LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 25 December 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, December 25th, 1820.

“You will or ought to have received the packet and letters which I remitted to your address a fortnight ago (or it may be more days), and I shall be glad of an answer, as, in these times and places, packets per post are in some risk of not reaching their destination.

“I have been thinking of a project for you and me, in case we both get to London again, which (if a Neapolitan war don’t suscitate) may be
386 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1820.
calculated as possible for one of us about the spring of 1821. I presume that you, too, will be back by that time, or never; but on that you will give me some index. The project, then, is for you and me to set up jointly a newspaper—nothing more nor less—weekly, or so, with some improvement or modifications upon the plan of the present scoundrels, who degrade that department,—but a newspaper, which we will edite in due form and, nevertheless, with some attention.

“There must always be in it a piece of poesy from one or other of us two, leaving room, however, for such dilettanti rhymers as may be deemed worthy of appearing in the same column; but this must be a sine quâ non; and also as much prose as we can compass. We will take an office—our names not announced, but suspected—and, by the blessing of Providence, give the age some new lights upon policy, poesy, biography, criticism, morality, theology, and all other ism, ality, and ology whatsoever.

“Why, man, if we were to take to this in good earnest, your debts would be paid off in a twelvemonth, and by dint of a little diligence and practice, I doubt not that we could distance the common-place blackguards, who have so long disgraced common sense and the common reader. They have no merit but practice and impudence, both of which we may acquire, and, as for talent and culture, the devil’s in ’t if such proofs as we have given of both can’t furnish out something better than the ‘funeral baked meats’ which have coldly set forth the breakfast table of all Great Britain for so many years. Now, what think you? Let me know; and recollect that, if we take to such an enterprise, we must do so in good earnest. Here is a hint,—do you make it a plan. We will modify it into as literary and classical a concern as you please, only let us put out our powers upon it, and it will most likely succeed. But you must live in London, and I also, to bring it to bear, and we must keep it a secret.

“As for the living in London, I would make that not difficult to you (if you would allow me), until we could see whether one means or other (the success of the plan, for instance) would not make it quite easy for you, as well as your family; and, in any case, we should have some fun, composing, correcting, supposing, inspecting, and supping together over our lucubrations. If you think this worth a thought, let me know,
A. D. 1820. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 387
and I will begin to lay in a small literary capital of composition for the occasion.

“Yours ever affectionately,

“P.S. If you thought of a middle plan between a Spectator and a newspaper, why not?—only not on a Sunday. Not that Sunday is not an excellent day, but it is engaged already. We will call it the ‘Tenda Rossa,’ the name Tassoni gave an answer of his in a controversy, in allusion to the delicate hint of Timour the Lame, to his enemies, by a ‘Tenda’ of that colour, before he gave battle. Or we will call it ‘Gli; or ‘I Carbonari,’ if it so please you—or any other name full of ‘pastime and prodigality,’ which you may prefer. * * * * * * Let me have an answer. I conclude poetically, with the bellman, ‘A merry Christmas to you!”