LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 9 June 1820

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, June 9th, 1820.

Galignani has just sent me the Paris edition of your works (which I wrote to order), and I am glad to see my old friends with a French face. I have been skimming and dipping, in and over them, like a swallow, and as pleased as one. It is the first time that I had seen the Melodies without music; and, I don’t know how, but I can’t read in a music-book—the crotchets confound the words in my head, though I recollect them perfectly when sung. Music assists my memory through the ear, not through the eye; I mean, that her quavers perplex me upon paper, but they are a help when heard. And thus I was glad to see the words without their borrowed robes;—to my mind they look none the worse for their nudity.

“The biographer has made a botch of your life—calling your father ‘a venerable old gentleman,’ and prattling of ‘Addison,’ and ‘dowager countesses.’ If that damned fellow was to write my life, I would certainly take his. And then, at the Dublin dinner, you have ‘made a speech’ (do you recollect, at Douglas K.’s, ‘Sir, he made me a speech?’) too complimentary to the ‘living poets,’ and somewhat redolent of universal praise. I am but too well off in it, but * * * * * * * *.

“You have not sent me any poetical or personal news of yourself. Why don’t you complete an Italian Tour of the Fudges? I have just been turning over Little, which I knew by heart in 1803, being then in my fifteenth summer. Heigho! I believe all the mischief I have ever done, or sung, has been owing to that confounded book of yours.

“In my last I told you of a cargo of ‘Poeshie,’ which I had sent to

* The critic here subjoins the soliloquy from Manfred, beginning “We are the fools of time end terror,” in which the allusion to Pausanias occurs.

334 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1820.
M. at his own impatient desire;—and, now he has got it, he don’t like it, and demurs. Perhaps he is right. I have no great opinion of any of my last shipment, except a
translation from Pulci, which is word for word, and verse for verse.

“I am in the Third Act of a Tragedy; but whether it will be finished or not, I know not: I have, at this present, too many passions of my own on hand to do justice to those of the dead. Besides the vexations mentioned in my last, I have incurred a quarrel with the Pope’s carabiniers, or gens d’armerie, who have petitioned the Cardinal against my liveries, as resembling too nearly their own lousy uniform. They particularly object to the epaulettes, which all the world with us have on upon gala days. My liveries are of the colours conforming to my arms, and have been the family hue since the year 1066.

“I have sent a tranchant reply, as you may suppose; and have given to understand that, if any soldados of that respectable corps insult my servants, I will do likewise by their gallant commanders; and I have directed my ragamuffins, six in number, who are tolerably savage, to defend themselves, in case of aggression; and, on holidays and gaudy days, I shall arm the whole set, including myself, in case of accidents or treachery. I used to play pretty well at the broadsword, once upon a time, at Angelo’s; but I should like the pistol, our national buccaneer weapon, better, though I am out of practice at present. However, I can ‘wink and hold out mine iron.’ It makes me think (the whole thing does) of Romeo and Juliet—‘now, Gregory, remember thy smashing blow.’

“All these feuds, however, with the Cavalier for his wife, and the troopers for my liveries, are very tiresome to a quiet man, who does his best to please all the world, and longs for fellowship and good will. Pray write.

“I am yours, &c.”