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women harshly it may be so, but I have for I know nothing about it : - except that been their martyr; my whole life has been every body are very kind to her, and not sacrificed to them and by them. I mean to discourteous to me. Fathers, and all releave Venice in a few days, but you will ad- lations, quite agreeable. dress your letters here as usual. When I fix elsewhere, you shall know.

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Yours, &c."

Soon after this letter to Mr. Murray he set out for Ravenna, from which place we shall find his correspondence for the next year and a half dated. For a short time after his arrival, he took up his residence at an inn; but the Count Guiccioli having allowed him to hire a suite of apartments in the Palazzo Guiccioli itself, he was once more lodged under the same roof with the Countess Guiccioli.

LETTER 351. TO MR. HOPPNER.

2

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"Ravenna, Dec. 31. 1819. "I have been here this week, and was obliged to put on my armour and go the night after my arrival to the Marquis Cavalli's, where there were between two and three hundred of the best company I have seen in Italy, - more beauty, more youth, and more diamonds among the women than have been seen these fifty years in the SeaSodom. I never saw such a difference between two places of the same latitude, (or platitude, it is all one,)— music, dancing, and play, all in the same salle. The G.'s object appeared to be to parade her foreign friend as much as possible, and, faith, if she seemed to glory in so doing, it was not for me to be ashamed of it. Nobody seemed surprised; all the women, on the contrary, were, as it were, delighted with the excellent example. The vice-legate, and all the other vices, were as polite as could be; and I, who had acted on the reserve, was fairly obliged to take the lady under my arm, and look as much like a cicisbeo as I could on so short a notice,- to say nothing of the embarrassment of a cocked hat and sword, much more formidable to me than ever it will be to the enemy.

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Yours ever,

“B.

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"Here's a happy new year! but with reason,
I beg you'll permit me to say --

Wish me many returns of the season,
But as few as you please of the day.

My this present writing is to direct you that, if she chooses, she may see the MS. Memoir in your possession. I wish her to have fair play, in all cases, even though it will not be published till after my decease. For this purpose, it were but just that Lady B. should know what is there said of her and hers, that she may have full power to remark on or respond to any part or parts, as may seem fitting to herself. This is fair dealing, I presume, in all events.

"To change the subject, are you in England? I send you an epitaph for Castlereagh. **** * Another for Pitt :

"With death doom'd to grapple
Beneath this cold slab, he
Who lied in the Chapel

Now lies in the Abbey.

"The gods seem to have made me poetical this day

"I write in great haste- do you answer as hastily. I can understand nothing of all this; but it seems as if the G. had been presumed to be planted, and was determined to show that she was not, - plantation, in | Or, this hemisphere, being the greatest moral misfortune. But this is mere conjecture,

1 [P. S.-Pray let my sister be informed that I am not coming as I intended. I have not the courage to tell her so myself, at least as yet. But I will soon, with the reasons. Pray tell her so.-MS.]

:

"In digging up your bones, Tom Paine,
Will. Cobbett has done well:
You visit him on earth again,
He'll visit you in hell.

"You come to him on earth again, He'll go with you to hell.

2" Gehenna of the waters! thou Sea-Sodom ! Thus I devote thee to the infernal gods! Thee and thy serpent seed!"

Marino Faliero, act v. sc. 3.]

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"Pray let not these versiculi go forth with my name, except among the initiated, because my friend H. has foamed into a reformer, and, I greatly fear, will subside into Newgate 1; since the Honourable House, according to Galignani's Reports of Parliamentary Debates, are menacing a prosecution to a pamphlet of his. I shall be very sorry to hear of any thing but good for him, particularly in these miserable squabbles; but these are the natural effects of taking a part in them.

"For my own part, I had a sad scene since you went. Count Gu. came for his wife, and none of those consequences which Scott prophesied ensued. There was no damages, as in England, and so Scott lost his wager. But there was a great scene, for she would not, at first, go back with him. —at least, she did go back with him; but he insisted, reasonably enough, that all communication should be broken off between her and me. So, finding Italy very dull, and having a fever tertian, I packed up my valise, and prepared to cross the Alps; but my daughter fell ill, and detained me.

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"After her arrival at Ravenna, the Guiccioli fell ill again too; and at last, her father (who had, all along, opposed the liaison most violently till now) wrote to me to say that she was in such a state that he begged me to come and see her, and that her husband had acquiesced, in consequence of her relapse, and that he (her father) would guarantee all this, and that there would be no further scenes in consequence between them, and that I should not be compromised in any way. I set out soon after, and have been here ever since. I found her a good deal altered, but getting better: - all this comes of reading Corinna.

"The Carnival is about to begin, and I saw about two or three hundred people at the Marquis Cavalli's the other evening, with as much youth, beauty, and diamonds among the women, as ever averaged in the like number. My appearance in waiting on the Guiccioli was considered as a thing of course. The Marquis is her uncle, and naturally considered me as her relation.

"The paper is out, and so is the letter. Pray write. Address to Venice, whence the letters will be forwarded. Yours, &c.

"B."

1 [Lord Byron's fears were well founded. When the above was written, his friend Mr. Hobhouse was actually in Newgate. Mr. Stuart Wortley (now Lord Wharncliffe) having, on the 10th of December called the attention of the House of Commons to certain passages contained in a pamphlet entitled "A Trifling Mistake in Thomas Lord Erskine's recent Preface," the said pamphlet was voted a breach of privilege, and the pub

LETTER 353. TO MR. HOPPNER.

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"Ravenna, January 20. 1820.

"I have not decided any thing about remaining at Ravenna. I may stay a day, a week, a year, all my life; but all this depends upon what I can neither see nor foresee. I came because I was called, and will go the moment that I perceive what may render my departure proper. My attachment has neither the blindness of the beginning, nor the microscopic accuracy of the close to such liaisons; but time and the hour' must decide upon what I do. I can as yet say nothing, because I hardly know any thing beyond what I have told you.

"I wrote to you last post for my moveables, as there is no getting a lodging with a chair or table here ready; and as I have already some things of the sort at Bologna which I had last summer there for my daughter, I have directed them to be moved; and wish the like to be done with those of Venice, that I may at least get out of the Albergo Imperiale,' which is imperial in all true sense of the epithet. Buffini may be paid for his poison. I forgot to thank you and Mrs. Hoppner for a whole treasure of toys for Allegra before our departure; it was very kind, and we are very grateful.

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Your account of the weeding of the Governor's party is very entertaining. If you do not understand the consular exceptions, I do; and it is right that a man of honour, and a woman of probity, should find it so, particularly in a place where there are not ten righteous.' As to nobility-in England none are strictly noble but peers, not even peers' sons, though titled by courtesy ; nor knights of the garter, unless of the peerage, so that Castlereagh himself would hardly pass through a foreign herald's ordeal till the death of his father.

- but

"The snow is a foot deep here. There is a theatre, and opera,-the Barber of Seville. Balls begin on Monday next. Pay the porter for never looking after the gate, and ship my chattels, and let me know, or let Castelli let me know, how my lawsuits go on fee him only in proportion to his success. Perhaps we may meet in the spring yet, if you are for England. I see Hobhouse has got into a scrape, which does not please me; he should not have gone so deep among

lisher was ordered to attend at the bar; but Mr. (now the Right Honourable) Edward Ellice having stated, that he was authorised to give up the name of the writer, Mr. Hobhouse was committed to Newgate, and remained there till the dissolution in February. At the ensuing election, he was chosen one of the representatives for Westminster.]

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If Scott is returned, pray remember me to him, and plead laziness the whole and sole cause of my not replying:- dreadful is the exertion of letter-writing. The Carnival here is less boisterous, but we have balls and a theatre. I carried Bankes to both, and he carried away, I believe, a much more favourable impression of the society here than of that of Venice, collect that I speak of the native society only.

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I am drilling very hard to learn how to double a shawl, and should succeed to admiration if I did not always double it the wrong side out; and then I sometimes confuse and bring away two, so as to put all the Serventi out, besides keeping their Servite in the cold till every body can get back their property. But it is a dreadfully moral place, for you must not look at anybody's wife except your neighbour's, if you go to the next door but one, you are scolded, and presumed to be perfidious. And then a relazione or an amicizia seems to be a regular affair of from five to fifteen years, at which period, if there occur a widowhood, it finishes by a sposalizio ; and in the mean time it has so many rules of its own, that it is not much better. A man actually becomes a piece of female property,—they won't let their Serventi marry until there is a vacancy for themselves. I know two instances of this in one family here.

to have bored you in person. I never interfere in anybody's squabbles, - she may scratch your face herself.

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The weather here has been dreadfulsnow several feet—a fiume broke down a bridge, and flooded heaven knows how many campi; then rain came-and it is still thawing so that my saddle-horses have a sinecure till the roads become more practicable. Why did Lega give away the goat? a blockhead- I must have him again.

"Will you pay Missiaglia and the Buffo Buffini of the Gran Bretagna? I heard from Moore, who is at Paris; I had previously written to him in London, but he has not yet got my letter, apparently.

"Believe me, &c."

LETTRR 355. TO MR. MURRAY.

"Ravenna, February 7. 1820. "I have had no letter from you these two months; but since I came here in December, 1819, I sent you a letter for Moore, who is God knows where in Paris or London, I presume. I have copied and cut the third canto of Don Juan into two, because it was too long; and I tell you this beforehand, because in case of any reckoning between you and me, these two are only to go for one, as this was the original form, and, in fact, the two together are not longer than one of the first: so remember that I have not made this division to double upon you; but merely to suppress some tediousness in the aspect of the thing. I should have served you a pretty trick if I had sent you, for example, cantos of 50 stanzas each.

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I am translating the first canto of Pulci's Morgante Maggiore, and have half done it; but these last days of the Carnival confuse and interrupt every thing.

"I have not yet sent off the cantos, and have some doubt whether they ought to be published, for they have not the spirit of the first. The outcry has not frightened but has hurt me, and I have not written con amore this time. It is very decent, however, and as dull as the last new comedy.'

I think my translations of Pulci will make you stare. It must be put by the original, stanza for stanza, and verse for verse; and you will see what was permitted in a Catho "To-night there was a 1 Lotterylic country and a bigoted age to a churchafter the opera; it is an odd ceremony. Bankes and I took tickets of it, and buffooned together very merrily. He is gone to Firenze. Mrs. J** should have sent you my postscript; there was no occasion

1 The word here, being under the seal, is illegible.

man, on the score of religion:- and so tell those buffoons who accuse me of attacking the Liturgy.

"I write in the greatest haste, it being the hour of the Corso, and I must go and buffoon with the rest. My daughter Allegra is just gone with the Countess G. in Count G.'s

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Ravenna, February 19. 1820. "I have room for you in the house here, as I had in Venice, if you think fit to make use of it; but do not expect to find the same gorgeous suite of tapestried halls. Neither dangers nor tropical heats have ever prevented your penetrating wherever you had a mind to it, and why should the snow now? -Italian snow -fie on it!—so pray come. Tita's heart yearns for you, and mayhap for your silver broad pieces; and your playfellow, the monkey, is alone and inconsolable.

"I forget whether you admire or tolerate red hair, so that I rather dread showing you all that I have about me and around me in this city. Come, nevertheless, you can pay Dante a morning visit, and I will undertake that Theodore and Honoria will be most happy to see you in the forest hard by. We Goths, also, of Ravenna, hope you will not despise our arch-Goth, Theodoric. I must leave it to these worthies to entertain you all the fore part of the day, seeing that I have none at all myself—the lark that rouses me from my slumbers being an afternoon bird. But, then, all your evenings, and as much as you can give me of your nights, will be mine. Ay! and you will find me eating flesh, too, like yourself or any other cannibal, except it be upon Fridays. Then, there are more cantos (and be d--d to them) of what the courteous reader, Mr. Saunders, calls Grub Street in my drawer, which I have a little scheme to commit to your charge for England; only I must first cut up (or cut down) two aforesaid cantos into three, because I am grown base and mercenary, and it is an ill precedent to let my Mecanas, Murray, get too much for his money. I am busy, also, with Pulcitranslating-servilely translating, stanza for stanza, and line for line, two octaves every night, the same allowance as at Venice.

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435

there for me, and burn them? - or I will so do not burn them, but bring them, — and believe me ever and very affectionately yours, "BYRON.

"P. S.

from yourself something about Cyprus, so I have a particular wish to hear pray recollect all that you can. night."

LETTER 357. TO MR. MURRAY.

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· Good

Ravenna, February 21. 1820.

"The bulldogs will be very agreeable. I have only those of this country, who, though good, have not the tenacity of tooth and stoicism in endurance of my canine fellow-citizens: then pray send them by the readiest conveyance-perhaps best by sea. Mr. Kinnaird will disburse for them, and deduct from the amount on your application or that of Captain Tyler.

"I see the good old King1 is gone to his place. One can't help being sorry, though blindness, and age, and insanity, are supposed to be drawbacks on human felicity; but I am not at all sure that the latter, at least, might not render him happier than any of his subjects.

"I have no thoughts of coming to the coronation, though I should like to see it, and though I have a right to be a puppet in it; but my division with Lady Byron, which has drawn an equinoctial line between me and mine in all other things, will operate in this also to prevent my being in the same procession.

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By Saturday's post I sent you four packets, containing Cantos third and fourth. Recollect that these two cantos reckon only as one with you and me, being, in fact, the third canto cut into two, because I found it too long. Remember this, and don't imagine that there could be any other motive. The whole is about 225 stanzas, more or less, and a lyric of 96 lines, so that they are no longer than the first single cantos: but the truth is, that I made the first too long, and should have cut those down also had I thought better. Instead of saying in future for so many cantos, say so many stanzas or pages; it was Jacob Tonson's way, and certainly the best; it prevents mistakes. I might have sent you a dozen cantos of 40 stanzas each, those of The Minstrel' (Beattie's) are no longer, — and ruined you at once, if you don't suffer as it is. But

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ment with Tonson to furnish ten thousand lines for two hundred and fifty guineas; and, to make up the full number, he gave the bookseller the Epistle to his Cousin, and his Alexander's Feast.]

recollect that you are not pinned down to any thing you say in a letter, and that, calculating even these two cantos as one only (which they were and are to be reckoned), you are not bound by your offer. Act as may seem fair to all parties.

"I have finished my translation of the first canto of The Morgante Maggiore' of Pulci, which I will transcribe and send. It is the parent, not only of Whistlecraft, but of all jocose Italian poetry. You must print it side by side with the original Italian, because I wish the reader to judge of the fidelity it is stanza for stanza, and often line for line, if not word for word.

"You ask me for a volume of manners, &c. on Italy. Perhaps I am in the case to know more of them than most Englishmen, because I have lived among the natives, and in parts of the country where Englishmen, never resided before (I speak of Romagna and this place particularly); but there are many reasons why I do not choose to treat in print on such a subject. I have lived in their houses and in the heart of their families, sometimes merely as 'amico di casa,' and sometimes as 'amico di cuore' of the Dama, and in neither case do I feel myself authorised in making a book of them. Their moral is not your moral; their life is not your life; you would not understand it; it is not English, nor French, nor German, which you would all understand. The conventual education, the cavalier servitude, the habits of thought and living are so entirely different, and the difference becomes so much more striking the more you live intimately with them, that I know not how to make you comprehend a people who are at once temperate and profligate, serious in their characters and buffoons in their amusements, capable of impressions and passions, which are at once sudden and durable (what you find in no other nation), and who actually have no society (what we would call so), as you may see by their comedies; they have no real comedy, not even in Goldoni, and that is because they have no society to draw it from.

"Their conversazioni are not society at all. They go to the theatre to talk, and into company to hold their tongues. The women sit in a circle, and the men gather into groups, or they play at dreary faro, or 'lotto reale,' for small sums. Their academie are concerts like our own, with better music and

1[" To the kind reader of our sober clime

This way of writing will appear exotic;

Pulci was sire of the half-serious rhyme,

Who sang when chivalry was more Quixotic,

more form. Their best things are the carnival balls and masquerades, when every body runs mad for six weeks. After their dinners and suppers they make extempore verses and buffoon one another; but it is in a humour which you would not enter into, ye of the north.

"In their houses it is better. I should know something of the matter, having had a pretty general experience among their women, from the fisherman's wife up to the Nobil Dama, whom I serve. Their system has its rules, and its fitnesses, and its decorums, so as to be reduced to a kind of discipline or game at hearts, which admits few deviations, unless you wish to lose it. They are extremely tenacious, and jealous as furies, not permitting their lovers even to marry if they can help it, and keeping them always close to them in public as in private, whenever they can. In short, they transfer marriage to adultery, and strike the not out of that commandment. The reason is, that they marry for their parents, and love for themselves. They exact fidelity from a lover as a debt of honour, while they pay the husband as a tradesman, that is, not at all. You hear a person's character, male or female, canvassed not as depending on their conduct to their husbands or wives, but to their mistress or lover. If I wrote a quarto, | I don't know that I could do more than amplify what I have here noted. It is to be observed that while they do all this, the greatest outward respect is to be paid to the husbands, not only by the ladies, but by their Serventi - particularly if the husband serves no one himself (which is not often the case, however): so that you would often suppose them relations the Servente making the figure of one adopted into the family. Sometimes the ladies run a little restive and elope, or divide, or make a scene: but this is at starting, generally, when they know no better, or when they fall in love with a foreigner, or some such anomaly, and is always reckoned unnecessary and extravagant.

I

"You enquire after Dante's Prophecy: have not done more than six hundred lines, but will vaticinate at leisure.

"Of the bust I know nothing. No cameos or seals are to be cut here or elsewhere that

I

know of, in any good style. Hobhouse should write himself to Thorwaldsen: the bust was made and paid for three years ago.

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