LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 3 December 1817

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
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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, December 3d, 1817.

“A Venetian lady, learned and somewhat stricken in years, having, in her intervals of love and devotion, taken upon her to translate the Letters and write the Life of Lady Mary Wortley Montague,—to which undertaking there are two obstacles, firstly, ignorance of English, and, secondly, a total dearth of information on the subject of her projected biography,—has applied to me for facts or falsities upon this promising project. Lady Montague lived the last twenty or more years of her life in or near Venice, I believe; but here they know nothing, and remember nothing, for the story of to-day is succeeded by the scandal of to-morrow; and the wit, and beauty, and gallantry, which might render your countrywoman notorious in her own country, must have been here no great distinction—because the first is in no request, and the two latter are common to all women, or at least the last of them. If you can therefore tell me any thing, or get any thing told, of Lady Wortley Montague, I shall take it as a favour, and will transfer and translate it to the ‘Dama’ in question. And I pray you besides to send me, by some quick and safe voyager, the edition of her Letters, and the stupid Life, by Dr. Dallaway, published by her proud and foolish family.

“The death of the Princess Charlotte has been a shock even here, and must have been an earthquake at home. The Courier’s list of some three hundred heirs to the crown (including the house of Wirtemberg, with that * * *, P——, of disreputable memory, whom I remember seeing at various balls during the visit of the Muscovites, &c. in 1814) must be very consolatory to all true lieges, as well as foreigners, except Signor Travis, a rich Jew merchant of this city, who complains grievously of the length of British mourning, which has countermanded all the silks
A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 155
which he was on the point of transmitting, for a year to come. The death of this poor girl is melancholy in every respect, dying at twenty or so, in childbed—of a boy too, a present princess and future queen, and just as she began to be happy, and to enjoy herself and the hopes which she inspired. * * * * * *

“I think, as far as I can recollect, she is the first royal defunct in childbed upon record in our history. I feel sorry in every respect—for the loss of a female reign, and a woman hitherto harmless; and all the lost rejoicings, and addresses, and drunkenness, and disbursements, of John Bull on the occasion. * * * * * *

“The Prince will marry again, after divorcing his wife, and Mr. Southey will write an elegy now, and an ode then; the Quarterly will have an article against the press, and the Edinburgh an article, half and half, about reform and right of divorce; * * * * the British will give you Dr. Chalmers’s funeral sermon much commended, with a place in the stars for deceased royalty; and the Morning Post will have already yelled forth its ‘syllables of dolour.’

‘Woe, woe, Nealliny!—the young Nealliny!’

“It is some time since I have heard from you: are you in bad humour? I suppose so. I have been so myself, and it in your turn now, and by and by mine will come round again.

“Yours truly,

“P.S. Countess Albrizzi, come back from Paris, has brought me a medal of himself, a present from Denon to me, and a likeness of Mr. Rogers (belonging to her), by Denon also.”