LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 5 November 1820

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, November 5th, 1820.

“Thanks for your letter, which hath come somewhat costively,—but better late than never. Of it anon. Mr. Galignani, of the Press, hath, it seems, been supplanted and sub-pirated by another Parisian publisher, who has audaciously printed an edition of L. B.’s Works, at the ultra-liberal price of 10 francs, and (as Galignani piteously observes) francs only for booksellers! ‘horresco referens.’ Think of a man’s whole works producing so little!

Galignani sends me, post haste, a permission for him, from me, to publish, &c. &c., which permit I have signed and sent to Mr. Murray, of Albemarle-street. Will you explain to G. that I have no right to dispose of Murray’s works without his leave? and therefore I must refer him to M. to get the permit out of his claws—no easy matter, I suspect. I have written to G. to say as much; but a word of mouth from a ‘great brother author’ would convince him that I could not honestly have complied with his wish, though I might legally. What I could do, I have done, viz. signed the warrant and sent it to Murray. Let the dogs divide the carcass, if it is killed to their liking.

“I am glad of your epigram. It is odd that we should both let our wits run away with our sentiments; for I am sure that we are both Queen’s men at bottom. But there is no resisting a clinch—it is so clever! Apropos of that—we have ‘a diphthong’ also in this part of the world—not a Greek, but a Spanish one—do you understand me?—which is about to blow up the whole alphabet. It was first pronounced at Naples, and is spreading;—but we are nearer the Barbarians; who are in great force on the Po, and will pass it, with the first legitimate pretext.

“There will be the devil to pay, and there is no saying who will or who will not be set down in his bill. If ‘honour should come unlooked for’ to any of your acquaintance, make a Melody of it, that his ghost, like poor Yorick’s, may have the satisfaction of being plaintively pitied—or still more nobly commemorated, like ‘Oh breathe not his name.’
A. D. 1820. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 377
In case you should not think him worth it, here is a
Chant for you instead—

“When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,
Let him combat for that of his neighbours;
Let him think of the glories of Greece and of Rome,
And get knock’d on the head for his labours.
To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan,
And is always as nobly requited;
Then battle for freedom wherever you can,
And, if not shot or hang’d, you’ll get knighted.

“So you have gotten the letter of ‘Epigrams’—I am glad of it. You will not be so, for I shall send you more. Here is one I wrote for the endorsement of ‘the Deed of Separation’ in 1816; but the lawyers objected to it, as superfluous. It was written as we were getting up the signing and sealing. * * has the original.

Endorsement to the Deed of Separation, in the April of 1810.
“A year ago you swore, fond she!
‘To love, to honour,’ and so forth:
Such was the vow you pledged to me,
And here’s exactly what ’tis worth.

“For the anniversary of January 2, 1821, I have a small grateful anticipation, which, in case of accident, I add—

To Penelope, January 2d, 1821.
“This day, of all our days, has done
The worst for me and you:—
’Tis just six years since we were one,
And five since we were two.

“Pray, excuse all this nonsense; for I must talk nonsense just now, for fear of wandering to more serious topics, which, in the present state of things, is not safe by a foreign post.

“I told you, in my last, that I had been going on with the ‘Memoirs,’ and have got as far as twelve more sheets. But I suspect they will be
378 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1820.
interrupted. In that case I will send them on by post, though I feel remorse at making a friend pay so much for postage, for we can’t frank here beyond the frontier.

“I shall be glad to hear of the event of the Queen’s concern. As to the ultimate effect, the most inevitable one to you and me (if they and we live so long) will be that the Miss Moores and Miss Byrons will present us with a great variety of grand-children by different fathers.

“Pray, where did you get hold of Goëthe’s Florentine husband-killing story? upon such matters, in general, I may say, with Beau Clincher, in reply to Errand’s wife—

“‘Oh the villain, he hath murdered my poor Timothy!

“‘Clincher. Damn your Timothy!—I tell you, woman, your husband has murdered me—he has carried away my fine jubilee clothes.’

“So Bowles has been telling a story, too (’tis in the Quarterly), about the woods of ‘Madeira,’ and so forth. I shall be at Bowles again, if he is not quiet. He misstates, or mistakes, in a point or two. The paper is finished, and so is the letter.

“Yours, &c.”