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

Mr. Kinnaird has probably returned to England by this time, and will have conveyed to you any tidings you may wish to have of us and ours. I have come back to Venice for the winter. Mr. Hobhouse will probably set off in December, but what day or week, I know not. He is my opposite neighbour at present.

“I wrote yesterday in some perplexity, and no very good humour,
A. D. 1817. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 153
Mr. Kinnaird, to inform me about Newstead and the Hansons, of which and whom I hear nothing since his departure from this place, except in a few unintelligible words from an unintelligible woman.

“I am as sorry to hear of Dr. Polidori’s accident as one can be for a person for whom one has a dislike, and something of contempt. When he gets well, tell me, and how he gets on in the sick line. Poor fellow! how came he to fix there?

“I fear the Doctor’s skill at Norwich
Will hardly salt the Doctor’s porridge.

Methought he was going to the Brazils to give the Portuguese physic (of which they are fond to desperation) with the Danish consul.

* * * * * *

“Your new Canto has expanded to one hundred and sixty-seven stanzas. It will be long, you see; and as for the notes by Hobhouse, I suspect they will be of the heroic size. You must keep Mr. * * in good-humour, for he is devilish touchy yet about your Review and all which it inherits, including the editor, the Admiralty, and its bookseller. I used to think that I was a good deal of an author in amour propre and noli me tangere; but these prose fellows are worst, after all, about their little comforts.

“Do you remember my mentioning, some months ago, the Marquis Moncada—a Spaniard of distinction and fourscore years, my summer neighbour at La Mira? Well, about six weeks ago, he fell in love with a Venetian girl of family, and no fortune or character; took her into his mansion; quarrelled with all his former friends for giving him advice (except me who gave him none), and installed her present concubine and future wife and mistress of himself and furniture. At the end of a month, in which she demeaned herself as ill as possible, he found out a correspondence between her and some former keeper, and after nearly strangling, turned her out of the house, to the great scandal of the keeping part of the town, and with a prodigious éclat, which has occupied all the canals and coffee-houses in Venice. He said she wanted to poison him; and she says—God knows what; but between them they have made a great deal of noise. I know a little of both the parties:
154 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1817.
Moncada seemed a very sensible old man, a character which he has not quite kept up on this occasion; and the woman is rather showy than pretty. For the honour of religion, she was bred in a convent, and for the credit of Great Britain, taught by an Englishwoman.

“Yours, &c.”