LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 26 April 1821

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Life of Byron: 1811
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Life of Byron: 1814
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Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
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Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
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Life of Byron: 1824
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“Ravenna, April 26th, 1821.

“I sent you by last postis a large packet, which will not do for publication (I suspect), being, as the apprentices say, ‘damned low.’ I put off also for a week or two sending the Italian scrawl which will form a note to it. The reason is that, letters being opened, I wish to ‘bide a wee.’

“Well, have you published the Tragedy? and does the Letter take?

“Is it true, what Shelley writes me, that poor John Keats died at Rome of the Quarterly Review? I am very sorry for it, though I think he took the wrong line as a poet, and was spoilt by Cockneyfying, and suburbing, and versifying Tooke’s Pantheon and Lempriere’s Dictionary. I know, by experience, that a savage review is hemlock to a sucking author; and the one on me (which produced the English Bards, &c.) knocked me down—but I got up again. Instead of bursting a blood-vessel, I drank three bottles of claret, and begun an answer, finding that there was nothing in the article for which I could lawfully knock Jeffrey on the head, in an honourable way. However, I would not be the person who wrote the homicidal article for all the honour and glory in the world, though I by no means approve of that school of scribbling which it treats upon.

“You see the Italians have made a sad business of it,—all owing to treachery and disunion amongst themselves. It has given me great vexation. The execrations heaped upon the Neapolitans by the other Italians are quite in unison with those of the rest of Europe.

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. Your latest packet of books is on its way here, but not arrived. Kenilworth excellent. Thanks for the pocket-books, of which I have made presents to those ladies who like cuts, and landscapes, and all that. I have got an Italian book or two which I should like to send you if I had an opportunity.

A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 461

“I am not at present in the very highest health,—spring, probably; so I have lowered my diet and taken to Epsom saits.

“As you say my prose is good, why don’t you treat with Moore for the reversion of the Memoirs?—conditionally, recollect; not to be published before decease. He has the permission to dispose of them, and I advised him to do so.”