LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 12 December 1821

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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“Pisa, December 12th, 1821.

“What you say about Galignani’s two biographies is very amusing; and, if I were not lazy, I would certainly do what you desire. But I doubt my present stock of facetiousness—that is, of good serious humour, so as not to let the cat out of the bag†. I wish you would undertake it. I will forgive and indulge you (like a Pope) beforehand, for any thing ludicrous, that might keep those fools in their own dear belief that a man is a loup garou.

“I suppose I told you that the Giaour story had actually some foundation on facts; or, if I did not, you will one day find it in a letter of Lord Sligo’s, written to me after the publication of the poem. I should not like marvels to rest upon any account of my own, and shall say nothing about it. However, the real incident is still remote enough from the poetical one, being just such as, happening to a man of any imagination, might suggest such a composition. The worst of any real adventures is that they involve living people—else Mrs. ——’s, ——’s, &c. are as ‘German to the matter’ as Mr. Maturin could desire for his novels. * * * * * * * *.

566 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.

“The consummation you mentioned for poor * * was near taking place yesterday. Riding pretty sharply after Mr. Medwin and myself, in turning the corner of a lane between Pisa and the hills, he was spilt,—and, besides losing some claret on the spot, bruised himself a good deal, but is in no danger. He was bled and keeps his room. As I was a-head of him some hundred yards, I did not see the accident; but my servant, who was behind, did, and says the horse did not fall—the usual excuse of floored equestrians. As * * piques himself upon his horsemanship, and his horse is really a pretty horse enough, I long for his personal narrative,—as I never yet met the man who would fairly claim a tumble as his own property.

“Could not you send me a printed copy of the ‘Irish Avatar?’—I do not know what has become of Rogers since we parted at Florence.

“Don’t let the Angles keep you from writing. Sam told me that you were somewhat dissipated in Paris, which I can easily believe. Let me hear from you at your best leisure.

“Ever and truly, &c.
“P.S. December 13th.

“I enclose you some lines written not long ago, which you may do what you like with, as they are very harmless†. Only, if copied, or printed, or set, I could wish it more correctly than in the usual way, in which one’s ‘nothings are monstered’ as Coriolanus says.

“You must really get * * published—he never will rest till he is so. He is just gone with his broken head to Lucca, at my desire, to try

† The following are the lines enclosed in this letter. In one of his Journals, where they are also given, he has subjoined to them the following note:—“I composed these stanzas (except the fourth, added now) a few days ago, on the road from Florence to Pisa.

“Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.
“What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
‘Tis but as a dead-flower with May-dew besprinkled.
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?

A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 567
to save a man from being burnt. The Spanish * * *, that has her petticoats over Lucca, had actually condemned a poor devil to the stake, for stealing the wafer-box out of a church.
Shelley and I, of course, were up in arms against this piece of piety, and have been disturbing every body to get the sentence changed. * * is gone to see what can be done.