LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Samuel Rogers, 3 March 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
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“Venice, March 3d, 1818.

“I have not, as you say, ‘taken to wife the Adriatic.’ I heard of Moore’s loss from himself in a letter which was delayed upon the road three months. I was sincerely sorry for it, but in such cases what are words?

“The villa you speak of is one at Este, which Mr. Hoppner (Consul-general here) has transferred to me. I have taken it for two years as a place of Villeggiatura. The situation is very beautiful indeed, among the Euganean hills, and the house very fair. The vines are luxuriant to a great degree, and all the fruits of the earth abundant. It is close to the old castle of the Estes, or Guelphs, and within a few miles of Arqua, which I have visited twice, and hope to visit often.

“Last summer (except an excursion to Rome) I passed upon the Brenta. In Venice I winter, transporting my horses to the Lido, bordering the Adriatic (where the fort is), so that I get a gallop of some miles daily along the strip of beach which reaches to Malamocco, when
A. D. 1818. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 167
in health; but within these few weeks I have been unwell. At present I am getting better. The Carnival was short, but a good one. I don’t go out much, except during the time of masques; but there are one or two conversazioni, where I go regularly, just to keep up the system; as I had letters to their givers; and they are particular on such points; and now and then, though very rarely, to the Governor’s.

It is a very good place for women. I like the dialect and their manner very much. There is a naïveté about them which is very winning, and the romance of the place is a mighty adjunct; the bel sangue is not, however, now amongst the dame or higher orders; but all under i fazzioli, or kerchiefs (a white kind of veil which the lower orders wear upon their heads);—the vesta zendale, or old national female costume is no more. The city, however, is decaying daily, and does not gain in population. However, I prefer it to any other in Italy; and here have I pitched my staff, and here do I purpose to reside for the remainder of my life, unless events, connected with business not to be transacted out of England, compel me to return for that purpose; otherwise I have few regrets, and no desires to visit it again for its own sake. I shall probably be obliged to do so, to sign papers for my affairs and a proxy for the Whigs, and to see Mr. Waite, for I can’t find a good dentist here, and every two or three years one ought to consult one. About seeing my children I must take my chance. One I shall have sent here; and I shall be very happy to see the legitimate one, when God pleases, which he perhaps will some day or other. As for my mathematical * * *, I am as well without her.

“Your account of your visit to Fonthill is very striking: could you beg of him for me a copy in MS. of the remaining Tales*? I think I deserve them, as a strenuous and public admirer of the first one. I will return it when read, and make no ill use of the copy, if granted. Murray would send me out any thing safely. If ever I return to England, I should like very much to see the author, with his permission. In the mean time, you could not oblige me more than by obtaining me

* A continuation of Vathek, by the author of that very striking and powerful production. The “Tales” of which this unpublished sequel consists are, I understand, those supposed to have been related by the Princes in the Hall of Eblis.

168 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1818.
the perusal I request, in French or English,—all’s one for that, though I prefer Italian to either. I have a French copy of Vathek, which I bought at Lausanne. I can read French with great pleasure and facility, though I neither speak nor write it. Now Italian I can speak with some fluency, and write sufficiently for my purposes, but I don’t like their modern prose at all; it is very heavy, and so different from

“They say Francis is Junius;—I think it looks like it. I remember meeting him at Earl Grey’s at dinner. Has not he lately married a young woman; and was not he Madame Talleyrand’s cavaliere servente in India years ago?

“I read my death in the papers, which was not true. I see they are marrying the remaining singleness of the royal family. They have brought out Fazio with great and deserved success at Covent-garden: that’s a good sign. I tried, during the directory, to have it done at Drury-lane, but was overruled, If you think of coming into this country, you will let me know perhaps beforehand. I suppose Moore won’t move. Rose is here. I saw him the other night at Madame Albrizzi’s; he talks of returning in May. My love to the Hollands.

“Ever, &c.

“P.S. They have been crucifying Othello into an opera (Otello, by Rossini); the music good, but lugubrious; but as for the words, all the real scenes with Iago cut out, and the greatest nonsense instead; the handkerchief turned into a billet-doux, and the first singer would not black his face, for some exquisite reasons assigned in the preface. Singing, dresses, and music, very good.”