« 上一頁繼續 »
Venetian properb of appreciation, which is applicable 'to reasoning of all kinds.'
TO MR. MURRAY.
• Venice, March 25th, 1817. . Your letter and inclosure are safe; but "English gentlemen" are very rare-at least in Venice. I doubt whether there are at present any, save the 'consul and vice-consul, with neither of whom I ' have the slightest acquaintance. The moment I can pounce upon a witness, I will send the deed properly signed: but must he necessarily be genteel?
is not a place where the English are gregarious; 'their pigeon-houses are Florence, Naples, Rome, &c.; ' and to tell you the truth, this was one reason why I stayed here till the season of the purgation of Rome 'from these people, which is infected with them at this 'time, should arrive. Besides, I abhor the nation and 'the nation me; it is impossible for me to describe my ( own sensation on that point, but it may suffice to say, that, if I met with any of the race in the beautiful parts of Switzerland, the most distant glimpse or aspect of them poisoned the whole scene, and I do not choose to have the Pantheon, and St. Peter's, and the Capitol, spoiled for me too. This feeling may 'be probably owing to recent events; but it does not exist the less, and while it exists, I shall conceal it as little as any other.
'I have been seriously ill with a fever, but it is
gone. I believe or suppose it was the indigenous fever of the place, which comes every year at this time, and of which the physicians change the name 'annually, to despatch the people sooner. It is a kind of typhus, and kills occasionally. It was pretty
smart, but nothing particular, and has left me some 'debility and a great appetite. There are a good many ill at present, I suppose, of the same.
'I feel sorry for Horner, if there was anything in the world to make him like it; and still more sorry
for his friends, as there was much to make them. 'regret him. I had not heard of his death till by your ' letter.
'Some weeks ago I wrote to you my acknowledg'ments of Walter Scott's article. Now I know it to 'be his, it cannot add to my good opinion of him, but 'it adds to that of myself. He, and Gifford, and 'Moore, are the only regulars I ever knew who had 'nothing of the garrison about their manner: no non'sense, nor affectations, look you! As for the rest 'whom I have known, there was always more or less ' of the author about them-the pen peeping from 'behind the ear, and the thumbs a little inky, or so.
"Lalla Rookh "-you must recollect that, in the way of title, the "Giaour" has never been pro'nounced to this day; and both it and Childe Harold " sounded very facetious to the blue-bottles of wit and 'humour about town, till they were taught and startled ' into a proper deportment; and therefore Lalla Rookh,
which is very orthodox and oriental, is as good a ' a title as need be, if not better. I could wish rather that he had not called it "a Persian Tale;" firstly, 'because we have had Turkish Tales, and Hindoo
Tales, and Assyrian Tales, already; and tale is a 'word of which it repents me to have nicknamed poesy. ""Fable" would be better; and, secondly, "Persian
Tale" reminds one of the lines of Pope on Ambrose Phillips; though no one can say, to be sure, that this tale has been "turned for half-a-crown;" still
it is as well to avoid such clashings. "Persian 'Story"-why not?-or Romance? I feel as anxious 'for Moore as I could do for myself, for the soul of me, and I would not have him succeed otherwise 'than splendidly, which I trust he will do.
'With regard to the "Witch Drama," I sent all 'the three acts by post, week after week, within this last month. I repeat that I have not an idea if it is good or bad. If bad, it must, on no account, be ' risked in publication; if good, it is at your service. I value it at three hundred guineas, or less, if you 'like it. Perhaps, if published, the best way will be 'to add it to your winter volume, and not publish 'separately. The price will show you I don't pique
myself upon it; so speak out. You may put it in 'the fire, if you like, and Gifford don't like.
The Armenian Grammar is published-that is, one; the other is still in MS. My illness has pre' vented me from moving this month past, and I have 'done nothing more with the Armenian.
'Of Italian or rather Lombard manners, I could 'tell you little or nothing: I went two or three times 'to the governor's conversazione (and if you go once,
you are free to go always), at which, as I only saw very plain women, a formal circle, in short a worst 'sort of rout, I did not go again. I went to Academie ' and to Madame Albrizzi's, where I saw pretty much the same thing, with the addition of some literati, 'who are the same blue*, by, all the world over.
I fell in love the first week with Madame **, and I
have continued so ever since, because she is very
* Whenever a word or passage occurs (as in this instance) which Lord Byron would have pronounced emphatically in speaking, it appears, in his handwriting, as if written with something of the same vehemence.
pretty and pleasing, and talks Venetian, which amuses me, and is naïve.
'Very truly, &c.
P.S. Pray send the red tooth-powder by a safe hand, and speedily*.
• And mind you do not let escape
These rhymes to Morning Post or Perry, 'Which would be very treacherous—very,
And get me into such a scrape!
For, firstly, I should have to sally,
All in my little boat, against a Gally;
And, should I chance to slay the Assyrian wight,
Have next to combat with the female knight.
'You may show these matters to Moore and the 'select, but not to the profane; and tell Moore, that 'I wonder he don't write to one now and then.'
TO MR. MOORE.
Venice, March 31st, 1817.
You will begin to think my epistolary offerings (to whatever altar you please to devote them) rather 'prodigal. But, until you answer, I shall not abate, ' because you deserve no better. I know you are well, 'because I hear of your voyaging to London and the 'environs, which I rejoice to learn, because your note
Here follow the same rhymes (I read the Christabel,' &c.) which have already been given in one of his letters to myself.
'alarmed me by the purgation and phlebotomy therein prognosticated. I also hear of your being in the press; all which, methinks, might have furnished you with subject matter for a middle-sized letter, considering that I am in foreign parts, and that 'the last month's advertisements and obituary would 'be absolute news to me from your Tramontane 'country.
'I told you, in my last, I have had a smart fever. There is an epidemic in the place; but I suspect, 'from the symptoms, that mine was a fever of my own, ' and had nothing in common with the low, vulgar typhus, which is at this moment decimating Venice, and which has half unpeopled Milan, if the accounts 'be true. This malady has sorely discomfited my serving men, who want sadly to be gone away, and get me to remove. But, besides But, besides my natural per'versity, I was seasoned in Turkey, by the continual whispers of the plague, against apprehensions of contagion. Besides which, apprehension would not prevent it; and then I am still in love, and "forty 'thousand" fevers should not make me stir before my 'minute, while under the influence of that paramount ' delirium. Seriously speaking, there is a malady
rife in the city-a dangerous one, they say. However, mine did not appear so, though it was not plea
This is passion-week-and twilight-and all the 'world are at vespers. They have an eternal church
ing, as in all catholic countries, but are not so bigoted ' as they seem to be in Spain.
I don't know whether to be glad or sorry that you
are leaving Mayfield. Had I ever been at Newstead
during your stay there (except during the winter of