LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 11 April 1817

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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“Venice, April 11, 1817.

“I shall continue to write to you while the fit is on me, by way of penance upon you for your former complaints of long silence. I dare say you would blush, if you could, for not answering. Next week I set out for Rome. Having seen Constantinople, I should like to look at t’other fellow. Besides, I want to see the Pope, and shall take care to tell him that I vote for the Catholics and no Veto.

“I sha’n’t go to Naples. It is but the second best sea-view, and I
A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 101
have seen the first and third, viz.—Constantinople and Lisbon (by the way, the last is but a river-view; however, they reckon it after Stamboul and Naples, and before Genoa), and Vesuvius is silent, and I have passed by Ætna. So I shall e’en return to Venice in July; and if you write, I pray you to address to Venice, which is my head, or rather my heart-quarters.

“My late physician, Doctor Polidori, is here, on his way to England, with the present Lord G * * and the widow of the late earl. Doctor Polidori has, just now, no more patients, because his patients are no more. He had lately three, who are now all dead—one embalmed. Horner and a child of Thomas Hope’s are interred at Pisa and Rome. Lord G * * died of an inflammation of the bowels; so they took them out, and sent them (on account of their discrepancies), separately from the carcass, to England. Conceive a man going one way, and his intestines another, and his immortal soul a third!—was there ever such a distribution? One certainly has a soul; but how it came to allow itself to be enclosed in a body is more than I can imagine. I only know if once mine gets out, I’ll have a bit of a tustle before I let it get in again to that or any other.

“And so poor dear Mr. Maturin’s second tragedy has been neglected by the discerning public. * * will be d—d glad of this, and d—d without being glad, if ever his own plays come upon ‘any stage.’

“I wrote to Rogers the other day, with a message for you. I hope that he flourishes. He is the Tithonus of poetry—immortal already. You and I must wait for it.

“I hear nothing—know nothing. You may easily suppose that the English don’t seek me, and I avoid them. To be sure, there are but few or none here, save passengers. Florence and Naples are their Margate and Ramsgate, and much the same sort of company too, by all accounts, which hurts us among the Italians.

“I want to hear of Lalla Rookh—are you out? Death and fiends! why don’t you tell me where you are, what you are, and how you are? I shall go to Bologna by Ferraro, instead of Mantua; because I would rather see the cell where they caged Tasso, and where he became mad
102 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1817.
and * *, than his own MSS. at Modena, or the Mantuan birthplace of that
harmonious plagiary and miserable flatterer, whose cursed hexameters were drilled into me at Harrow. I saw Verona and Vicenza on my way here—Padua too.

“I go alone,—but alone, because I mean to return here. I only want to see Rome. I have not the least curiosity about Florence, though I must see it for the sake of the Venus, &c. &c.; and I wish also to see the Fall of Terni. I think to return to Venice by Ravenna and Rimini, of both of which I mean to take notes for Leigh Hunt, who will be glad to hear of the scenery of his Poem. There was a devil of a review of him in the Quarterly, a year ago, which he answered. All answers are imprudent; but, to be sure, poetical flesh and blood must have the last word—that’s certain. I thought, and think, very highly of his Poem; but I warned him of the row his favourite antique phraseology would bring him into.

“You have taken a house at Hornsey; I had much rather you had taken one in the Apennines. If you think of coming out for a summer, or so, tell me, that I may be upon the hover for you.

“Ever, &c.”