LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 15 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 15th. 1817.

“I have finished (that is, written—the file comes afterwards) ninety and eight stanzas of the Fourth Canto, which I mean to be the concluding one. It will probably be about the same length as the Third, being already of the dimensions of the first or second Cantos. I look upon parts of it as very good, that is, if the three former are good, but this we shall see; and at any rate, good or not, it is rather a different style from the last—less metaphysical—which, at any rate, will be a variety. I sent you the shaft of the column as a specimen the other day, i. e. the first stanza. So you may be thinking of its arrival towards autumn, whose winds will not be the only ones to be raised, if so be as how that it is ready by that time.

“I lent Lewis, who is at Venice (in or on the Canalaccio, the Grand Canal), your extracts from Lalla Rookh and Manuel*, and, out of contradiction, it may be, he likes the last, and is not much taken with the first, of these performances. Of Manuel, I think, with the exception of a few capers, it is as heavy a nightmare as was ever bestrode by indigestion.

* A tragedy, by the Rev. Mr. Maturin.

A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 135

“Of the extracts I can but judge as extracts, and I prefer the ‘Peri’ to the ‘Silver Veil.’ He seems not so much at home in his versification of the ‘Silver Veil,’ and a little embarrassed with his horrors; but the conception of the character of the impostor is fine, and the plan of great scope for his genius,—and I doubt not that, as a whole, it will be very Arabesque and beautiful.

“Your late epistle is not the most abundant in information, and has not yet been succeeded by any other; so that I know nothing of your own concerns, or of any concerns, and as I never hear from any body but yourself who does not tell me something—as disagreeable as possible, I should not be sorry to hear from you: and as it is not very probable,—if I can, by any device or possible arrangement with regard to my personal affairs, so arrange it,—that I shall return soon, or reside ever in England, all that you tell me will be all I shall know or inquire after, as to our beloved realm of Grub-street, and the black brethren and blue sisterhood of that extensive suburb of Babylon. Have you had no new babe of literature sprung up to replace the dead, the distant, the tired, and the retired? no prose, no verse, no nothing?

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