LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 10 July 1817

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
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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, Venice, July 10th, 1817.

Murray, the Mokanna of booksellers, has contrived to send me extracts from Lalla Rookh by the post. They are taken from some magazine, and contain a short outline and quotations from the two first Poems. I am very much delighted with what is before me, and very thirsty for the rest. You have caught the colours as if you had been in the rainbow, and the tone of the East is perfectly preserved; so that * * * and its author must be somewhat in the back-ground, and learn that it requires something more than to have been upon the hunch of a dromedary to compose a good oriental story. I am glad you have changed the title from ‘Persian Tale.’ * * *

“I suspect you have written a devilish fine composition, and I rejoice in it from my heart; because ‘the Douglas and the Percy both together are confident against a world in arms.’ I hope you won’t be affronted at my looking on us as ‘birds of a feather;’ though on whatever subject you had written, I should have been very happy in your success.

“There is a simile of an orange tree’s ‘flowers and fruits,’ which I should have liked better, if I did not believe it to be a reflection on * * * * * * * *

“Do you remember Thurlow’s poem to Sam—‘When Rogers;’ and that d—d supper of Rancliffe’s that ought to have been a dinner? ‘Ah, Master Shallow, we have heard the chimes at midnight.’—But

“My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But, before I go, Tom Moore,
Here’s a double health to thee!
“Here’s a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky’s above me,
Here’s a heart for every fate.
A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 133
“Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won.
Were’t the last drop in the well,
As I gasp’d upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell,
’Tis to thee that I would drink.
“With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should be—peace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moore.

“This should have been written fifteen moons ago—the first stanza was. I am just come out from an hour’s swim in the Adriatic; and I write to you with a black-eyed Venetian girl before me, reading Boccacio. * * * * *

“Last week I had a row on the road (I came up to Venice from my casino, a few miles on the Paduan road, this blessed day, to bathe) with a fellow in a carriage, who was impudent to my horse. I gave him a swinging box on the ear, which sent him to the police, who dismissed his complaint. Witnesses had seen the transaction. He first shouted, in an unseemly way, to frighten my palfrey. I wheeled round, rode up to the window, and asked him what he meant. He grinned, and said some foolery, which produced him an immediate slap in the face, to his utter discomfiture. Much blasphemy ensued, and some menace, which I stopped by dismounting and opening the carnage door, and intimating an intention of mending the road with his immediate remains, if he did not hold his tongue. He held it.

Monk Lewis is here—‘how pleasant*!’ He is a very good fellow,

* An allusion (such as often occurs in these letters) to an anecdote with which he had been amused.

134 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1817.
and very much yours. So is
Sam—so is every body—and, amongst the number,

“Yours ever,

“P.S. What think you of Manfred?” * * * * *