LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 24 September 1818

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, Sept. 24, 1818.

“In the one hundredth and thirty-second stanza of Canto 4th, the stanza runs in the manuscript
“And thou, who never yet of human wrong
Left the unbalanced scale, great Nemesis!
and notlost,’ which is nonsense, as what losing a scale means, I know not; but leaving an unbalanced scale, or a scale unbalanced, is intelligible†. Correct this, I pray—not for the public, or the poetry, but I do not choose to have blunders made in addressing any of the deities so seriously as this is addressed.

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. In the translation from the Spanish, alter
In increasing squadrons flew,
“To a mighty squadron grew.

“What does ‘thy waters wasted them’ mean (in the Canto)? That is not me‡. Consult the MS. always.

“I have written the first Canto (180 octave stanzas) of a poem in the style of Beppo, and have Mazeppa to finish besides.

† This correction, I observe, has never been made,—the passage still remaining, unmeaningly,

Lost the unbalanced scale.”

‡ This passage also remains uncorrected.

A. D. 1818. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 201

“In referring to the mistake in stanza 182, I take the opportunity to desire that in future, in all parts of my writings referring to religion, you will be more careful, and not forget that it is possible that in addressing the deity a blunder may become a blasphemy; and I do not choose to suffer such infamous perversions of my words or of my intentions.

“I saw the Canto by accident.”