LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 4 December 1821

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“Pisa, December 4th, 1821.

“By extracts in the English papers,—in your holy ally, Galignani’s ‘Messenger,’—I perceive that ‘the two greatest examples of human vanity in the present age’ are, firstly, ‘the ex-Emperor Napoleon,’ and, secondly, ‘his lordship, &c., the noble poet,’ meaning your humble servant, ‘poor guiltless I.’

“Poor Napoleon! he little dreamed to what vile comparisons the turn of the wheel would reduce him!

564 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.

“I have got here into a famous old feudal palazzo on the Arno, large enough for a garrison, with dungeons below and cells in the walls, and so full of ghosts that the learned Fletcher (my valet) has begged leave to change his room, and then refused to occupy his new room, because there were more ghosts there than in the other. It is quite true that there are most extraordinary noises (as in all old buildings), which have terrified the servants so as to incommode me extremely. There is one place where people were evidently walled up, for there is but one possible passage, broken through the wall, and then meant to be closed again upon the inmate. The house belonged to the Lanfranchi family (the same mentioned by Ugolino in his dream, as his persecutor with Sismondi), and has had a fierce owner or two in its time. The staircase, &c. is said to have been built by Michel Agnolo. It is not yet cold enough for a fire. What a climate!

“I am, however, bothered about these spectres (as they say the last occupants were, too), of whom I have as yet seen nothing, nor, indeed, heard (myself); but all the other ears have been regaled by all kinds of supernatural sounds. The first night I thought I heard an odd noise, but it has not been repeated. I have now been here more than a month.

“Yours, &c.”