LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Richard Belgrave Hoppner, 29 October 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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“October 29th, 1819.

“The Ferrara story is of a piece with all the rest of the Venetian manufacture,—you may judge I only changed horses there since I wrote to you, after my visit in June last. ‘Convent,’ and ‘carry off,’ quotha! and ‘girl.’ I should like to know who has been carried off, except poor dear me. I have been more ravished myself than any body since the Trojan war; but as to the arrest, and its causes, one is as true as the other, and I can account for the invention of neither. I suppose it is some confusion of the tale of the F * * and of Me. Guiccioli, and half a dozen more; but it is useless to unravel the web, when one has only to brush it away. I shall settle with Master E., who looks very
A. D. 1819. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 281
blue at your in-decision, and swears that he is the best arithmetician in Europe; and so I think also, for he makes out two and two to be five.

“You may see me next week. I have a horse or two more (five in all), and I shall repossess myself of Lido, and I will rise earlier, and we will go and shake our livers over the beach, as heretofore, if you like—and we will make the Adriatic roar again with our hatred of that now empty oyster-shell, without its pearl, the city of Venice.

Murray sent me a letter yesterday: the impostors have published two new Third Cantos of Don Juan:—the devil take the impudence of some blackguard bookseller or other therfor! Perhaps I did not make myself understood; he told me the sale had been great, 1200 out of 1500 quarto, I believe, (which is nothing after selling 13,000 of the Corsair in one day); but that the ‘best judges, &c.’ had said it was very fine, and clever, and particularly good English, and poetry, and all those consolatory things, which are not, however, worth a single copy to a bookseller: and as to the author, of course I am in a d—ned passion at the bad taste of the times, and swear there is nothing like posterity, who, of course, must know more of the matter than their grandfathers. There has been an eleventh commandment to the women not to read it, and what is still more extraordinary, they seem not to have broken it. But that can be of little import to them, poor things, for the reading or non-reading a book will never * * * *.

Count G. comes to Venice next week, and I am requested to consign his wife to him, which shall be done. * * *. What you say of the long evenings at the Mira, or Venice, reminds me of what Curran said to Moore:—‘So I hear you have married a pretty woman, and a very good creature, too—an excellent creature. Pray—um!—how do you pass your evenings?’ It is a devil of a question that, and perhaps as easy to answer with a wife as with a mistress.

“If you go to Milan, pray leave at least a Vice-Consul—the only vice that will ever be wanting in Venice. D’Orville is a good fellow. But you shall go to England in the spring with me, and plant Mrs. Hoppner at Berne with her relations for a few months. I wish you had
282 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1819.
been here (at Venice, I mean, not the Mira) when
Moore was here—we were very merry and tipsy. He hated Venice, by the way, and swore it was a sad place†.

“So Madame Albrizzi’s death is in danger—poor woman! * * * * * * * * * * Moore told me that at Geneva they had made a devil of a story of the Fornaretta:—‘Young lady seduced!—subsequent abandonment!—leap into the Grand Canal!’—and her being in the hospital of fous in consequence!’ I should like to know who was nearest being made ‘fou,’ and be d——d to them! Don’t you think me in the interesting character of a very ill-used gentleman? I hope your little boy is well. Allegrina is flourishing like a pomegranate blossom.

“Yours, &c.”