LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Richard Belgrave Hoppner, 3 April 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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“Ravenna, April 3d, 1821.

“Thanks for the translation. I have sent you some books, which I do not know whether you have read or no—you need not return them, in any case. I enclose you also a letter from Pisa. I have neither spared trouble nor expense in the care of the child; and as she was now

* These lines,—perhaps from some difficulty in introducing them,—were never inserted in the Tragedy.

A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 457
four years old complete, and quite above the control of the servants.—and as a man living without any woman at the head of his house cannot much attend to a nursery—I had no resource but to place her for a time (at a high pension too) in the convent of Bagna-Cavalli (twelve miles off), where the air is good, and where she will, at least, have her learning advanced, and her morals and religion inculcated*. I had also another reason;—things were and are in such a state here, that I had no reason to look upon my own personal safety as particularly insurable; and I thought the infant best out of harm’s way, for the present.

“It is also fit that I should add that I by no means intended, nor intend, to give a natural child an English education, because with the disadvantages of her birth, her after settlement would be doubly difficult. Abroad, with a fair foreign education and a portion of five or six thousand pounds, she might and may marry very respectably. In England such a dowry would be a pittance, while elsewhere it is a fortune. It is, besides, my wish that she should be a Roman Catholic, which I look upon as the best religion, as it is assuredly the oldest of the various branches of Christianity. I have now explained my notions as to the place where she now is—it is the best I could find for the present; but I have no prejudices in its favour.

“I do not speak of politics, because it seems a hopeless subject, as long as those scoundrels are to be permitted to bully states out of their independence. Believe me

“Yours ever and truly.

“P.S. There is a report here of a change in France; but with what truth is not yet known.

“P.S. My respects to Mrs. H. I have the ‘best opinion’ of her countrywomen; and at my time of life (three and thirty, 22d January, 1821), that is to say, after the life I have led, a good opinion is the only rational one which a man should entertain of the whole sex:—up

* With such anxiety did he look to this essential part of his daughter’s education, that notwithstanding the many advantages she was sure to derive from the kind and feminine superintendence of Mrs. Shelley, his apprehensions lest her feeling upon religious subjects might be disturbed by the conversation of Shelley himself prevented him from allowing her to remain under his friend’s roof.

458 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1821.
to thirty, the worst possible opinion a man can have of them in general, the better for himself. Afterwards, it is a matter of no importance to them, nor to him either, what opinion he entertains—his day is over, or, at least, should be.

“You see how sober I am become.”