LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 8 March 1822

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, March 8th, 1822.

“You will have had enough of my letters by this time—yet one word in answer to your present missive. You are quite wrong in thinking that your ‘advice’ had offended me; but I have already replied (if not answered) on that point.

“With regard to Murray, as I really am the meekest and mildest of men since Moses (though the public and mine ‘excellent wife’ cannot find it out), I had already pacified myself and subsided back to Albemarle-street, as my yesterday’s yepistle will have informed you. But I thought that I had explained my causes of bile—at least to you. Some instances of vacillation, occasional neglect, and troublesome sincerity, real or imagined, are sufficient to put your truly great author and man into a passion. But reflection, with some aid from hellebore, hath already cured me ‘pro tempore;’ and, if it had not, a request from you and Hobhouse would have come upon me like two out of the ’tribus Anticyris,’—with which, however, Horace despairs of purging a poet. I really feel ashamed of having bored you so frequently and fully of late. But what could I do? You are a friend—an absent one, alas!—and as I trust no one more, I trouble you in proportion.

“This war of ‘Church and State’ has astonished me more than it disturbs; for I really thought ‘Cain’ a speculative and hardy, but still a harmless, production. As I said before, I am really a great admirer of tangible religion; and am breeding one of my daughters a Catholic, that
588 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
she may have her hands full. It is by far the most elegant worship, hardly excepting the Greek mythology. What with incense, pictures, statues, altars, shrines, relics, and the real presence, confession, absolution,—there is something sensible to grasp at. Besides, it leaves no possibility of doubt; for those who swallow their Deity, really and truly, in transubstantiation, can hardly find any thing else otherwise than easy of digestion.

“I am afraid that this sounds flippant, but I don’t mean it to be so; only my turn of mind is so given to taking things in the absurd point of view, that it breaks out in spite of me every now and then. Still, I do assure you that I am a very good Christian. Whether you will believe me in this, I do not know; but I trust you will take my word for being

“Very truly and affectionately yours, &c.

“P.S. Do tell Murray that one of the conditions of peace is, that he publisheth (or obtaineth a publisher for) * * *’s Commentary on Dante, against which there appears in the trade an unaccountable repugnance. It will make the man so exuberantly happy. He dines with me and half a dozen English to-day; and I have not the heart to tell him how the bibliopolar world shrink from his Commentary;—and yet it is full of the most orthodox religion and morality. In short, I make it a point that he shall be in print. He is such a good-natured, heavy-* * Christian, that we must give him a shove through the press. He naturally thirsts to be an author, and has been the happiest of men for these two months, printing, correcting, collating, dating, anticipating, and adding to his treasures of learning. Besides, he has had another fall from his horse into a ditch the other day, while riding out with me into the country.”