LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 1 July 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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La Mira, near Venice, July 1st, 1817.

“Since my former letter, I have been working up my impressions into a Fourth Canto of Childe Harold, of which I have roughened off about rather better than thirty stanzas, and mean to go on; and probably to make this ‘Fytte’ the concluding one of the poem, so that you may propose against the autumn to draw out the conscription for 1818. You must provide moneys, as this new resumption bodes you certain disbursements. Somewhere about the end of September or October, I propose to be under way (i. e. in the press); but I have no idea yet of the probable length or calibre of the Canto, or what it will be good for; but I mean to be as mercenary as possible, an example (I do not mean of any individual in particular, and least of all any person or persons of our mutual acquaintance) which I should have followed in my youth, and I might still have been a prosperous gentleman.

“No tooth-powder, no letters, no recent tidings of you.

Mr. Lewis is at Venice, and I am going up to stay a week with him there—as it is one of his enthusiasms also to like the city.

“I stood in Venice on the ‘Bridge of Sighs,’ &c. &c.

“The ‘Bridge of Sighs’ (i. e. Ponte de’i Sospiri) is that which divides, or rather joins the palace of the Doge to the prison of the state. It has two passages: the criminal went by the one to judgment, and returned by the other to death, being strangled in a chamber adjoining, where there was a mechanical process for the purpose.

A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 129

“This is the first stanza of our new Canto; and now for a line of the second:

“In Venice, Tasso’s echoes are no more,
And silent rows the songless gondolier,
Her palaces, &c. &c.

“You know that formerly the gondoliers sung always, and Tasso’s Gierusalemme as their ballad. Venice is built on seventy-two islands.

“There! there’s a brick of your new Babel! and now, sirrah! what say you to the sample?

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. I shall write again by and by.”