LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 17 July 1818

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Venice, July 17th, 1818.

“I suppose that Aglietti will take whatever you offer, but till his return from Vienna I can make him no proposal; nor, indeed, have you authorised me to do so. The three French notes are by Lady Mary; also another half-English-French-Italian. They are very pretty and passionate; it is a pity that a piece of one of them is lost. Algarotti seems to have treated her ill; but she was much his senior, and all women are used ill—or say so, whether they are or not.

* * * * * * *

“I shall be glad of your books and powders. I am still in waiting for Hanson’s clerk, but luckily not at Geneva. All my good friends wrote to me to hasten there to meet him, but not one had the good sense, or the good nature, to write afterwards to tell me that it would be time and a journey thrown away, as he could not set off for some months after the period appointed. If I had taken the journey on the general suggestion, I never would have spoken again to one of you as long as I existed. I have written to request Mr. Kinnaird, when the foam of his politics is wiped away, to extract a positive answer from that
A. D. 1818. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 193
* * * *, and not to keep me in a state of suspense upon the subject. I hope that Kinnaird, who has my power of attorney, keeps a look-out upon the gentleman, which is the more necessary, as I have a great dislike to the idea of coming over to look after him myself.

“I have several things begun, verse and prose, but none in much forwardness. I have written some six or seven sheets of a Life, which I mean to continue, and send you when finished. It may perhaps serve for your projected editions. If you would tell me exactly (for I know nothing, and have no correspondents, except on business) the state of the reception of our late publications, and the feeling upon them, without consulting any delicacies (I am too seasoned to require them), I should know how and in what manner to proceed. I should not like to give them too much, which may probably have been the case already; but, as I tell you, I know nothing.

“I once wrote from the fulness of my mind and the love of fame (not as an end, but as a means, to obtain that influence over men’s minds which is power in itself and in its consequences), and now from habit and from avarice; so that the effect may probably be as different as the inspiration. I have the same facility, and indeed necessity, of composition, to avoid idleness (though idleness in a hot country is a pleasure), but a much greater indifference to what is to become of it, after it has served my immediate purpose. However, I should on no account like to——but I won’t go on, like the archbishop of Granada, as I am very sure that you dread the fate of Gil Blas, and with good reason.

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. I have written some very savage letters to Mr. Hobhouse, Kinnaird, to you, and to Hanson, because the silence of so long a time made me tear off my remaining rags of patience. I have seen one or two late English publications which are no great things, except Rob Roy. I shall be glad of Whistlecraft.”