LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Richard Belgrave Hoppner, 31 January 1820

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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“Ravenna, January 31st, 1820.

“You would hardly have been troubled with the removal of my furniture, but there is none to be had nearer than Bologna, and I have been fain to have that of the rooms which I fitted up for my daughter there in the summer removed here. The expense will be at least as great of the land carriage, so that you see it was necessity, and not choice. Here they get every thing from Bologna except some lighter articles from Forli or Faenza.

“If Scott is returned, pray remember me to him, and plead laziness the whole and sole cause of my not replying—dreadful is the exertion of letter writing. The Carnival here is less boisterous, but we have balls and a theatre. I carried Bankes to both, and he carried away, I believe, a much more favourable impression of the society here than of that of Venice,—recollect that I speak of the native society only.

“I am drilling very hard to learn how to double a shawl, and should succeed to admiration if I did not always double it the wrong side out; and then I sometimes confuse and bring away two, so as to put all the Serventi out, besides keeping their Servite in the cold till every body can get back their property. But it is a dreadfully moral place, for you must not look at any body’s wife except your neighbour’s,—if you go to the next door but one, you are scolded, and presumed to be perfidious. And then a relazione or an amicizia seems to be a regular affair of from five to fifteen years, at which period, if there occur a widowhood, it finishes by a sposalizio; and in the mean time it has so many rules of its own that it is not much better. A man actually becomes a piece of female property,—they won’t let their Serventi marry until there is a vacancy for themselves. I know two instances of this in one family here.

“To-night there was a ———* Lottery after the opera; it is an

* The word here, being under the seal, is illegible.

A. D. 1820. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 299
odd ceremony.
Bankes and I took tickets of it, and buffooned together very merrily. He is gone to Firenze. Mrs. J * * should have sent you my postscript; there was no occasion to have bored you in person. I never interfere in any body’s squabbles,—she may scratch your face herself.

“The weather here has been dreadful—snow several feet—a fiume broke down a bridge, and flooded heaven knows how many campi; then rain came—and it is still thawing—so that my saddle-horses have a sinecure till the roads become more practicable. Why did Lega give away the goat? a blockhead—I must have him again.

“Will you pay Missiaglia and the Buffo Buffini of the Gran Bretagna. I heard from Moore, who is at Paris; I had previously written to him in London, but he has not yet got my letter, apparently.

“Believe me &c.”