LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 10 December 1819

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, December 10th, 1819.

“Since I last wrote, I have changed my mind, and shall not come to England. The more I contemplate, the more I dislike the place and the prospect. You may therefore address to me as usual here, though I mean to go to another city. I have finished the Third Canto of Don Juan, but the things I have read and heard discourage all further publication—at least for the present. You may try the copy question, but you’ll lose it: the cry is up, and cant is up. I should have no objection to return the price of the copyright, and have written to Mr. Kinnaird by this post on the subject. Talk with him.

292 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1819.

“I have not the patience, nor do I feel interest enough in the question, to contend with the fellows in their own slang; but I perceive Mr. Blackwood’s Magazine and one or two others of your missives have been hyperbolical in their praise, and diabolical in their abuse. I like and admire W * * n, and he should not have indulged himself in such outrageous licence*. It is overdone and defeats itself. What would he say to the grossness without passion and the misanthropy without feeling of Gulliver’s Travels?—When he talks of Lady Byron’s business, he talks of what he knows nothing about; and you may tell him that no one can more desire a public investigation of that affair than I do.

“I sent home by Moore (for Moore only, who has my Journal also) my Memoir written up to 1816, and I gave him leave to show it to whom he pleased, but not to publish, on any account. You may read it, and you may let W * * n read it, if he likes—not for his public opinion, but his private; for I like the man, and care very little about his magazine. And I could wish Lady B. herself to read it, that she may have it in her power to mark any thing mistaken or misstated; as it may probably appear after my extinction, and it would be but fair she should see it,—that is to say, herself willing.

“Perhaps I may take a journey to you in the spring; but I have been ill and am indolent and indecisive, because few things interest me. These fellows first abused me for being gloomy, and now they are wroth that I am, or attempted to be, facetious. I have got such a cold and headache that I can hardly see what I scrawl;—the winters here are as sharp as needles. Some time ago, I wrote to you rather fully about my Italian affairs; at present I can say no more except that you shall hear further by and by.

Your Blackwood accuses me of treating women harshly: it may be so, but I have been their martyr; my whole life has been sacrificed to them and by them. I mean to leave Venice in a few days, but you

* This is one of the many mistakes into which his distance from the scene of literary operations led him. The gentleman to whom the hostile article in the Magazine is here attributed, has never, either then or since, written upon the subject of the noble poet’s character or genius, without giving vent to a feeling of admiration as enthusiastic as it is always eloquently and powerfully expressed.

A. D. 1819. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 293
will address your letters here as usual. When I fix elsewhere, you shall know.”