LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 22 July 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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“Ravenna, July 22d, 1821.

The printer has done wonders;—he has read what I cannot—my own handwriting.

“I oppose the ‘delay till winter:’ I am particularly anxious to print while the winter theatres are closed, to gain time, in case they try their former piece of politeness. Any loss shall be considered in our contract, whether occasioned by the season or other causes; but print away, and publish.

“I think they must own that I have more styles than one. ‘Sardanapalus’ is, however, almost a comic character: but, for that matter, so is Richard the Third. Mind the unities, which are my great object of research. I am glad that Gifford likes it: as for ‘the million,’ you see I have carefully consulted any thing but the taste of the day for extravagant ‘coups de theatre.’ Any probable loss, as I said before, will be allowed for in our accompts. The reviews (except one or two, Blackwood’s, for instance) are cold enough; but never mind those fellows: I shall send them to the right about, if I take it into my head. I always found the English baser in some things than any other nation. You stare, but it’s true as to gratitude,—perhaps, because they are prouder, and proud people hate obligations.

“The tyranny of the Government here is breaking out. They have exiled about a thousand people of the best families all over the Roman states. As many of my friends are amongst them, I think of moving too, but not till I have had your answers. Continue your address to me here, as usual, and quickly. What you will not be sorry
A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 501
to hear is, that the poor of the place, hearing that I meant to go, got together a petition to the
Cardinal to request that he would request me to remain. I only heard of it a day or two ago, and it is no dishonour to them nor to me; but it will have displeased the higher powers, who look upon me as a Chief of the Coalheavers. They arrested a servant of mine for a street quarrel with an officer (they drew upon one another knives and pistols), but as the officer was out of uniform, and in the wrong besides, on my protesting stoutly, he was released. I was not present at the affray, which happened by night near my stables. My man (an Italian), a very stout, and not over-patient personage, would have taken a fatal revenge afterwards, if I had not prevented him. As it was, he drew his stiletto, and, but for passengers, would have carbonadoed the captain, who, I understand, made but a poor figure in the quarrel, except by beginning it. He applied to me, and I offered him any satisfaction, either by turning away the man, or otherwise, because he had drawn a knife. He answered that a reproof would be sufficient. I reproved him; and yet, after this, the shabby dog complained to the Government,—after being quite satisfied, as he said. This roused me, and I gave them a remonstrance which had some effect. The captain has been reprimanded, the servant released, and the business at present rests there.”