LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Richard Belgrave Hoppner, 31 December 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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“Ravenna, Dec. 31st, 1819.

“I have been here this week, and was obliged to put on my armour and go the night after my arrival to the Marquis Cavalli’s, where there were between two and three hundred of the best company I have seen in Italy,—more beauty, more youth, and more diamonds among the women than have been seen these fifty years in the Sea-Sodom*. I never saw such a difference between two places of the same latitude (or platitude, it is all one),—music, dancing, and play, all in the same salle. The G.’s object appeared to be to parade her foreign lover as much as possible, and, faith, if she seemed to glory in the scandal, it was not for me to be ashamed of it. Nobody seemed surprised;—all the women, on the contrary, were, as it were, delighted with the excellent example. The vice-legate, and all the other vices, were as polite as could be;—and I, who had acted on the reserve, was fairly obliged to take the lady under my arm, and look as much like a cicisbeo as I could on so short a notice,—to say nothing of the embarrassment of a cocked hat and sword, much more formidable to me than ever it will be to the enemy.

* “Gehenna of the waters! thou Sea-Sodom!”

294 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1819.

“I write in great haste—do you answer as hastily. I can understand nothing of all this; but it seems as if the G. had been presumed to be planted, and was determined to show that she was not,—plantation, in this hemisphere, being the greatest moral misfortune. But this is mere conjecture, for I know nothing about it—except that every body are very kind to her, and not discourteous to me. Fathers, and all relations, quite agreeable.

“Yours ever,

“P.S. Best respects to Mrs. H.

“I would send the compliments of the season; but the season itself is so little complimentary with snow and rain that I wait for sunshine.”