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'October 28th, 1819.

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'I have to thank you for your letter, and your compliment to Don Juan. I said nothing to you about it, understanding that it is a sore subject with the 'moral reader, and has been the cause of a great row; 'but I am glad you like it. I will say nothing about the shipwreck, except that I hope you think it is as 'nautical and technical as verse could admit in the " octave measure.

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LETTER 343.

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'The poem has not sold well, so Murray says—“but the best judges, &c. say, &c." so says that worthy man. I have never seen it in print. The Third 'Canto is in advance about one hundred stanzas; but the failure of the two first has weakened my estro, and it will neither be so good as the two former, nor 'completed, unless I get a little more riscaldato in its behalf. I understand the outcry was beyond everything. Pretty cant for people who read Tom Jones, and Roderick Random, and the Bath Guide, and Ariosto, and Dryden, and Pope-to say nothing of 'Little's Poems! Of course I refer to the morality of these works, and not to any pretension of mine to compete with them in anything but decency. I hope 'yours is the Paris edition, and that you did not pay the London price. I have seen neither except in 'the newspapers.

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TO MR. HOPPNER.

Pray make my respects to Mrs. H., and take care ' of your little boy. All my household have the fever and ague, except Fletcher, Allegra, and mysen (as

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we used to say in Nottinghamshire), and the horses,

' and Mutz, and Moretto. In the beginning of No

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vember, perhaps sooner, I expect to have the plea'sure of seeing you. To-day I got drenched by a

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'thunder-storm, and my horse and groom too, and his 'horse all bemired up to the middle in a cross-road. 'It was summer at noon, and at five we were bewin

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LETTER 344.

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tered; but the lightning was sent perhaps to let us know that the summer was not yet over. It is queer weather for the 27th October.

• Venice, October 29th, 1819.

Yours of the 15th came yesterday. I am sorry 'that you do not mention a large letter addressed to your care for Lady Byron, from me, at Bologna, two 'months ago. Pray tell me, was this letter received and forwarded?:

TO MR. MURRAY.

'You say nothing of the vice-consulate for the Ravenna patrician, from which it is to be inferred that 'the thing will not be done.

'I had written about a hundred stanzas of a Third Canto to Don Juan, but the reception of the two 'first is no encouragement to you nor me to proceed.

I had also written about 600 lines of a poem, the 'Vision (or Prophecy) of Dante, the subject a view of

Italy in the ages down to the present-supposing 'Dante to speak in his own person, previous to his death, and embracing all topics in the way of pro

phecy, like Lycophron's Cassandra; but this and the 'other are both at a stand-still for the present.

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'I gave Moore, who is gone to Rome, my Life in 'MS., in 78 folio sheets, brought down to 1816. But 'this I put into his hands for his care, as he has some ' other MSS. of mine-a Journal kept in 1814, &c. Neither are for publication during my life, but when 'I am cold you may do what you please. In the

'mean time, if you like to read them you may, and 'show them to anybody you like-I care not.

The Life is Memoranda, and not Confessions. I ' have left out all my loves (except in a general way),

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and many other of the most important things (be'cause I must not compromise other people),

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it is like the play of Hamlet-" the part of Hamlet ' omitted by particular desire." But you will find

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many opinions, and some fun, with a detailed account

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of my marriage and its consequences, as true as a party concerned can make such account, for I suppose we are all prejudiced.

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'I have never read over this Life since it was written, so that I know not exactly what it may repeat or contain. Moore and I passed some merry days 'together.

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I probably must return for business, or in my way 'to America. Pray, did you get a letter for Hobhouse, 'who will have told you the contents? I understand

that the Venezuelan commissioners had orders to 'treat with emigrants; now I want to go there. I 'should not make a bad South-American planter, and

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I should take my natural daughter, Allegra, with me, ' and settle. I wrote, at length, to Hobhouse, to get information from Perry, who, I suppose, is the best topographer and trumpeter of the new republicans. 'Pray write. Yours ever.

'

'P. S. Moore and I did nothing but laugh. He will tell you of "my whereabouts," and all my pro'ceedings at this present; they are as usual. You 'should not let those fellows publish false "Don 'Juans;" but do not put my name, because I mean to 'cut R-ts up like a gourd in the preface, if I con'tinue the poem.'

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"October 29th, 1819.

The Ferrara story is of a piece with all the rest of 'the Venetian manufacture,—you may judge. I only changed horses there since I wrote to you, after my 'visit in June last. "Convent," and "carry off," quotha! and "girl." I should like to know who has been carried off, except poor dear me. I have been more ravished myself than anybody since the Trojan war; but as to the arrest and its causes, one is as true as the other, and I can account for the invention ' of neither. I suppose it is some confusion of the 'tale of the F** and of Me. Guiccioli, and half a

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LETTER 345.

dozen more; but it is useless to unravel the web, ' when one has only to brush it away. I shall settle ' with Master E., who looks very blue at your in-decision, and swears that he is the best arithmetician in Europe; and so I think also, for he makes out two ' and two to be five.

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TO MR. HOPPNER.

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'You may see me next week. I have a horse or 'two more (five in all), and I shall repossess myself of 'Lido, and I will rise earlier, and we will go and shake ' our livers over the beach, as heretofore, if you like— and we will make the Adriatic roar again with our 'hatred of that now empty oyster-shell, without its 'pearl, the city of Venice.

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Murray sent me a letter yesterday: the impostors 'have published two new Third Cantos of Don Juan: -the devil take the impudence of some blackguard 'bookseller or other therefor! Perhaps I did not

make myself understood; he told me the sale had 'been great, 1200 out of 1500 quarto, I believe (which

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is nothing after selling 13,000 of the Corsair in one

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day); but that the "best judges, &c." had said it was

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very fine, and clever, and particularly good English, ' and poetry, and all those consolatory things, which

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' are not, however, worth a single copy to a bookseller and as to the author, of course I am in a 'd-ned passion at the bad taste of the times, and swear there is nothing like posterity, who, of course, 'must know more of the matter than their grand'fathers. There has been an eleventh commandment 'to the women not to read it, and, what is still more 'extraordinary, they seem not to have broken it. But that can be of little import to them, poor things, for 'the reading or non-reading a book will never

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'Count G. comes to Venice next week, and I am ' requested to consign his wife to him, which shall be 'done. What you say of the long evenings at the 'Mira, or Venice, reminds me of what Curran said to Moore: So I hear you have married a pretty 'woman, and a very good creature, too-an excellent 'creature. Pray-um!-how do you pass your evenings?" It is a devil of a question that, and perhaps

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as easy to answer with a wife as with a mistress.

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If you go to Milan, pray leave at least a Vice

"Consul-the only vice that will ever

Venice. D'Orville is a good fellow.

be wanting in

But you shall

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go to England in the spring with me, and plant Mrs. Hoppner at Berne with her relations for a few months.

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" I wish you had been here (at Venice, I mean, not the

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Mira) when Moore was here-we were very merry and tipsy. He hated Venice by the way, and swore it was a sad place*.

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So Madame Albrizzi's death is in danger-poor 'woman! Moore told me that at Geneva they had

* I beg to say that this report of my opinion of Venice is coloured somewhat too deeply by the feelings of the reporter.

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