LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Journal Entry: 8 January 1821

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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“January 8th, 1821, Monday.

“Rose, and found Count P. G. in my apartments. Sent away the servant. Told me that, according to the best information, the Government had not issued orders for the arrests apprehended; that the attack in Forli had not taken place (as expected) by the Sanfedisti—the opponents of the Carbonari or Liberals—and that, as yet, they are still in apprehension only. Asked me for some arms of a better sort, which I gave him. Settled that, in case of a row, the Liberals were to assemble here (with me), and that he had given the word to Vincenzo G. and others of the Chiefs for that purpose. He himself and father are going to the chase in the forest; but V. G. is to come to me, and an express to be sent off to him, P. G., if any thing occurs. Concerted operations. They are to seize—but no matter.

“I advised them to attack in detail, and in different parties, in
402 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.
different places (though at the same time), so as to divide the attention of the troops, who, though few, yet being disciplined, would beat any body of people (not trained) in a regular fight—unless dispersed in small parties, and distracted with different assaults. Offered to let them assemble here, if they choose. It is a strongish post—narrow street, commanded from within—and tenable walls. * * * * *

“Dined. Tried on a new coat. Letter to Murray, with corrections of Bacon’s Apophthegms and an epigram—the latter not for publication. At eight went to Teresa, Countess G. * * * * * * At nine and a-half came Il Conte P. and Count P. G. Talked of a certain proclamation lately issued. Count R. G. had been with * * (the * *), to sound him about the arrests. He, * *, is a trimmer, and deals, at present, his cards with both hands. If he don’t mind, they’ll be full. * * pretends (I doubt him—they don’t,—we shall see) that there is no such order, and seems staggered by the immense exertions of the Neapolitans, and the fierce spirit of the Liberals here. The truth is, that * * cares for little but his place (which is a good one), and wishes to play pretty with both parties. He has changed his mind thirty times these last three moons, to my knowledge, for he corresponds with me. But he is not a bloody fellow—only an avaricious one.

“It seems that, just at this moment (as Lydia Languish says) there will be no elopement after all. I wish that I had known as much last night—or, rather, this morning—I should have gone to bed two hours earlier. And yet I ought not to complain; for, though it is a sirocco, and heavy rain, I have not yawned for these two days.

“Came home—read History of Greece—before dinner had read Walter Scott’s Rob Roy. Wrote address to the letter in answer to Alessio del Pinto, who has thanked me for helping his brother (the late Commandant, murdered here last month) in his last moments. Have told him I only did a duty of humanity—as is true. The brother lives at Rome.

“Mended the fire with some ‘sgobole,’ (a Romagnuole word) and gave the falcon some water. Drank some Seltzer-water. Mem.—received to-day a print, or etching, of the story of Ugolino, by an Italian
A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 403
painter—different, of course, from
Sir Joshua Reynolds’s, and I think (as far as recollection goes) no worse, for Reynolds’s is not good in history. Tore a button in my new coat.

“I wonder what figure these Italians will make in a regular row. I sometimes think that, like the Irishman’s gun (somebody had sold him a crooked one), they will only do for ‘shooting round a corner;’ at least, this sort of shooting has been the late tenor of their exploits. And yet, there are materials in this people, and a noble energy, if well directed. But who is to direct them? No matter. Out of such times heroes spring. Difficulties are the hot-beds of high spirits, and Freedom the mother of the few virtues incident to human nature.