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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 25 February 1817

Life of Byron: to 1806
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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, February 25th, 1817.

“I wrote to you the other day in answer to your letter; at present I would trouble you with a commission, if you would be kind enough to undertake it.

“You perhaps know Mr. Love, the jeweller, of Old Bond-street?—In 1813, when in the intention of returning to Turkey, I purchased of him, and paid (argent comptant) about a dozen snuff-boxes, of more or less value, as presents for some of my Mussulman acquaintance. These I have now with me. The other day, having occasion to make an alteration in the lid of one (to place a portrait in it), it has turned out to be silver-gilt instead of gold; for which last it was sold and paid for. This was discovered by the workman in trying it, before taking off the hinges and working upon the lid. I have of course recalled and preserved the box in statu quo. What I wish you to do is, to see the said Mr. Love, and inform him of this circumstance, adding, from me, that I will take care he shall not have done this with impunity.

“If there is no remedy in law, there is at least the equitable one of making known his guilt,—that is, his silver-gilt, and be d—d to him.

“I shall carefully preserve all the purchases I made of him on that occasion for my return, as the plague in Turkey is a barrier to travelling there at present, or rather the endless quarantine which would be the consequence before one could land in coming back. Pray state the matter to him with due ferocity.

“I sent you the other day some extracts from a kind of Drama which I had begun in Switzerland and finished here; you will tell me if they are received. They were only in a letter. I have not yet had energy to copy it out, or I would send you the whole in different covers.

“The Carnival closed this day last week.

Mr. Hobhouse is still at Rome, I believe. I am at present a little unwell;—sitting up too late and some subsidiary dissipations have lowered
78 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1817.
my blood a good deal; but I have at present the quiet and temperance of Lent before me.

“Believe me, &c.

P.S. Remember me to Mr. Gifford.—I have not received your parcel or parcels.—Look into ‘Moore’s (Dr. Moore’s) View of Italy’ for me; in one of the volumes you will find an account of the Doge Valiere (it ought to be Falieri) and his conspiracy, or the motives of it. Get it transcribed for me, and send it in a letter to me soon. I want it, and cannot find so good an account of that business here; though the veiled patriot, and the place where he was crowned, and afterwards decapitated, still exist and are shown. I have searched all their histories; but the policy of the old aristocracy made their writers silent on his motives, which were a private grievance against one of the patricians.

“I mean to write a tragedy on the subject, which appears to me very dramatic: an old man, jealous, and conspiring against the state of which he was the actually reigning chief. The last circumstance makes it the most remarkable and only fact of the kind in all history of all nations.”