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' on the eve of exploding in one way or the other, I will 'just add that, without attempting to influence the 'decision of the Contessa, a good deal depends upon it. If she and her husband make it up, you will perhaps see me in England sooner than you expect. 'If not, I shall retire with her to France or America, 'change my name, and lead a quiet provincial life. 'All this may seem odd, but I have got the poor girl ' into a scrape; and as neither her birth, nor her rank, 'nor her connexions by birth or marriage are inferior to my own, I am in honour bound to support her 'through. Besides, she is very a pretty woman-ask 'Moore-and not yet one and twenty.

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'If she gets over this and I get over my tertian, I 'will perhaps look in at Albemarle-street, some of 'these days, en passant to Bolivar.'

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LETTER 347.

'Venice, November 20th, 1819.

'A tertian ague which has troubled me for some time, and the indisposition of my daughter, have 'prevented me from replying before to your welcome

letter. I have not been ignorant of your progress 'nor of your discoveries, and I trust that you are no 'worse in health from your labours. You may rely

upon finding everybody in England eager to reap 'the fruits of them; and as you have done more than ' other men, I hope you will not limit yourself to saying 'less than may do justice to the talents and time you

have bestowed on your perilous researches. The 'first sentence of my letter will have explained to you 'why I cannot join you at Trieste. I was on the point ' of setting out for England (before I knew of your

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TO MR. BANKES.

arrival) when my child's illness has made her and me dependant on a Venetian Proto-Medico.

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'It is now seven years since you and I met;— 'which time you have employed better for others ' and more honourably for yourself than I have done.

In England you will find considerable changes 'public and private,-you will see some of our old college cotemporaries turned into lords of the treasury, admiralty, and the like,-others become re'formers and orators,―many settled in life, as it is called, and others settled in death; among the lat'ter (by the way, not our fellow collegians), Sheridan, Curran, Lady Melbourne, Monk Lewis, Frederick Douglas, &c. &c. &c.; but you will still find Mr. 'living and all his family, as also

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Should you come up this way, and I am still here,

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you need not be assured how glad I shall be to see ( you; I long to hear some part from you, of that 'which I expect in no long time to see. At length you have had better fortune than any traveller of 'equal enterprise (except Humboldt), in returning 'safe; and after the fate of the Brownes, and the Parkes, and the Burckhardts, it is hardly less surprise 'than satisfaction to get you back again.

'Believe me ever

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LETTER 348.

'And very affectionately yours,

BYRON.'

TO MR. MURRAY.

'Venice, December 4th, 1819.

You may do as you please, but you are about a 'hopeless experiment. Eldon will decide against you, 'were it only that my name is in the record. You 'will also recollect that if the

publication is pro

VOL. II.

20

'nounced against, on the grounds you mention, as 'indecent and blasphemous, that I lose all right in my daughter's guardianship and education, in short, all paternal authority, and everything concerning her, except

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'It was so decided in Shelley's case, because he had 'written Queen Mab, &c. &c. However, you can ask 'the lawyers, and do as you like: I do not inhibit

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you trying the question; I merely state one of the consequences to me. With regard to the copyright, it is hard that you should pay for a nonentity: I will 'therefore refund it, which I can very well do, not having spent it, nor begun upon it; and so we will be quits on that score. It lies at my banker's.

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"Of the Chancellor's law I am no judge; but take 'up Tom Jones, and read his Mrs. Waters and Molly 'Seagrim; or Prior's Hans Carvel and Paulo Purganti Smollett's Roderick Random, the chapter of Lord Strutwell, and many others; Peregrine Pickle, 'the scene of the Beggar Girl; Johnson's London, for 'coarse expressions; for instance, the words "*

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and "**;" Anstey's Bath Guide, the "Hearken, Lady Betty, hearken;"-take up, in short, Pope, 'Prior, Congreve, Dryden, Fielding, Smollett, and let 'the Counsel select passages, and what becomes of 'their copyright, if his Wat Tyler decision is to pass ' into a precedent? I have nothing more to say: you must judge for yourselves.

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'I wrote to you some time ago. I have had a tertian 'ague; my daughter Allegra has been ill also, and I ' have been almost obliged to run away with a married

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woman; but with some difficulty, and many internal struggles, I reconciled the lady with her lord, and 'cured the fever of the child with bark, and my own

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' with cold water. I think of setting out for England

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by the Tyrol in a few days, so that I could wish you Excuse my

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to direct your next letter to Calais.

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writing in great haste and late in the morning, or night, whichever you please to call it. The Third "Canto of "Don Juan" is completed, in about two ' hundred stanzas; very decent, I believe, but do not know, and it is useless to discuss until it be ascer'tained if it may or may not be a property.

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My present determination to quit Italy was un'looked for; but I have explained the reasons in let'ters to my sister and Douglas Kinnaird, a week or 'two ago. My progress will depend upon the snows ' of the Tyrol, and the health of my child, who is at present quite recovered; but I hope to get on well, ' and am

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'Yours ever and truly.

you

'P.S. Many thanks for your letters, to which are not to consider this as an answer, but as an ac

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knowledgment.'

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The struggle which, at the time of my visit to him, I had found Lord Byron so well disposed to make towards averting, as far as now lay in his power, some of the mischievous consequences which, both to the object of his attachment and himself, were likely to result from their connexion, had been brought, as the foregoing letters show, to a crisis soon after I left him. The Count Guiccioli, on his arrival at Venice, insisted, as we have seen, that his lady should return with him; and, after some conjugal negotiations, in which Lord Byron does not appear to have interfered, the young Contessa consented reluctantly to accompany her lord to Ravenna, it being first covenanted that, in

future, all communication between her and her lover should cease.

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In a few days after this,' says Mr. Hoppner, in some notices of his noble friend with which he has favoured me, he returned to Venice, very much out

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of spirits, owing to Madame Guiccioli's departure, ' and out of humour with everybody and everything ' around him. We resumed our rides at the Lido, ' and I did my best not only to raise his spirits, but to 'make him forget his absent mistress, and to keep

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him to his purpose of returning to England. He 'went into no society, and having no longer any relish 'for his former occupation, his time, when he was not 'writing, hung heavy enough on hand.'

The promise given by the lovers not to correspond was, as all parties must have foreseen, soon violated; and the letters Lord Byron addressed to the lady, at this time, though written in a language not his own, are rendered frequently even eloquent by the mere force of the feeling that governed him-a feeling which could not have owed its fuel to fancy alone, since now that reality had been so long substituted, it still burned From one of these letters, dated November 25th, I shall so far presume upon the discretionary power vested in me, as to lay a short extract or two before the reader-not merely as matters of curiosity, but on account of the strong evidence they afford of the struggle between passion and a sense of right that now agitated him.

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You are,' he says, and ever will be, my first thought. But, at this moment, I am in a state most 'dreadful, not knowing which way to decide;-on the 'one hand, fearing that I should compromise you for

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ever, by my return to Ravenna and the consequences

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