must_ say what comes uppermost, or fling it
     away. I have not the hypocrisy to pretend impartiality, nor the
     temper (as it is called) to keep always from saying what may not be
     pleasing to the hearer or reader. What do they mean by
     '_elaborate_?' Why, _you_ know that they were written as fast as I
     could put pen to paper, and printed from the _original_ MSS., and
     never revised but in the proofs: _look_ at the _dates_ and the MSS.
     themselves. Whatever faults they have must spring from
     carelessness, and not from labour. They said the same of 'Lara,'
     which I wrote while undressing after coming home from balls and
     masquerades, in the year of revelry 1814. Yours."

     "June 8. 1822.

     "You give me no explanation of your intention as to the 'Vision of
     Quevedo Redivivus,' one of my best things: indeed, you are
     altogether so abstruse and undecided lately, that I suppose you
     mean me to write 'John Murray, Esq., a Mystery,'--a composition
     which would not displease the clergy nor the trade. I by no means
     wish you to do what you don't like, but merely to say what you will
     do. The Vision _must_ be published by some one. As to 'clamours,'
     the die is cast: and 'come one, come all,' we will fight it out--at
     least one of us."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Montenero, Villa Dupoy, near Leghorn, June 8. 1822.

     "I have written to you twice through the medium of Murray, and on
     one subject, _trite_ enough,--the loss of poor little Allegra by a
     fever; on which topic I shall say no more--there is nothing but

     "A few days ago, my earliest and dearest friend, Lord Clare, came
     over from Geneva on purpose to see me before he returned to
     England. As I have always loved him (since I was thirteen, at
     Harrow,) better than any (_male_) thing in the world, I need hardly
     say what a melancholy pleasure it was to see him for a _day_ only;
     for he was obliged to resume his journey immediately. * * * Do you
     recollect, in the year of revelry 1814, the pleasantest parties and
     balls all over London? and not the least so at * *'s. Do you
     recollect your singing duets with Lady * *, and my flirtation with
     Lady * *, and all the other fooleries of the time? while * * was
     sighing, and Lady * * ogling him with her clear hazel eyes. _But_
     eight years have passed, and, since that time, * * has * * * * *
     *;--has run away with * * * * *; and _mysen_ (as my Nottinghamshire
     friends call themselves) might as well have thrown myself out of
     the window while you were singing, as intermarried where I did. You
     and * * * * have come off the best of us. I speak merely of my
     marriage, and its consequences, distresses, and calumnies; for I
     have been much more happy, on the whole, _since_, than I ever could
     have been with * *.

     "I have read the recent article of Jeffrey in a faithful
     transcription of the impartial Galignani. I suppose the long and
     short of it is, that he wishes to provoke me to reply. But I won't,
     for I owe him a good turn still for his kindness by-gone. Indeed, I
     presume that the present opportunity of attacking me again was
     irresistible; and I can't blame him, knowing what human nature is.
     I shall make but one remark:--what does he mean by elaborate? The
     whole volume was written with the greatest rapidity, in the midst
     of evolutions, and revolutions, and persecutions, and proscriptions
     of all who interested me in Italy. They said the same of 'Lara,'
     which, _you_ know, was written amidst balls and fooleries, and
     after coming home from masquerades and routs, in the summer of the
     sovereigns. Of all I have ever written, they are perhaps the most
     carelessly composed; and their faults, whatever they may be, are
     those of negligence, and not of labour. I do not think this a
     merit, but it is a fact.

     "Yours ever and truly, N.B.

     "P.S. You see the great advantage of my new signature;--it may
     either stand for 'Nota Bene' or 'Noel Byron,' and, as such, will
     save much repetition, in writing either books or letters. Since I
     came here, I have been invited on board of the American squadron,
     and treated with all possible honour and ceremony. They have asked
     me to sit for my picture; and, as I was going away, an American
     lady took a rose from me (which had been given to me by a very
     pretty Italian lady that very morning), because, she said, 'She was
     determined to send or take something which I had about me to
     America.' _There_ is a kind of Lalla Rookh incident for you!
     However, all these American honours arise, perhaps, not so much
     from their enthusiasm for my 'Poeshie,' as their belief in my
     dislike to the English,--in which I have the satisfaction to
     coincide with them. I would rather, however, have a nod from an
     American, than a snuff-box from an emperor."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Montenero, Leghorn, June 12. 1822.

     "My dear Ellice,

     "It is a long time since I have written to you, but I have not
     forgotten your kindness, and I am now going to tax it--I hope not
     too highly--but _don't_ be alarmed, it is _not_ a loan, but
     _information_ which I am about to solicit. By your extensive
     connections, no one can have better opportunities of hearing the
     real state of _South_ America--I mean Bolivar's country. I have
     many years had transatlantic projects of settlement, and what I
     could wish from you would be some information of the best course to
     pursue, and some letters of recommendation in case I should sail
     for Angostura. I am told that land is very cheap there; but though
     I have no great disposable funds to vest in such purchases, yet my
     income, such as it is, would be sufficient in any country (except
     England) for all the comforts of life, and for most of its
     luxuries. The war there is now over, and as I do not go there to
     _speculate_, but to settle, without any views but those of
     independence and the enjoyment of the common civil rights, I should
     presume such an arrival would not be unwelcome.

     "All I request of you is, not to _dis_courage nor _en_courage, but
     to give me such a statement as you think prudent and proper. I do
     not address my other friends upon this subject, who would only
     throw obstacles in my way, and bore me to return to England; which
     I never will do, unless compelled by some insuperable cause. I have
     a quantity of furniture, books, &c. &c. &c. which I could easily
     ship from Leghorn; but I wish to 'look before I leap' over the
     Atlantic. Is it true that for a few thousand dollars a large tract
     of land may be obtained? I speak of _South_ America, recollect. I
     have read some publications on the subject, but they seemed violent
     and vulgar party productions. Please to address your answer[81] to
     me at this place, and believe me ever and truly yours," &c.

[Footnote 81: The answer which Mr. Ellice returned was, as might be
expected, strongly dissuasive of this design. The wholly disorganised
state of the country and its institutions, which it would take ages,
perhaps, to restore even to the degree of industry and prosperity which
it had enjoyed under the Spaniards, rendered Columbia, in his opinion,
one of the last places in the world to which a man desirous of peace and
quiet, or of security for his person and property, should resort to as
an asylum. As long as Bolivar lived and maintained his authority, every
reliance, Mr. Ellice added, might be placed on his integrity and
firmness; but with his death a new æra of struggle and confusion would
be sure to arise.]

       *       *       *       *       *

About this time he sat for his picture to Mr. West, an American artist,
who has himself given, in one of our periodical publications, the
following account of his noble sitter:--

"On the day appointed, I arrived at two o'clock, and began the picture.
I found him a bad sitter. He talked all the time, and asked a multitude
of questions about America--how I liked Italy, what I thought of the
Italians, &c. When he was silent, he was a better sitter than before;
for he assumed a countenance that did not belong to him, as though he
were thinking of a frontispiece for Childe Harold. In about an hour our
first sitting terminated, and I returned to Leghorn, scarcely able to
persuade myself that this was the haughty misanthrope whose character
had always appeared so enveloped in gloom and mystery; for I do not
remember ever to have met with manners more gentle and attractive.

"The next day I returned and had another sitting of an hour, during
which he seemed anxious to know what I should make of my undertaking.
Whilst I was painting, the window from which I received my light became
suddenly darkened, and I heard a voice exclaim 'è troppo bello!' I
turned, and discovered a beautiful female stooping down to look in, the
ground on the outside being on a level with the bottom of the window.
Her long golden hair hung down about her face and shoulders, her
complexion was exquisite, and her smile completed one of the most
romantic-looking heads, set off as it was by the bright sun behind it,
which I had ever beheld. Lord Byron invited her to come in, and
introduced her to me as the Countess Guiccioli. He seemed very fond of
her, and I was glad of her presence, for the playful manner which he
assumed towards her made him a much better sitter.

"The next day, I was pleased to find that the progress which I had made
in his likeness had given satisfaction, for, when we were alone, he
said that he had a particular favour to request of me--would I grant it?
I said I should be happy to oblige him; and he enjoined me to the
flattering task of painting the Countess Guiccioli's portrait for him.
On the following morning I began it, and, after, they sat alternately.
He gave me the whole history of his connection with her, and said that
he hoped it would last for ever; at any rate, it should not be his fault
if it did not. His other attachments had been broken off by no fault of

"I was by this time sufficiently intimate with him to answer his
question as to what I thought of him before I had seen him. He laughed
much at the idea which I had formed of him, and said, 'Well, you find me
like other people, do you not?' He often afterwards repeated, 'And so
you thought me a finer fellow, did you?' I remember once telling him,
that notwithstanding his vivacity, I thought myself correct in at least
one estimate which I had made of him, for I still conceived that he was
not a happy man. He enquired earnestly what reason I had for thinking
so, and I asked him if he had never observed in little children, after a
paroxysm of grief, that they had at intervals a convulsive or tremulous
manner of drawing in a long breath. Wherever I had observed this, in
persons of whatever age, I had always found that it came from sorrow. He
said the thought was new to him, and that he would make use of it.

"Lord Byron, and all the party, left Villa Rossa (the name of their
house) in a few days, to pack up their things in their house at Pisa.
He told me that he should remain a few days there, and desired me, if I
could do any thing more to the pictures, to come and stay with him. He
seemed at a loss where to go, and was, I thought, on the point of
embarking for America. I was with him at Pisa for a few days; but he was
so annoyed by the police, and the weather was so hot, that I thought it
doubtful whether I could improve the pictures, and, taking my departure
one morning before he was up, I wrote him an excuse from Leghorn. Upon
the whole, I left him with an impression that he possessed an excellent
heart, which had been misconstrued on all hands from little else than a
reckless levity of manners, which he took a whimsical pride in opposing
to those of other people."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, July 6. 1822.

     "I return you the revise. I have softened the part to which Gifford
     objected, and changed the name of Michael to Raphael, who was an
     angel of gentler sympathies. By the way, recollect to alter Michael
     to _Raphael_ in the _scene_ itself throughout, for I have only had
     time to do so in the list of the dramatis personæ, and _scratch out
     all the pencil-marks_, to avoid puzzling the printers. I have given
     the '_Vision of Quevedo Redivivus_' to John Hunt, which will
     relieve you from a dilemma. He must publish it at his _own_ risk,
     as it is at his own desire. Give him the _corrected_ copy which
     Mr. Kinnaird had, as it is mitigated partly, and also the preface.

     "Yours," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, July 8. 1822.

     "Last week I returned you the packet of proofs. You had, perhaps,
     better not publish in the same volume the _Po_ and _Rimini_

     "I have consigned a letter to Mr. John Hunt for the 'Vision of
     Judgment,' which you will hand over to him. Also the 'Pulci,'
     original and Italian, and any _prose_ tracts of mine; for Mr. Leigh
     Hunt is arrived here, and thinks of commencing a periodical work,
     to which I shall contribute. I do not propose to you to be the
     publisher, because I know that you are unfriends; but all things in
     your care, except the volume now in the press, and the manuscript
     purchased of Mr. Moore, can be given for this purpose, according as
     they are wanted.

     "With regard to what you say about your 'want of memory,' I can
     only remark, that you inserted the note to Marino Faliero against
     my positive revocation, and that you omitted the Dedication of
     Sardanapalus to Goethe (place it before the volume now in the
     press), both of which were things not very agreeable to me, and
     which I could wish to be avoided in future, as they might be with a
     very little care, or a simple memorandum in your pocket-book.

     "It is not impossible that I may have three or four cantos of Don
     Juan ready by autumn, or a little later, as I obtained a permission
     from my dictatress to continue it,--_provided always_ it was to be
     more guarded and decorous and sentimental in the continuation than
     in the commencement. How far these conditions have been fulfilled
     may be seen, perhaps, by-and-by; but the embargo was only taken off
     upon these stipulations. You can answer at your leisure. Yours,"

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, July 12. 1822.

     "I have written to you lately, but not in answer to your last
     letter of about a fortnight ago. I wish to know (and request an
     answer to _that_ point) what became of the stanzas to Wellington
     (intended to open a canto of Don Juan with), which I sent you
     several months ago. If they have fallen into Murray's hands, he and
     the Tories will suppress them, as those lines rate that hero at his
     real value. Pray be explicit on this, as I have no other copy,
     having sent you the original; and if you have them, let me have
     _that_ again, or a _copy_ correct.

     "I subscribed at Leghorn two hundred Tuscan crowns to your Irishism
     committee; it is about a thousand francs, more or less. As Sir
     C.S., who receives thirteen thousand a year of the public money,
     could not afford more than a thousand livres out of his enormous
     salary, it would have appeared ostentatious in a private individual
     to pretend to surpass him; and therefore I have sent but the above
     sum, as you will see by the enclosed receipt.[82]

     "Leigh Hunt is here, after a voyage of eight months, during which
     he has, I presume, made the Periplus of Hanno the Carthaginian, and
     with much the same speed. He is setting up a Journal, to which I
     have promised to contribute; and in the first number the 'Vision of
     Judgment, by Quevedo Redivivus,' will probably appear, with other

     "Can you give us any thing? He seems sanguine about the matter, but
     (entre nous) I am not. I do not, however, like to put him out of
     spirits by saying so; for he is bilious and unwell. Do, pray,
     answer _this_ letter immediately.

     "Do send Hunt any thing in prose or verse, of yours, to start him
     handsomely--any lyrical, _irical_, or what you please.

     "Has not your Potatoe Committee been blundering? Your advertisement
     says, that Mr. L. Callaghan (a queer name for a banker) hath been
     disposing of money in Ireland 'sans authority of the Committee.' I
     suppose it will end in Callaghan's calling out the Committee, the
     chairman of which carries pistols in his pocket, of course.

     "When you can spare time from _duetting, coquetting_, and
     claretting with your Hibernians of both sexes, let me have a line
     from you. I doubt whether Paris is a good place for the composition
     of your new poesy."

[Footnote 82: "Received from Mr. Henry Dunn the sum of two hundred
Tuscan crowns (for account of the Right Honourable Lord Noel Byron), for
the purpose of assisting the Irish poor.

"Thomas Hall.

"Leghorn, 9th July, 1822. Tuscan crowns, 200."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, August 8. 1822.

     "You will have heard by this time that Shelley and another
     gentleman (Captain Williams) were drowned about a month ago (a
     _month_ yesterday), in a squall off the Gulf of Spezia. There is
     thus another man gone, about whom the world was ill-naturedly, and
     ignorantly, and brutally mistaken. It will, perhaps, do him justice
     _now_, when he can be no better for it.[83]

     "I have not seen the thing you mention[84], and only heard of it
     casually, nor have I any desire. The price is, as I saw in some
     advertisements, fourteen shillings, which is too much to pay for a
     libel on oneself. Some one said in a letter, that it was a Doctor
     Watkins, who deals in the life and libel line. It must have
     diminished your natural pleasure, as a friend (vide
     Rochefoucault), to see yourself in it.

     "With regard to the Blackwood fellows, I never published any thing
     against them; nor, indeed, have seen their magazine (except in
     Galignani's extracts) for these three years past. I once wrote, a
     good while ago, some remarks [85] on their review of Don Juan, but
     saying very little about themselves, and these were _not_
     published. If you think that I ought to follow your example[86](and
     I like to be in your company when I can) in contradicting their
     impudence, you may shape this declaration of mine into a similar
     paragraph for me. It is possible that you may have seen the little
     I _did_ write (and never published) at Murray's;--it contained much
     more about Southey than about the Blacks.

     "If you think that I ought to do any thing about Watkins's book, I
     should not care much about publishing _my Memoir now_, should it be
     necessary to counteract the fellow. But, in _that_ case, I should
     like to look over the _press_ myself. Let me know what you think,
     or whether I had better _not_;--at least, not the second part,
     which touches on the actual confines of still existing matters.

     "I have written three more Cantos of Don Juan, and am hovering on
     the brink of another (the ninth). The reason I want the stanzas
     again which I sent you is, that as these cantos contain a full
     detail (like the storm in Canto Second) of the siege and assault of
     Ismael, with much of sarcasm on those butchers in large business,
     your mercenary soldiery, it is a good opportunity of gracing the
     poem with * * *. With these things and these fellows, it is
     necessary, in the present clash of philosophy and tyranny, to throw
     away the scabbard. I know it is against fearful odds; but the
     battle must be fought; and it will be eventually for the good of
     mankind, whatever it may be for the individual who risks himself.

     "What do you think of your Irish bishop? Do you remember Swift's
     line, 'Let me have a _barrack_--a fig for the _clergy_?' This seems
     to have been his reverence's motto. * * *

     "Yours," &c.

[Footnote 83: In a letter to Mr. Murray, of an earlier date, which has
been omitted to avoid repetitions, he says on the same subject, "You
were all mistaken about Shelley, who was, without exception, the _best_
and least selfish man I ever knew." There is also another passage in the
same letter which, for its perfect truth, I must quote:--"I have
received your scrap, with Henry Drury's letter enclosed. It is just like
him--always kind and ready to oblige his old friends."]

[Footnote 84: A book which had just appeared, entitled "Memoirs of the
Right Hon. Lord Byron."]

[Footnote 85: The remarkable pamphlet from which extracts have been
already given in this work.]

[Footnote 86: It had been asserted in a late Number of Blackwood, that
both Lord Byron and myself were employed in writing satires against that

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Pisa, August 27. 1822.

     "It is boring to trouble you with 'such small gear;' but it must be
     owned that I should be glad if you would enquire whether my Irish
     subscription ever reached the committee in Paris from Leghorn. My
     reasons, like Vellum's, 'are threefold:'--First, I doubt the
     accuracy of all almoners, or remitters of benevolent cash; second,
     I do suspect that the said Committee, having in part served its
     time to time-serving, may have kept back the acknowledgment of an
     obnoxious politician's name in their lists; and third, I feel
     pretty sure that I shall one day be twitted by the government
     scribes for having been a professor of love for Ireland, and not
     coming forward with the others in her distresses.

     "It is not, as you may opine, that I am ambitious of having my name
     in the papers, as I can have that any day in the week gratis. All I
     want is to know if the Reverend Thomas Hall did or did not remit
     my subscription (200 scudi of Tuscany, or about a thousand francs,
     more or less,) to the Committee at Paris.

     "The other day at Viareggio, I thought proper to swim off to my
     schooner (the Bolivar) in the offing, and thence to shore
     again--about three miles, or better, in all. As it was at mid-day,
     under a broiling sun, the consequence has been a feverish attack,
     and my whole skin's coming off, after going through the process of
     one large continuous blister, raised by the sun and sea together. I
     have suffered much pain; not being able to lie on my back, or even
     side; for my shoulders and arms were equally St. Bartholomewed. But
     it is over,--and I have got a new skin, and am as glossy as a snake
     in its new suit.

     "We have been burning the bodies of Shelley and Williams on the
     sea-shore, to render them fit for removal and regular interment.
     You can have no idea what an extraordinary effect such a funeral
     pile has, on a desolate shore, with mountains in the background and
     the sea before, and the singular appearance the salt and
     frankincense gave to the flame. All of Shelley was consumed, except
     his _heart_, which would not take the flame, and is now preserved
     in spirits of wine.

     "Your old acquaintance Londonderry has quietly died at North Cray!
     and the virtuous De Witt was torn in pieces by the populace! What a
     lucky * * the Irishman has been in his life and end.[87] In him
     your Irish Franklin est mort!

     "Leigh Hunt is sweating articles for his new Journal; and both he
     and I think it somewhat shabby in _you_ not to contribute. Will you
     become one of the _properrioters_? 'Do, and we go snacks.' I
     recommend you to think twice before you respond in the negative.

     "I have nearly (_quite three_) four new cantos of Don Juan ready. I
     obtained permission from the female Censor Morum of _my_ morals to
     continue it, provided it were immaculate; so I have been as decent
     as need be. There is a deal of war--a siege, and all that, in the
     style, graphical and technical, of the shipwreck in Canto Second,
     which 'took,' as they say, in the Row.

     Yours, &c.

     "P.S. That * * * Galignani has about ten lies in one paragraph. It
     was not a Bible that was found in Shelley's pocket, but John
     Keats's poems. However, it would not have been strange, for he was
     a great admirer of Scripture as a composition. _I_ did not send my
     bust to the academy of New York; but I sat for my picture to young
     West, an American artist, at the request of some members of that
     Academy to _him_ that he would take my portrait,--for the Academy,
     I believe.[88]

     "I had, and still have, thoughts of South America, but am
     fluctuating between it and Greece. I should have gone, long ago, to
     one of them, but for my liaison with the Countess Gi.; for love, in
     these days, is little compatible with glory. _She_ would be
     delighted to go too; but I do not choose to expose her to a long
     voyage, and a residence in an unsettled country, where I shall
     probably take a part of some sort."

[Footnote 87: The particulars of this event had, it is evident, not yet
readied him.]

[Footnote 88: This portrait, though destined for America, was, it
appears, never sent thither. A few copies of it have since been painted
by Mr. West, but the original picture was purchased by Mr. Joy, of
Hartham Park, Wilts; who is also the possessor of the original portrait
of Madame Guiccioli, by the same artist.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Soon after the above letters were written, Lord Byron removed to Genoa,
having taken a house, called the Villa Saluzzo, at Albaro, one of the
suburbs of that city. From the time of the unlucky squabble with the
serjeant-major at Pisa, his tranquillity had been considerably broken in
upon, as well by the judicial enquiries consequent upon that event, as
by the many sinister rumours and suspicions to which it gave rise.
Though the wounded man had recovered, his friends all vowed vengeance
with the dagger: and the sensation which the affair and its various
consequences had produced was,--to Madame Guiccioli more particularly,
from the situation in which her family stood, in regard to
politics,--distressing and alarming. While the impression, too, of this
event was still recent, another circumstance occurred which, though
comparatively unimportant, had the unlucky effect of again drawing the
attention of the Tuscans to their new visitors. During Lord Byron's
short visit to Leghorn, a Swiss servant in his employ having quarrelled,
on some occasion, with the brother of Madame Guiccioli, drew his knife
upon the young Count, and wounded him slightly on the cheek. This
affray, happening so soon after the other, was productive also of so
much notice and conversation, that the Tuscan government, in its horror
of every thing like disturbance, thought itself called upon to
interfere; and orders were accordingly issued, that, within four days,
the two Counts Gamba, father and son, should depart from Tuscany. To
Lord Byron this decision was, in the highest degree, provoking and
disconcerting; it being one of the conditions of the Guiccioli's
separation from her husband, that she should thenceforward reside under
the same roof with her father. After balancing in his mind between
various projects,--sometimes thinking of Geneva, and sometimes, as we
have seen, of South America,--he at length decided, for the present, to
transfer his residence to Genoa.

His habits of life, while at Pisa, had but very little differed, except
in the new line of society into which his introduction to Shelley's
friends led him,--from the usual monotonous routine in which, so
singularly for one of his desultory disposition, the daily course of
his existence had now, for some years, flowed. At two he usually
breakfasted, and at three, or, as the year advanced, four o'clock, those
persons who were in the habit of accompanying him in his rides, called
upon him. After, occasionally, a game of billiards, he proceeded,--and,
in order to avoid starers, in his carriage,--as far as the gates of the
town, where his horses met him. At first the route he chose for these
rides was in the direction of the Cascine and of the pine-forest that
reaches towards the sea; but having found a spot more convenient for his
pistol exercise on the road leading from the Porta alla Spiaggia to the
east of the city, he took daily this course during the remainder of his
stay. When arrived at the Podere or farm, in the garden of which they
were allowed to erect their target, his friends and he dismounted, and,
after devoting about half an hour to a trial of skill at the pistol,
returned, a little before sunset, into the city.

"Lord Byron," says a friend who was sometimes present at their
practising, "was the best marksman. Shelley, and Williams, and
Trelawney, often made as good shots as he--but they were not so certain;
and he, though his hand trembled violently, never missed, for he
calculated on this vibration, and depended entirely on his eye. Once
after demolishing his mark, he set up a slender cane, whose colour,
nearly the same as the gravel in which it was fixed, might well have
deceived him, and at twenty paces he divided it with his bullet. His joy
at a good shot, and his vexation at a failure, was great--and when we
met him on his return, his cold salutation, or joyous laugh, told the
tale of the day's success."

For the first time since his arrival in Italy, he now found himself
tempted to give dinner parties; his guests being, besides Count Gamba
and Shelley, Mr. Williams, Captain Medwin, Mr. Taafe, and Mr.
Trelawney;--and "never," as his friend Shelley used to say, "did he
display himself to more advantage than on these occasions; being at once
polite and cordial, full of social hilarity and the most perfect good
humour; never diverging into ungraceful merriment, and yet keeping up
the spirit of liveliness throughout the evening." About midnight his
guests generally left him, with the exception of Captain Medwin, who
used to remain, as I understand, talking and drinking with his noble
host till far into the morning; and to the careless, half mystifying
confidences of these nocturnal sittings, implicitly listened to and
confusedly recollected, we owe the volume with which Captain Medwin,
soon after the death of the noble poet, favoured the world.

On the subject of this and other such intimacies formed by Lord Byron,
not only at the period of which we are speaking, but throughout his
whole life, it would be difficult to advance any thing more judicious,
or more demonstrative of a true knowledge of his character, than is to
be found in the following remarks of one who had studied him with her
whole heart,--who had learned to regard him with the eyes of good sense,
as well as of affection, and whose strong love, in short, was founded
upon a basis the most creditable both to him and herself,--the being
able to understand him.[89]

"We continued in Pisa even more rigorously to absent ourselves from
society. However, as there were a good many English in Pisa, he could
not avoid becoming acquainted with various friends of Shelley, among
which number was Mr. Medwin. They followed him in his rides, dined with
him, and felt themselves happy, of course, in the apparent intimacy in
which they lived with so renowned a man; but not one of them was
admitted to any part of his friendship, which, indeed, he did not easily
accord. He had a great affection for Shelley, and a great esteem for his
character and talents; but he was not his friend in the most extensive
sense of that word. Sometimes, when speaking of his friends and of
friendship, as also of love, and of every other noble emotion of the
soul, his expressions might inspire doubts concerning his sentiments and
the goodness of his heart. The feeling of the moment regulated his
speech, and, besides, he liked to play the part of singularity,--and
sometimes worse,--more especially with those whom he suspected of
endeavouring to make discoveries as to his real character; but it was
only mean minds and superficial observers that could be deceived in him.
It was necessary to consider his actions to perceive the contradiction
they bore to his words: it was necessary to be witness of certain
moments, during which unforeseen and involuntary emotion forced him to
give himself entirely up to his feelings; and whoever beheld him then,
became aware of the stores of sensibility and goodness of which his
noble heart was full.

"Among the many occasions _I_ had of seeing him thus overpowered, I
shall mention one relative to his feelings of friendship. A few days
before leaving Pisa, we were one evening seated in the garden of the
Palazzo Lanfranchi. A soft melancholy was spread over his countenance;
he recalled to mind the events of his life; compared them with his
present situation, and with that which it might have been if his
affection for me had not caused him to remain in Italy, saying things
which would have made earth a paradise for me, but that even then a
presentiment that I should lose all this happiness tormented me. At this
moment a servant announced Mr. Hobhouse. The slight shade of melancholy
diffused over Lord Byron's face gave instant place to the liveliest joy;
but it was so great, that it almost deprived him of strength. A fearful
paleness came over his cheeks, and his eyes were filled with tears as he
embraced his friend. His emotion was so great that he was forced to sit

"Lord Clare's visit also occasioned him extreme delight. He had a great
affection for Lord Clare, and was very happy during the short visit that
he paid him at Leghorn. The day on which they separated was a melancholy
one for Lord Byron. 'I have a presentiment that I shall never see him
more,' he said, and his eyes filled with tears. The same melancholy came
over him during the first weeks that succeeded to Lord Clare's
departure, whenever his conversation happened to fall upon this

Of his feelings on the death of his daughter Allegra, this lady gives
the following account:--"On the occasion also of the death of his
natural daughter, I saw in his grief the excess of paternal kindness.
His conduct towards this child was always that of a fond father; but no
one would have guessed from his expressions that he felt this affection
for her. He was dreadfully agitated by the first intelligence of her
illness; and when afterwards that of her death arrived, I was obliged to
fulfil the melancholy task of communicating it to him. The memory of
that frightful moment is stamped indelibly on my mind. For several
evenings he had not left his house, I therefore went to him. His first
question was relative to the courier he had despatched for tidings of
his daughter, and whose delay disquieted him. After a short interval of
suspense, with every caution which my own sorrow suggested, I deprived
him of all hope of the child's recovery. 'I understand,' said he,--'it
is enough, say no more.' A mortal paleness spread itself over his face,
his strength failed him, and he sunk into a seat. His look was fixed,
and the expression such that I began to fear for his reason; he did not
shed a tear, and his countenance manifested so hopeless, so profound, so
sublime a sorrow, that at the moment he appeared a being of a nature
superior to humanity. He remained immovable in the same attitude for an
hour, and no consolation which I endeavoured to afford him seemed to
reach his ears, far less his heart. But enough of this sad episode, on
which I cannot linger, even after the lapse of so many years, without
renewing in my own heart the awful wretchedness of that day. He desired
to be left alone, and I was obliged to leave him. I found him on the
following morning tranquillised, and with an expression of religious
resignation on his features. 'She is more fortunate than we are,' he
said; 'besides, her position in the world would scarcely have allowed
her to be happy. It is God's will--let us mention it no more.' And from
that day he would never pronounce her name; but became more anxious
when he spoke of Ada,--so much so as to disquiet himself when the usual
accounts sent him were for a post or two delayed."[91]

The melancholy death of poor Shelley, which happened, as we have seen,
also during this period, seems to have affected Lord Byron's mind, less
with grief for the actual loss of his friend, than with bitter
indignation against those who had, through life, so grossly
misrepresented him; and never certainly was there an instance where the
supposed absence of all religion in an individual was assumed so eagerly
as an excuse for the absence of all charity in judging him. Though never
personally acquainted with Mr. Shelley, I can join freely with those who
most loved him in admiring the various excellences of his heart and
genius, and lamenting the too early doom that robbed us of the mature
fruits of both. His short life had been, like his poetry, a sort of
bright erroneous dream,--false in the general principles on which it
proceeded, though beautiful and attaching in most of the details. Had
full time been allowed for the "over-light" of his imagination to have
been tempered down by the judgment which, in him, was still in reserve,
the world at large would have been taught to pay that high homage to his
genius which those only who saw what he was capable of can now be
expected to accord to it.

It was about this time that Mr. Cowell, paying a visit to Lord Byron at
Genoa, was told by him that some friends of Mr. Shelley, sitting
together one evening, had seen that gentleman, distinctly, as they
thought, walk into a little wood at Lerici, when at the same moment, as
they afterwards discovered, he was far away in quite a different
direction. "This," added Lord Byron, in a low, awe-struck tone of
voice, "was but ten days before poor Shelley died."

[Footnote 89: My poor Zimmerman, who now will understand thee?"--such
was the touching speech addressed to Zimmerman by his wife, on her
death-bed; and there is implied in these few words all that a man of
morbid sensibility must be dependant for upon the tender and
self-forgetting tolerance of the woman with whom he is united.]

[Footnote 90: "In Pisa abbiamo continuato anche più rigorosaraente a
vivere lontano dalla società. Essendosi però in Pisa molti Inglesi egli
non potè escusarsi dal fare la conoscenza di varii amici di Shelley, fra
i quali uno fu Mr. Medwin. Essi lo seguitavano al passeggio, pranzavono
con lui e certamente si tenevano felici della apparente intimità che
loro accordava un uomo così superiore. Ma nessuno di loro fu ammesso mai
a porta della sua amicizia, che egli non era facile a accordare. Per
Shelley egli aveva dell' affezione, e molta stima pel suo carattere e
pel suo talento, ma non era suo amico nel estensione del senso che si
deva dare alla parola amicizia. Talvolta parlando egli de' suoi amici, e
dell' amicizia, come pure dell' amore, e di ogni altro nobile sentimento
dell' anima, potevano i suoi discorsi far nascere dei dubbii sui veri
suoi sentimenti, e sulla bontà del suo core. Una impressione momentanea
regolava i suoi discorsi; e di più egli amava anche a rappresentare un
personaggio bizzarro, e qualche volta anche peggio,--specialmente con
quelli che egli pensava volessero studiare e fare delle scoperte sul suo
carattere. Ma nell' inganno non poteva cadere che una piccola mente, e
un osservatore superficiale. Bisognava esaminare le sue azioni per
sentire tutta le contraddizione che era fra di esse e i suoi discorsi;
bisognava vederlo in certi momenti in cui per una emozione improvisa e
più forte della sua volontà la sua anima si abbandonava interamente a se
stessa;--bisognava vederlo allora per scoprire i tesori di sensibilità e
di bontà che erano ìn quella nobile anima.

"Fra le tante volte che io l'ho veduto in simili circostanze ne
ricorderò una che risguarda i suoi sentimenti di amicizia. Pochi giorni
prima di lasciare Pisa eravamo verso sera insieme seduti nel giardino
del Palazzo Lanfranchi. Una dolce malinconia era sparsa sul suo viso.
Egli riandava col pensiero gli avvenimenti della sua vita e faceva il
confronto colle attuale sue situazione e quella che avrebbe potuta
essere se la sua affezione per me non lo avesse fatto restare in Italia;
e diceva cose che avrebbero resa per me la terra un paradiso, se giÃ
sino d'allora il pressentimento di perdere tanta felicità non mi avesse
tormentata. In questo mentre un domestico annunciò Mr. Hobhouse. La
leggiera tinta di malinconia sparsa sul viso di Byron fece, luogo
subitamente alia più viva gioia; ma essa fu così forte che gli tolse
quasi le forze. Un pallore commovente ricoperse il suo volto, e nell'
abbracciare il suo amico i suoi occhi erano pieni di lacrime di
contento. E l'emozione fu così forte che egli fu obbligato di sedersi,
sentendosi mancare le forze.

"La venuta pure di Lord Clare fu per lui un epoca di grande felicità.
Egli amava sommamente Lord Clare--egli era così felice in quel breve
tempo che passò presso di lui a Livorno, e il giorno in cui si
separarono fu un giorno di grande tristezza per Lord Byron. 'Io ho il
pressentimento che non lo vedrò piu,' diceva egli; e i suoi occhi si
riempirano di lacrime; e in questo stato l'ho veduto per varii
settimanie dopo la partenza di Lord Clare, ogni qual volta il discorso
cadeva sopra di codesto il suo amico."]

[Footnote 91: "Nell' occasione pure della morire della sua figlia
naturale io ho veduto nel suo dolore tuttociò che vi è di più profondo
nella tenerezza paterna. La sua condotta verso di codesta fanciulla era
stata sempre quella del padre il più amoroso; ma dalle di lui parole non
si sarebbe giudicato che avesse tanta affezione per lei. Alia prima
notizia della di lei malattia egli fu sommamente agitato; giunse poi la
notizia della morte, ed io dovessi esercitare il tristo uficio di
participarla a Lord Byron. Quel sensibile momenta sarà indelebile nella
mia memoria. Egli non usciva da varii giorni la sera: io andai dunque da
lui. La prima domauda che egli mi fece fu relativa al Corriere che egli
aveva spedito per avere notizie della sua figlia, e di cui il retardo lo
inquietava. Dopo qualche momento di sospensione con tutta l'arte che
sapeva suggerirmi il mio proprio dotore gli tolsi ogni speranza della
guarizione della fanciulla. 'Ho inteso,' disse egli--'basta così--non
dite di più'--e un pallore mortale si sparse sul suo volto; le forze gli
mancarono, e cadde sopra una sedia d'appoggio. Il suo sguardo era fisso
e tale che mi fece temere per la sua ragione. Egli rimase in quello
stato d'immobilità un' ora; e nessuna parola dì consolazione che io
potessi indirezzargli pareva penetrare le sue orecchie non che il suo
core. Ma basta così di questa trista detenzione nella quale non posso
fermarmi dopo tanti anni senza risvegliare dì nuovo nel mio animo le
terribile sofferenze di quel giorno. La mattinà lo trovai tranquillo, e
con una espressione di religiosa rassegnazione nel suo volto. 'Ella è
più felice di noi,' diss' egli--'d'altronde la sua situazione nel mondo
non le avrebbe data forse felicità. Dio ha voluto così--non ne parliamo
più.' E da quel giorno in poi non ha più voluto proferire il nome di
quella fanciulla. Ma è divenuto più pensieroso parlando di Adda, al
punto di tormentarsi quando gli ritardavano di qualche ordinario le di
lei notizie."]

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Genoa, October 9. 1822.

     "I have received your letter, and as you explain it, I have no
     objection, on _your_ account, to omit those passages in the new
     Mystery (which were marked in the half-sheet sent the other day to
     Pisa), or the passage in _Cain_;--but why not be open and say so at
     _first_? You should be more straight-forward on every account.

     "I have been very unwell--four days confined to my bed in 'the
     worst inn's worst room,' at Lerici, with a violent rheumatic and
     bilious attack, constipation, and the devil knows what: no
     physician, except a young fellow, who, however, was kind and
     cautious, and that's enough.

     "At last I seized Thompson's book of prescriptions (a donation of
     yours), and physicked myself with the first dose I found in it; and
     after undergoing the ravages of all kinds of decoctions, sallied
     from bed on the fifth day to cross the Gulf to Sestri. The sea
     revived me instantly; and I ate the sailor's cold fish, and drank a
     gallon of country wine, and got to Genoa the same night after
     landing at Sestri, and have ever since been keeping well, but
     thinner, and with an occasional cough towards evening.

     "I am afraid the Journal _is a bad_ business, and won't do; but in
     it I am sacrificing _myself_ for others--_I_ can have no advantage
     in it. I believe the _brothers Hunts_ to be honest men; I am sure
     that they are poor ones; they have not a nap. They pressed me to
     engage in this work, and in an evil hour I consented. Still I shall
     not repent, if I can do them the least service. I have done all I
     can for Leigh Hunt since he came here; but it is almost
     useless:--his wife is ill, his six children not very tractable, and
     in the affairs of this world he himself is a child. The death of
     Shelley left them totally aground; and I could not see them in such
     a state without using the common feelings of humanity, and what
     means were in my power, to set them afloat again.

     "So Douglas Kinnaird is out of the way? He was so the last time I
     sent him a parcel, and he gives no previous notice. When is he
     expected again?

     "Yours, &c.

     "P.S. Will you say at once--do you publish Werner and the Mystery
     or not? You never once allude to them.

     "That curst advertisement of Mr. J. Hunt is out of the limits. I
     did not lend him my name to be hawked about in this way.

     "However, I believe--at least, hope--that after all you may be a
     good fellow at bottom, and it is on this presumption that I now
     write to you on the subject of a poor woman of the name of _Yossy_,
     who is, or was, an author of yours, as she says, and published a
     book on Switzerland in 1816, patronised by the 'Court and Colonel
     M'Mahon.' But it seems that neither the Court nor the Colonel could
     get over the portentous price of three pounds, thirteen, and
     sixpence,' which alarmed the too susceptible public; and, in short,
     'the book died away,' and, what is worse, the poor soul's husband
     died too, and she writes with the man a corpse before her; but
     instead of addressing the bishop or Mr. Wilberforce, she hath
     recourse to that proscribed, atheistical, syllogistical,
     phlogistical person, _mysen_, as they say in Notts. It is strange
     enough, but the rascaille English who calumniate me in every
     direction and on every score, whenever they are in great distress
     recur to me for assistance. If I have had one example of this, I
     have had letters from a thousand, and as far as is in my power have
     tried to repay good for evil, and purchase a shilling's worth of
     salvation as long as my pocket can hold out.

     "Now, I am willing to do what I can for this unfortunate person;
     but her situation and her wishes (not unreasonable, however,)
     require more than can be advanced by one individual like myself;
     for I have many claims of the same kind just at present, and also
     some remnants of _debt_ to pay in England--God, he knows, the
     _latter_ how reluctantly! Can the Literary Fund do nothing for her?
     By your interest, which is great among the pious, I dare say that
     something might be collected. Can you get any of her books
     published? Suppose you took her as author in my place, now vacant
     among your ragamuffins; she is a moral and pious person, and will
     shine upon your shelves. But seriously, do what you can for her."

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Genoa, 9bre 23. 1822.

     "I have to thank you for a parcel of books, which are very welcome,
     especially Sir Walter's gift of 'Halidon Hill.' You have sent me a
     copy of 'Werner,' but _without_ the preface. If you have published
     it _without_, you will have plunged me into a very disagreeable
     dilemma, because I shall be accused of plagiarism from Miss Lee's
     German's Tale, whereas I have fully and freely acknowledged that
     the drama is entirely taken from the story.

     "I return you the Quarterly Review, uncut and unopened, not from
     disrespect or disregard or pique, but it is a kind of reading which
     I have some time disused, as I think the periodical style of
     writing hurtful to the habits of the mind, by presenting the
     superfices of too many things at once. I do not know that it
     contains any thing disagreeable to me--it may or it may not; nor do
     I return it on account that there _may_ be an article which you
     hinted at in one of your late letters, but because I have left off
     reading these kind of works, and should equally have returned you
     any other number.

     "I am obliged to take in one or two abroad, because solicited to do
     so. The Edinburgh came before me by mere chance in Galignani's
     picnic sort of gazette, where he had inserted a part of it.

     "You will have received various letters from me lately, in a style
     which I used with reluctance; but you left me no other choice by
     your absolute refusal to communicate with a man you did not like
     upon the mere simple matter of transfer of a few papers of little
     consequence (except to their author), and which could be of no
     moment to yourself.

     "I hope that Mr. Kinnaird is better. It is strange that you never
     alluded to his accident, if it be true, as stated in the papers. I
     am yours, &c. &c.

     "I hope that you have a milder winter than we have had here. We
     have had inundations worthy of the Trent or Po, and the conductor
     (Franklin's) of my house was struck (or supposed to be stricken) by
     a thunderbolt. I was so near the window that I was dazzled and my
     eyes hurt for several minutes, and everybody in the house felt an
     electric shock at the moment. Madame Guiccioli was frightened, as
     you may suppose.

     "I have thought since that your bigots would have 'saddled me with
     a judgment' (as Thwackum did Square when he bit his tongue in
     talking metaphysics), if any thing had happened of consequence.
     These fellows always forget Christ in their Christianity, and what
     he said when 'the tower of Siloam fell.'

     "To-day is the 9th, and the 10th is my surviving daughter's
     birth-day. I have ordered, as a regale, a mutton chop and a bottle
     of ale. She is seven years old, I believe. Did I ever tell you that
     the day I came of age I dined on eggs and bacon and a bottle of
     ale? For once in a way they are my favourite dish and drinkable,
     but as neither of them agree with me, I never use them but on great
     jubilees--once in four or five years or so.

     "I see somebody represents the Hunts and Mrs. Shelley as living in
     my house: it is a falsehood. They reside at some distance, and I do
     not see them twice in a month. I have not met Mr. Hunt a dozen
     times since I came to Genoa, or near it.

     "Yours ever," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     "Genoa, 10bre 25°. 1822.

     "I had sent you back the Quarterly, without perusal, having
     resolved to read no more reviews, good, bad, or indifferent; but
     'who can control his fate?' Galignani, to whom my English studies
     are confined, has forwarded a copy of at least one half of it in
     his indefatigable catch-penny weekly compilation; and as, 'like
     honour, it came unlooked for,' I have looked through it. I must say
     that, upon the _whole_, that is, the whole of the _half_ which I
     have read (for the other half is to be the segment of Galignani's
     next week's circular), it is extremely handsome, and any thing but
     unkind or unfair. As I take the good in good part, I must not, nor
     will not, quarrel with the bad. What the writer says of Don Juan is
     harsh, but it is inevitable. He must follow, or at least not
     directly oppose, the opinion of a prevailing, and yet not very
     firmly seated, party. A Review may and will direct and 'turn awry'
     the currents of opinion, but it must not directly oppose them. Don
     Juan will be known by and by, for what it is intended,--a _Satire_
     on _abuses_ of the present states of society, and not an eulogy of
     vice. It may be now and then voluptuous: I can't help that.
     Ariosto is worse; Smollett (see Lord Strutwell in vol. 2d of
     Roderick Random) ten times worse; and Fielding no better. No girl
     will ever be seduced by reading Don Juan:--no, no; she will go to
     Little's poems and Rousseau's _romans_ for that, or even to the
     immaculate De Staël. They will encourage her, and not the Don, who
     laughs at that, and--and--most other things. But never mind--_ça

     "Now, do you see what you and your friends do by your injudicious
     rudeness?--actually cement a sort of connection which you strove to
     prevent, and which, had the Hunts _prospered_, would not in all
     probability have continued. As it is, I will not quit them in their
     adversity, though it should cost me character, fame, money, and the
     usual _et cetera_.

     "My original motives I already explained (in the letter which you
     thought proper to show): they are the _true_ ones, and I abide by
     them, as I tell you, and I told Leigh Hunt when he questioned me on
     the subject of that letter. He was violently hurt, and never will
     forgive me at bottom; but I can't help that. I never meant to make
     a parade of it; but if he chose to question me, I could only answer
     the plain truth: and I confess I did not see any thing in the
     letter to hurt him, unless I said he was 'a bore,' which I don't
     remember. Had their Journal gone on well, and I could have aided to
     make it better for them, I should then have left them, after my
     safe pilotage off a lee shore, to make a prosperous voyage by
     themselves. As it is, I can't, and would not, if I could, leave
     them among the breakers.

     "As to any community of feeling, thought, or opinion, between
     Leigh Hunt and me, there is little or none. We meet rarely, hardly
     ever; but I think him a good-principled and able man, and must do
     as I would be done by. I do not know what world he has lived in,
     but I have lived in three or four; but none of them like his Keats
     and kangaroo terra incognita. Alas! poor Shelley! how we would have
     laughed had he lived, and how we used to laugh now and then, at
     various things which are grave in the suburbs!

     "You are all mistaken about Shelley. You do not know how mild, how
     tolerant, how good he was in society; and as perfect a gentleman as
     ever crossed a drawing-room, when he liked, and where liked.

     "I have some thoughts of taking a run down to Naples (_solus_, or,
     at most, _cum sola_) this spring, and writing, when I have studied
     the country, a Fifth and Sixth Canto of Childe Harold: but this is
     merely an idea for the present, and I have other excursions and
     voyages in my mind. The busts[92] are finished: are you worthy of

     "Yours, &c. N.B.

     "P.S. Mrs. Shelley is residing with the Hunts at some distance from
     me. I see them very seldom, and generally on account of their
     business. Mrs. Shelley, I believe, will go to England in the

     "Count Gamba's family, the father and mother and daughter, are
     residing with me by Mr. Hill (the minister's) recommendation, as a
     safer asylum from the political persecutions than they could have
     in another residence; but they occupy one part of a large house,
     and I the other, and our establishments are quite separate.

     "Since I have read the Quarterly, I shall erase two or three
     passages in the latter six or seven cantos, in which I had lightly
     stroked over two or three of your authors; but I will not return
     evil for good. I liked what I read of the article much.

     "Mr. J. Hunt is most likely the publisher of the new Cantos; with
     what prospects of success I know not, nor does it very much matter,
     as far as I am concerned; but I hope that it may be of use to him;
     he is a stiff, sturdy, conscientious man, and I like him; he is
     such a one as Prynne or Pym might be. I bear you no ill-will for
     declining the Don Juans.

     "Have you aided Madame de Yossy, as I requested? I sent her three
     hundred francs. Recommend her, will you, to the Literary Fund, or
     to some benevolence within your circles."

[Footnote 92: Of the bust of himself by Bartollini he says, in one of
the omitted letters to Mr. Murray:--"The bust does not turn out a good
one,--though it may be like for aught I know, as it exactly resembles a
superannuated Jesuit." Again: "I assure you Bartollini's is dreadful,
though my mind misgives me that it is hideously like. If it is, I cannot
be long for this world, for it overlooks seventy."]

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTER 507. TO LADY ----.

     "Albaro, November 10. 1822.

     "The Chevalier persisted in declaring himself an ill-used
     gentleman, and describing you as a kind of cold Calypso, who lead
     astray people of an amatory disposition without giving them any
     sort of compensation, contenting yourself, it seems, with only
     making _one_ fool instead of two, which is the more approved method
     of proceeding on such occasions. For my part, I think you are quite
     right; and be assured from me that a woman (as society is
     constituted in England) who gives any advantage to a man may expect
     a lover, but will sooner or later find a tyrant; and this is not
     the man's fault either, perhaps, but is the necessary and natural
     result of the circumstances of society, which, in fact, tyrannise
     over the man equally with the woman; that is to say, if either of
     them have any feeling or honour.

     "You can write to me at your leisure and inclination. I have always
     laid it down as a maxim, and found it justified by experience, that
     a man and a woman make far better friendships than can exist
     between two of the same sex; but _these_ with this condition, that
     they never have made, or are to make, love with each other. Lovers
     may, and, indeed, generally _are_ enemies, but they never can be
     friends; because there must always be a spice of jealousy and a
     something of self in all their speculations.

     "Indeed, I rather look upon love altogether as a sort of hostile
     transaction, very necessary to make or to break matches, and keep
     the world going, but by no means a sinecure to the parties

     "Now, as my love perils are, I believe, pretty well over, and
     yours, by all accounts, are never to begin, we shall be the best
     friends imaginable, as far as both are concerned, and with this
     advantage, that we may both fall to loving right and left through
     all our acquaintance, without either sullenness or sorrow from that
     amiable passion which are its inseparable attendants.

     "Believe me," &c.


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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.