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Fenice, where I went, as also to most of the ridottos, &c. &c.; and, though I did not dissipate much upon 'the whole, yet I find "the sword wearing out the 'scabbard," though I have but just turned the corner ' of twenty-nine.
'I have lately had some news of litteratoor, as I heard the editor of the Monthly pronounce it once upon a 'time. I hear that W. W. has been publishing and ' responding to the attacks of the Quarterly, in the 'learned Perry's Chronicle. I read his poesies last autumn, and, amongst them, found an epitaph on his bull-dog, and another on myself. But I beg leave to assure him (like the astrologer Partridge) that I am 'not only alive now, but was alive also at the time he wrote it. Hobhouse has (I hear, also) expectorated a letter against the Quarterly, addressed to me. I 'feel awkwardly situated between him and Gifford, 'both being my friends.
And this is your month of going to press-by the 'body of Diana! (a Venetian oath,) I feel as anxious but not fearful for you-as if it were myself coming out in a work of humour, which would, you know, be the antipodes of all my previous publica'tions. I don't think you have anything to dread but
your own reputation. You must keep up to that. 'As you never showed me a line of your work, I do not even know your measure; but you must send me ' a copy by Murray forthwith, and then you shall hear 'what I think. I dare say you are in a pucker. Of 'all authors, you are the only really modest one I ever ' met with, which would sound oddly enough to those who recollect your morals when you were young'that is, when you were extremely young-I don't 'mean to stigmatise you either with years or mo'rality.
'I believe I told you that the E. R. had attacked me, in an article on Coleridge (I have not seen it)— "Et tu, Jeffrey?"-"there is nothing but roguery in 'villanous man." But I absolve him of all attacks, present and future; for I think he had already pushed ' his clemency in my behoof to the utmost, and I shall always think well of him. I only wonder he did not begin before, as my domestic destruction was a fine opening for all the world, of which all who could ' did well to avail themselves.
If I live ten years longer, you will see, however, 'that it is not over with me-I don't mean in literature, for that is nothing; and it may seem odd enough 'to say, I do not think it my vocation. But you will 'see that I shall do something or other-the times and fortune permitting-that, "like the cosmogony, or creation of the world, will puzzle the philosophers ' of all ages. But I doubt whether my constitution 'will hold out. I have, at intervals, exorcised it most devilishly.
I have not yet fixed a time of return, but I think of the spring. I shall have been away a year in April 'next. You never mention Rogers, nor Hodgson, your
'clerical neighbour, who has lately got a living near you. Has he also got a child yet?-his desideratum, ' when I saw him last.
Pray let me hear from you, at your time and 'leisure, believing me ever and truly and affection'ately, &c.'
"In acknowledging the arrival of the article from the "Quarterly," which I received two days ago, I 'cannot express myself better than in the words of my 'sister Augusta, who (speaking of it) says, that it is 'written in a spirit "of the most feeling and kind nature." It is, however, something more; it seems 'to me (as far as the subject of it may be permitted to 'judge) to be very well written as a composition, and 'I think will do the journal no discredit, because even those who condemn its partiality must praise its generosity. The temptations to take another and a less 'favourable view of the question have been so great ' and numerous, that, what with public opinion, poli'tics, &c. he must be a gallant as well as a good man, 'who has ventured in that place, and at this time, to 'write such an article even anonymously. Such things are, however, their own reward, and I even 'flatter myself that the writer, whoever he may be (and I have no guess), will not regret that the perusal of this has given me as much gratification as any 'composition of that nature could give, and more than any other has given,—and I have had a good many
* An Article in No. 31 of this Review, written, as Lord Byron afterwards discovered, by Sir Walter Scott, and well meriting, by the kind and generous spirit that breathes through it, the warm and lasting gratitude it awakened in the noble Poet.
in my time of one kind or the other. It is not the 'mere praise, but there is a tact and a delicacy throughout, not only with regard to me, but to others, which, as it had not been observed elsewhere, I had 'till now doubted whether it could be observed any'where.
Perhaps some day or other you will know or tell me the writer's name. Be assured, had the article 'been a harsh one, I should not have asked it.
'I have lately written to you frequently, with ex'tracts, &c., which I hope you have received, or will ' receive, with or before this letter.-Ever since the 'conclusion of the Carnival I have been unwell (do 'not mention this, on any acount, to Mrs. Leigh; for if I grow worse, she will know it too soon, and if I 'get better, there is no occasion that she should know it at all), and have hardly stirred out of the house. However, I don't want a physycian, and if I did, very luckily those of Italy are the worst in the world, so ' that I should still have a chance. They have, I be'lieve, one famous surgeon, Vacca, who lives at Pisa, 'who might be useful in case of dissection:-but he 'is some hundred miles off. My malady is a sort of 'lowish fever, originating from what my "pastor and master," Jackson, would call "taking too much out ' of one's self." However, I am better within this day
'I missed seeing the new Patriarch's procession to 'St. Mark's the other day (owing to my indisposition), 'with six hundred and fifty priests in his rear—a "goodly army. The admirable government of Vienna, in its edict from thence, authorizing his installation, prescribed, as part of the pageant, “a coach and four horses." To show how very very
"German to the matter" this was, you have only to suppose our parliament commanding the Archbishop ' of Canterbury to proceed from Hyde Park Corner to St. Paul's Cathedral in the Lord Mayor's barge, or 'the Margate hoy. There is but St. Marc's Place in 'all Venice broad enough for a carriage to move, and
it is paved with large smooth flag-stones, so that the 'chariot and horses of Elijah himself would be puz'zled to manœuvre upon it. Those of Pharaoh might 'do better; for the canals-and particularly the 'Grand Canal-are sufficiently capacious and extensive for his whole host. Of course, no coach could 'be attempted; but the Venetians, who are very naïve as well as arch, were much amused with the ordi
The Armenian Grammar is published; but my 'Armenian studies are suspended for the present till
my head aches a little less. I sent you the other day, in two covers, the First Act of "Manfred," a 'drama as mad as Nat. Lee's Bedlam tragedy, which was in 25 acts and some odd scenes :-mine is but in 'Three Acts.
'I find I have begun this letter at the wrong end: never mind; I must end it, then, at the right.
'Yours ever very truly and obligedly, &c.'
TO MR. MURRAY.
"Venice, March 9th, 1817.
In remitting the Third Act of the sort of dramatic poem of which you will by this time have received 'the Two First (at least I hope so), which were sent 'within the last three weeks, I have little to observe,
except that you must not publish it (if it ever is 'published) without giving me previous notice. I