LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 12 September 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Ravenna, September 12, 1821.

“By Tuesday’s post, I forwarded, in three packets, the drama of Cain in three acts, of which I request the acknowledgment when arrived. To the last speech of Eve, in the last act (i. e. where she curses Cain), add these three lines to the concluding ones—
“May the grass wither from thy foot! the woods
Deny thee shelter! earth a home! the dust
A grave! the sun his light! and Heaven her God!

“There’s as pretty a piece of imprecation for you, when joined to the lines already sent, as you may wish to meet with in the course of your business. But don’t forget the addition of the above three lines, which are clinchers to Eve’s speech.

“Let me know what Gifford thinks (if the play arrives in safety); for I have a good opinion of the piece, as poetry; it is in my gay metaphysical style, and in the Manfred line.

“You must at least commend my facility and variety, when you consider what I have done within the last fifteen months, with my head, too, full of other and of mundane matters. But no doubt you will avoid saying any good of it, for fear I should raise the price upon you: that’s right: stick to business. Let me know what your other ragamuffins

confidenza che il tuo sacrificio m’inspira.”—“Mi riveresce solo che Don Giovanni non resti all’ Inferno.”

In enclosing the lady’s note to Mr. Murray, July 4th, Lord B. says, “This is the note of acknowledgment for the promise not to continue Don Juan. She says, In the postscript, that she is only sorry that D. J. does not remain in Hell (or go there).”

526 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.
are writing, for I suppose you don’t like starting too many of your vagabonds at once. You may give them the start, for any thing I care.

“Why don’t you publish my Pulci—the very best thing I ever wrote,—with the Italian to it? I wish I was alongside of you; nothing is ever done in a man’s absence; every body runs counter, because they can. If ever I do return to England, (which I sha’n’t, though,) I will write a poem to which ‘English Bards,’ &c. shall be new milk, in comparison. Your present literary world of mountebanks stands in need of such an Avatar. But I am not yet quite bilious enough: a season or two more, and a provocation or two, will wind me up to the point, and then have at the whole set!

“I have no patience with the sort of trash you send me out by way of books; except Scott’s novels, and three or four other things, I never saw such work, or works. Campbell is lecturing—Moore idling—S * * twaddling—W * * driveling—C * * muddling—* * piddling—B * * quibbling, squabbling, and sniveling. * * will do, if he don’t cant too much, nor imitate Southey: the fellow has poesy in him; but he is envious, and unhappy, as all the envious are. Still he is among the best of the day. B * * C * * will do better by-and-by, I dare say, if he don’t get spoiled by green tea, and the praises of Pentonville and Paradise-row. The pity of these men is, that they never lived in high life, nor in solitude: there is no medium for the knowledge of the busy or the still world. If admitted into high life for a season, it is merely as spectators—they form no part of the mechanism thereof. Now Moore and I, the one by circumstances, and the other by birth, happened to be free of the corporation, and to have entered into its pulses and passions quarum partes fuimus. Both of us have learnt by this much which nothing else could have taught us.


“P.S. I saw one of your brethren, another of the allied sovereigns of Grub-street, the other day, Mawman the Great, by whom I sent due homage to your imperial self. To-morrow’s post may perhaps bring a letter from you, but you are the most ungrateful and ungracious of
A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 527
correspondents. But there is some excuse for you, with your perpetual levee of politicians, parsons, scribblers, and loungers. Some day I will give you a poetical catalogue of them.”