LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 31 August 1820

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
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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, August 31st, 1820.

“D—n your ‘mezzo cammin*’—you should say ‘the prime of life,’ a much more consolatory phrase. Besides, it is not correct. I was born in 1788, and consequently am but thirty-two. You are mistaken on another point. The ‘Sequin Box’ never came into requisition, nor is it likely to do so. it were better that it had, for then a man is not bound, you know. As to reform, I did reform—what would you have? ‘Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.’ I verily believe that nor you, nor any man of poetical temperament, can avoid a strong passion of some kind. It is the poetry of life. What should I have known or written, had I been a quiet, mercantile politician, or a lord in waiting? A man must travel and turmoil, or there is no existence. Besides, I only meant to be a Cavalier Servente, and had no idea it would turn out a romance, in the Anglo fashion.

“However, I suspect I know a thing or two of Italy—more than Lady Morgan has picked up in her posting. What do Englishmen know of Italians beyond their museums and saloons—and some hack * *, en passant? Now, I have lived in the heart of their houses, in parts of Italy freshest and least influenced by strangers,—have seen and become (pars magna fui) a portion of their hopes, and fears, and passions, and am almost inoculated into a family. This is to see men and things as they are.

You say that I called you ‘quiet†’—I don’t recollect any thing of the sort. On the contrary, you are always in scrapes.

* I had congratulated him upon arriving at what Dante calls the “mezzo cammin” of life, the age of thirty-three.

† I had mistaken the concluding words of his letter of the 9th of June.

342 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1820.

“What think you of the Queen? I hear Mr. Hoby says, ‘that it makes him weep to see her, she reminds him so much of Jane Shore.’
Mr. Hoby the bootmaker’s heart is quite sore,
For seeing the Queen makes him think of Jane Shore;
And, in fact, * * * * *
Pray excuse this
ribaldry. What is your Poem about? Write and tell me all about it and you.

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. Did you write the lively quiz on Peter Bell? It has wit enough to be yours, and almost too much to be any body else’s now going. It was in Galignani the other day or week.”