LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 14 May 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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“May 14th, 1821.

“If any part of the letter to Bowles has (unintentionally, as far as I remember the contents) vexed you, you are fully avenged; for I see by an Italian paper that, notwithstanding all my remonstrances through all my friends (and yourself among the rest), the managers persisted in attempting the tragedy, and that it has been ‘unanimously hissed!!’ This is the consolatory phrase of the Milan paper (which detests me cordially and abuses me, on all occasions, as a Liberal), with the addition, that I ‘brought the play out’ of my own good will.

“All this is vexatious enough, and seems a sort of dramatic Calvinism—predestined damnation, without a sinner’s own fault. I took all the pains poor mortal could to prevent this inevitable catastrophe—partly by appeals of all kinds up to the Lord Chamberlain, and partly to the fellows themselves. But, as remonstrance was vain, complaint is useless. I do not understand it—for Murray’s letter of the 24th, and all his preceding ones, gave me the strongest hopes that there would be no representation. As yet, I know nothing but the fact, which I presume to be true, as the date is Paris, and the 30th. They must have been in a hell of a hurry for this damnation, since I did not even know that it was published; and, without its being first published, the histrions could not
A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 483
have got hold of it. Any one might have seen, at a glance, that it was utterly impracticable for the stage; and this little accident will by no means enhance its merit in the closet.

“Well, patience is a virtue, and, I suppose, practice will make it perfect. Since last year (spring, that is) I have lost a lawsuit, of great importance, on Rochdale collieries—have occasioned a divorce—have had my poesy disparaged by Murray and the critics—my fortune refused to be placed on an advantageous settlement (in Ireland) by the trustees—my life threatened last month (they put about a paper here to excite an attempt at my assassination, on account of politics, and a notion which the priests disseminated that I was in a league against the Germans)—and, finally, my mother-in-law recovered last fortnight, and my play was damned last week! These are like ‘the eight-and-twenty misfortunes of Harlequin.’ But they must be borne. If I give in, it shall be after keeping up a spirit at least. I should not have cared so much about it, if our southern neighbours had not bungled us all out of freedom for these five hundred years to come.

“Did you know John Keats? They say that he was killed by a review of him in the Quarterly—if he be dead, which I really don’t know. I don’t understand that yielding sensitiveness. What I feel (as at this present) is an immense rage for eight-and-forty hours, and then, as usual—unless this time it should last longer. I must get on horseback to quiet me.

“Yours, &c.

Francis I. wrote, after the battle of Pavia, ‘All is lost except our honour.’ A hissed author may reverse it—‘Nothing is lost, except our honour.’ But the horses are waiting, and the paper full. I wrote last week to you.”