LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 31 March 1817

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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“Venice, March 31st, 1817.

“You will begin to think my epistolary offerings (to whatever altar you please to devote them) rather prodigal. But, until you answer, I shall not abate, because you deserve no better. I know you are well, because I hear of your voyaging to London and the environs, which I rejoice to learn, because your note alarmed me by the purgation and phlebotomy therein prognosticated. I also hear of your being in the press; all which, methinks, might have furnished you with subject matter for a middle-sized letter, considering that I am in foreign parts, and that the last month’s advertisements and obituary would be absolute news to me from your Tramontane country.

“I told you, in my last, I have had a smart fever. There is an epidemic in the place; but I suspect, from the symptoms, that mine was a fever of my own, and had nothing in common with the low, vulgar typhus, which is at this moment decimating Venice, and which has half-unpeopled Milan, if the accounts be true. This malady has sorely discomfited my serving men, who want sadly to be gone away, and get me
A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 93
to remove. But, besides my natural perversity. I was seasoned in Turkey, by the continual whispers of the plague, against apprehensions of contagion. Besides which, apprehension would not prevent it; and then I am still in love, and ‘forty thousand’ fevers should not make me stir before my minute, while under the influence of that paramount delirium. Seriously speaking, there is a malady rife in the city—a dangerous one, they, say. However, mine did not appear so, though it was not pleasant.

“This is passion-week—and twilight—and all the world are at vespers. They have an eternal churching, as in all catholic countries, but are not so bigoted as they seemed to be in Spain.

“I don’t know whether to be glad or sorry that you are leaving Mayfield. Had I ever been at Newstead during your stay there (except during the winter of 1813-14, when the roads were impracticable), we should have been within hail, and I should like to have made a giro of the Peak with you. I know that country well, having been all over it when a boy. Was you ever in Dovedale? I can assure you there are things in Derbyshire as noble as Greece or Switzerland. But you had always a lingering after London, and I don’t wonder at it. I liked it as well as any body, myself, now and then.

“Will you remember me to Rogers? whom I presume to be flourishing, and whom I regard as our poetical papa. You are his lawful son, and I the illegitimate. Has he begun yet upon Sheridan? If you see our republican friend, Leigh Hunt, pray present my remembrances. I saw about nine months ago that he was in a row (like my friend Hobhouse) with the Quarterly Reviewers. For my part, I never could understand these quarrels of authors with critics and with one another. ‘For God’s sake, gentlemen, what do they mean?’

“What think you of your countryman, Maturin? I take some credit to myself for having done my best to bring out Bertram; but I must say my colleagues were quite as ready and willing. Walter Scott, however, was the first who mentioned him, which he did to me, with great commendation, in 1815; and it is to this casualty, and two or three other accidents, that this very clever fellow owed his first and well-merited public success. What a chance is fame!

“Did I tell you that I have translated two Epistles?—a correspond-
94 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1817.
ence between St. Paul and the Corinthians, not to be found in our version, but the Armenian—but which seems to me very orthodox, and I have done it into scriptural prose English*.

“Ever, &c.”