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you-a perplexing one to me, and, just at present,
' in a state of abeyance in itself.
In the mean time, you
may amuse yourself with my suspense, and put all 'the justices of peace in requisition, in case I come ' into your county with "hackbut bent."
'Seriously, whether I am to hear from her or him, it is a pause, which I shall fill up with as few thoughts ' of my own as I can borrow from other people. Any'thing is better than stagnation; and now, in the interregnum of my autumn and a strange summer ' adventure, which I don't like to think of (I don't mean **'s, however, which is laughable only), the ' antithetical state of my lucubrations makes me alive, ' and Macbeth can "sleep no more:"-he was lucky in getting rid of the drowsy sensation of waking ' again.
Pray write to me. I must send you a copy of the letter of Dedication. When do you come out? I am sure we don't clash this time, for I am all at sea, ' and in action,—and a wife, and a mistress, &c. &c.
'Thomas, thou art a happy fellow; but if you wish 'us to be so, you must come up to town, as you did 'last year; and we shall have a world to say, and to see, and to hear. Let me hear from you.
P.S. Of course you will keep my secret, and don't even talk in your sleep of it. Happen what may, your Dedication is ensured, being already written; and I shall copy it out fair to-night, in case business ' or amusement-Amant alterna Camænæ.'
TO MR. MURRAY.
'Jan. 7th, 1814.
You don't like the Dedication-very well; there
'is another but you will send the other to Mr. 'Moore, that he may know I had written it. I send ' also mottoes for the Cantos. I think you will allow 'that an elephant may be more sagacious, but cannot 'be more docile. 'Yours,
'The name is again altered to Medora*.'
TO MR. MOORE.
'January 8th, 1814.
'As it would not be fair to press you into a Dedication, without previous notice, I send you two, and 'I will tell you why two. The first, Mr. M., who some'times takes upon him the critic (and I bear it from ' astonishment), says, may do you harm-God forbid !— 'this alone makes me listen to him. The fact is, he is a damned Tory, and has, I dare swear, something of self, which I cannot divine, at the bottom of his 'objection, as it is the allusion to Ireland to which he objects. But he be d-d-though a good fellow enough (your sinner would not be worth a d-n).
'Take your choice;-no one, save he and Mr. 'Dallas, has seen either, and D. is quite on my side, and for the first t. If I can but testify to you and the
* It had been at first Genevra,-not Francesca, as Mr. Dallas asserts. †The first was, of course, the one that I preferred. The other ran as follows:
My dear Moore,
January 7th, 1814.
I had written to you a long letter of dedication, which I suppress, 'because, though it contained something relating to you which every one had been glad to hear, yet there was too much about politics, and poesy, and all things whatsoever, ending with that topic on which most men are fluent, and none very amusing-one's self. It might have 'been re-written-but to what purpose? My praise could add nothing to your well-earned and firmly-established fame; and with my most 'hearty admiration of your talents, and delight in your conversation, you are already acquainted. In availing myself of your friendly permission to inscribe this Poem to you, I can only wish the offering were as wor 'thy your acceptance as your regard is dear to,
'Yours, most affectionately and faithfully,
'world how truly I admire and esteem you, I shall be 'quite satisfied. As to prose, I don't know Addison's 'from Johnson's; but I will try to mend my cacology. 'Pray perpend, pronounce, and don't be offended with ' either.
My last epistle would probably put you in a fidget. 'But the devil, who ought to be civil on such occa'sions, proved so, and took my letter to the right place.
'Is it not odd?-the very fate I said she had escaped from **, she has now undergone from the worthy **. 'Like Mr. Fitzgerald, shall I not lay claim to the cha"racter of "Vates?"-as he did in the Morning Herald 'for prophesying the fall of Buonaparte,-who, by 'the by, I don't think is yet fallen. I wish he would rally and route your legitimate sovereigns, having a 'mortal hate to all royal entails.-But I am scrawling ' a treatise. Good night. Ever, &c.'
TO MR. MURRAY.
January 11th, 1814.
Correct this proof by Mr. Gifford's (and from the MSS.), particularly as to the pointing. I have added a section for Gulnare, to fill up the parting, and dis'miss her more ceremoniously. If Mr. Gifford or you 'dislike, 'tis but a sponge and another midnight better 'employed than in yawning over Miss **; who, by 'the by, may soon return the compliment.
Wednesday or Thursday. P.S. I have redde **. It is full of praises of 'Lord Ellenborough!!! (from which I infer near and ' dear relations at the bar), and
* * * *
'I do not love Madame de Staël, but, depend upon 'it, she beats all your natives hollow as an authoress, in my opinion; and I would not say this if I could help it.
may best express
'P.S. Pray report my best acknowledgments to 'Mr. Gifford in any words that truly his kindness obliges me. lip thanks or notes.'
I won't bore him with
TO MR. MOORE.
January 13th, 1814. 'I have but a moment to write, but all is as it 'should be. I have said really far short of my opinion, but if you think enough, I am content. Will you return the proof by the post, as I leave town on Sunday, and have no other corrected copy. I put ""servant," as being less familiar before the public; because I don't like presuming upon our friendship 'to infringe upon forms. As to the other word, you may be sure it is one I cannot hear or repeat too often, 'I write in an agony of haste and confusion.-Per' donate.'
TO MR. MURRAY.
'January 15th, 1814.
'Before any proof goes to Mr. Gifford, it may be as well to revise this, where there are words omitted, 'faults committed, and the devil knows what. As to 'the Dedication, I cut out the parenthesis of Mr.*, 'but not another word shall move unless for a better. 'Mr. Moore has seen, and decidedly preferred the part your Tory bile sickens at. If every syllable were
a rattle-snake, or every letter a pestilence, they 'should not be expunged. Let those who cannot 'swallow chew the expressions on Ireland; or should 'even Mr. Croker array himself in all his terrors 'against them, I care for none of you, except Gifford ;
*He had, at first, after the words Scott alone,' inserted, in a paren thesis, He will excuse the Mr.-" we do not say Mr. Cæsar."
' and he won't abuse me, except I deserve it-which 'will at least reconcile me to his justice. As to the poems in Hobhouse's volume, the translation from 'the Romaic is well enough; but the best of the other ' volume (of mine, I mean) have been already printed. 'But do as you please-only, as I shall be absent ' when you come out, do, pray, let Mr. Dallas and you
["1814, January 16th.]
'I do believe that the devil never created or per'verted such a fiend as the fool of a printer*. I am obliged to enclose you, luckily for me, this second 'proof, corrected, because there is an ingenuity in his 'blunders peculiar to himself. Let the press be guided by the present sheet.
6 Burn the other.
'Correct this also by the other in some things which 'I may have forgotten. There is one mistake he 'made, which, if it had stood, I would most certainly have broken his neck.'
Newstead Abbey, January 22nd, 1814. 'You will be glad to hear of my safe arrival here. The time of my return will depend upon the 'weather, which is so impracticable, that this letter ' has to advance through more snows than ever opposed
*The amusing rages into which he was thrown by the printer were vented not only in these notes, but frequently on the proof-sheets themselves. Thus, a passage in the Dedication having been printed the first of her bands in estimation,' he writes in the margin, bards, not bands—was there ever such a stupid misprint?' and, in correcting a line that had been curtailed of its due number of syllables, he says, 'Do not omit words—it is quite enough to alter or mis-spell them.'