LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Richard Belgrave Hoppner, 23 July 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, July 23d, 1821.

“This country being in a state of proscription, and all my friends exiled or arrested—the whole family of Gamba obliged to go to Florence for the present—the father and son for politics—(and the Guiccioli, because menaced with a convent, as her father is not here), I have determined to remove to Switzerland, and they also. Indeed, my, life here is not supposed to be particularly safe—but that has been the case for this twelvemonth past, and is therefore not the primary consideration.

“I have written by this post to Mr. Hentsch, junior, the banker of Geneva, to provide (if possible) a house for me, and another for Gamba’s family (the father, son, and daughter), on the Jura side of the lake of Geneva, furnished, and with stabling (for me at least) for eight horses. I shall bring Allegra with me. Could you assist me or Hentsch in his

* “Lord Byron restava frattanto a Ravenna in un paese sconvolso dai partiti, e dove aveva certamente dei nemici di opinioni fanatici e perfidi, e la mia immaginazione me lo dipingeva circondato sempre da mille pericoli. Si può dunque pensare cosa dovesse essere qual viaggio per me e cosa io dovessi soffrire nella sua lontananza. La sue lettere avrebbero potuto essermi di conforto; ma quando io le riceveva an già trascorso lo spazio di due giorni dal memento in cui furono scritte, e questo pensiero distruggeva tutto il bene che esse potevano farmi, e la mia anima era lacerata dai più crudeli timori. Frattanto era necessario per la di lui convenienza che egli restasse ancora qualche tempo in Ravenna affinchè non avesse a dirsi che egli pure ne era caigliato; ed oltreciò egli si era sommamente affezianto a qual soggiorno e voleva innansi di partire vedere esausiti tutti i tentativi e tutte le speranze del ritorno dei miei parenti.”

A. D. 1821. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 505
researches? The Gambas are at Florence, but have authorized me to treat for them. You know, or do not know, that they are great patriots—and both—but the son in particular—very fine fellows. This I know, for I have seen them lately in very awkward situations—not pecuniary, but personal—and they behaved like heroes, neither yielding nor retracting.

“You have no idea what a state of oppression this country is in—they arrested above a thousand of high and low throughout Romagna—banished some and confined others, without trial, process, or even accusation!! Every body says they would have done the same by me if they dared proceed openly. My motive, however, for remaining, is because every one of my acquaintance, to the amount of hundreds almost, have been exiled.

“Will you do what you can in looking out for a couple of houses furnished, and conferring with Hentsch for us? We care nothing about society, and are only anxious for a temporary and tranquil asylum and individual freedom.

“Believe me, &c.

“P.S. Can you give me an idea of the comparative expenses of Switzerland and Italy? which I have forgotten. I speak merely of those of decent living, horses, &c. and not of luxuries or high living. Do not, however, decide any thing positively till I have your answer, as I can then know how to think upon these topics of transmigration, &c. &c. &c.”