LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 12 October 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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“October 12th, 1817.

Mr. Kinnaird and his brother, Lord Kinnaird, have been here, and are now gone again. All your missives came, except the tooth-powder, of which I request further supplies, at all convenient opportunities; as also of magnesia and soda-powders, both great luxuries here, and neither to be had good, or indeed hardly at all of the natives.

* * * * * *

“In * *’s Life, I perceive an attack upon the then Committee of D. L. Theatre for acting Bertram, and an attack upon Maturin’s Bertram for being acted. Considering all things, this is not very grateful nor graceful on the part of the worthy autobiographer; and I would answer, if I had not obliged him. Putting my own pains to forward the views of * * out of the question, I know that there was every disposition, on the part of the Sub-Committee, to bring forward any production of his, were it feasible. The play he offered, though poetical, did not appear at all practicable, and Bertram did;—and hence this long tirade, which is the last chapter of his vagabond life.

“As for Bertram, Maturin may defend his own begotten, if he likes it well enough; I leave the Irish clergyman and the new orator Henley to battle it out between them, satisfied to have done the best I could for both. I may say this to you, who know it.

* * * * * *
A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 149

Mr. * * may console himself with the fervour,—the almost religious fervour of his and W * *’s disciples, as he calls it. If he means that as any proof of their merits, I will find him as much ‘fervour’ in behalf of Richard Brothers and Joanna Southcote as ever gathered over his pages or round his fireside. * * * * *

“My answer to your proposition about the Fourth Canto you will have received, and I await yours;—perhaps we may not agree. I have since written a Poem (of 84 octave stanzas), humorous, in or after the excellent manner of Mr. Whistlecraft (whom I take to be Frere), on a Venetian anecdote which amused me:—but till I have your answer, I can say nothing more about it.

Mr. Hobhouse does not return to England in November, as he intended, but will winter here; and as he is to convey the poem, or poems,—for there may perhaps be more than the two mentioned (which, by the way, I shall not perhaps include in the same publication or agreement), I shall not be able to publish so soon as expected; but I suppose there is no harm in the delay.

“I have signed and sent your former copyrights by Mr. Kinnaird, but not the receipt, because the money is not yet paid. Mr. Kinnaird has a power of attorney to sign for me, and will, when necessary.

“Many thanks for the Edinburgh Review, which is very kind about Manfred, and defends its originality, which I did not know that any body had attacked. I never read, and do not know that I ever saw, the ‘Faustus of Marlow,’ and had, and have, no dramatic works by me in English, except the recent things you sent me; but I heard Mr. Lewis translate verbally some scenes of Goethe’s Faust (which were, some good, and some bad) last summer;—which is all I know of the history of that magical personage; and as to the germs of Manfred, they may be found in the Journal which I sent to Mrs. Leigh (part of which you saw) when I went over first the Dent de Jaman, and then the Wengen or Wengeberg Alp and Sheideck, and made the giro of the Jungfrau, Shreckhorn, &c. &c. shortly before I left Switzerland. I have the whole scene of Manfred before me as if it was but yesterday, and could point it out, spot by spot, torrent and all.

“Of the Prometheus of Æschylus I was passionately fond as a boy
150 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1817.
(it was one of the Greek plays we read thrice a year at Harrow);—indeed that and the ‘
Medea’ were the only ones, except the ‘Seven before Thebes,’ which ever much pleased me. As to the ‘Faustus of Marlow,’ I never read, never saw, nor heard of it—at least, thought of it, except that I think Mr. Gifford mentioned, in a note of his which you sent me, something about the catastrophe; but not as having any thing to do with mine, which may or may not resemble it, for any thing I know.

“The Prometheus, if not exactly in my plan, has always been so much in my head, that I can easily conceive its influence over all or any thing that I have written;—but I deny Marlow and his progeny, and beg that you will do the same.

“If you can send me the paper in question*, which the Edinburgh Review mentions, do. The review in the magazine you say was written by Wilson? it had all the air of being a poet’s, and was a very good one. The Edinburgh Review I take to be Jeffrey’s own by its friendliness. I wonder they thought it worth while to do so, so soon after the former; but it was evidently with a good motive.

“I saw Hoppner the other day, whose country-house at Este I have taken for two years. If you come out next summer, let me know in time. Love to Gifford.

“Yours ever truly.
Are all partakers of my pantry.

These two lines are omitted in your letter to the doctor, after—

“All clever men who make their way.”