LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 25 January 1819

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, January 25th, 1819.

“You will do me the favour to print privately (for private distribution) fifty copies of ‘Don Juan.’ The list of the men to whom I wish it to be presented, I will send hereafter. The other two poems had best be added to the collective edition: I do not approve of their being published separately. Print Don Juan entire, omitting, of course,
202 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1819.
the lines on
Castlereagh, as I am not on the spot to meet him. I have a Second Canto ready, which will be sent by and by. By this post, I have written to Mr. Hobhouse, addressed to your care.

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. I have acquiesced in the request and representation; and having done so, it is idle to detail my arguments in favour of my own self-love and ‘Poeshie;’ but I protest. If the poem has poetry, it would stand; if not, fall; the rest is ‘leather and prunello,’ and has never yet affected any human production ‘pro or con.’ Dulness is the only annihilator in such cases. As to the cant of the day, I despise it, as I have ever done all its other finical fashions, which become you as paint became the ancient Britons. If you admit this prudery, you must omit half Ariosto, La Fontaine, Shakspeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, Massinger, Ford, all the Charles Second writers; in short, something of most who have written before Pope and are worth reading, and much of Pope himself, Read him—most of you don’t—but do—and I will forgive you; though the inevitable consequence would be that you would burn all I have ever written, and all your other wretched Claudians of the day (except Scott and Crabbe) into the bargain. I wrong Claudian, who was a poet, by naming him with such fellows; hut he was the ‘ultimus Romanorum,’ the tail of the comet, and these persons are the tail of an old gown cut into a waistcoat for Jackey; but being both tails, I have compared the one with the other, though very unlike, like all similes. I write in a passion and a sirocco, and I was up till six this morning at the Carnival: but I protest, as I did in my former letter.”