LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Murray, 9 October 1822

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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“Genoa, October 9th, 1822.

“I have received your letter, and as you explain it, I have no objection, on your account, to omit those passages in the new Mystery (which were marked in the half-sheet sent the other day to Pisa), or the passage in Cain;—but why not be open, and say so at first? You should be more straight-forward on every account.

“I have been very unwell—four days confined to my bed in ‘the worst inn’s worst room,’ at Lerici, with a violent rheumatic and bilious attack, constipation, and the devil knows what:—no physician, except a young fellow, who, however, was kind and cautious, and that’s enough.

“At last I seized Thompson’s book of prescriptions (a donation of yours), and physicked myself with the first dose I found in it; and after undergoing the ravages of all kinds of decoctions, sallied from bed on the fifth day to cross the Gulf to Sestri. The sea revived me instantly; and I ate the sailors’ cold fish, and drank a gallon of country wine, and got to Genoa the same night after landing at Sestri, and have ever since been keeping well, but thinner, and with an occasional cough towards evening.

“I am afraid the Journal is a bad business, and won’t do; but in it I am sacrificing myself for others—I can have no advantage in it. I believe the brothers Hunts to be honest men; I am sure that they are
618 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
poor ones: they have not a nap. They pressed me to engage in this work, and in an evil hour I consented. Still I shall not repent, if I can do them the least service. I have done all I can for
Leigh Hunt since he came here; but it is almost useless:—his wife is ill, his six children not very tractable, and in the affairs of this world he himself is a child. The death of Shelley left them totally aground; and I could not see them in such a state without using the common feelings of humanity, and what means were in my power, to set them afloat again.

“So Douglas Kinnaird is out of the way? He was so the last time I sent him a parcel, and he gives no previous notice. When is he expected again?

“Yours, &c.

“P.S. Will you say at once—do you publish Werner and the Mystery or not? You never once allude to them.

“That curst advertisement of Mr. J. Hunt is out of the limits. I did not lend him my name to be hawked about in this way.

* * * * * *

“However, I believe—at least, hope—that after all you may be a good fellow at bottom, and it is on this presumption that I now write to you on the subject of a poor woman of the name of Yossy, who is, or was, an author of yours, as she says, and published a book on Switzerland in 1816, patronized by the ‘Court and Colonel M’Mahon.’ But it seems that neither the Court nor the Colonel could get over the portentous price of ‘three pounds, thirteen, and sixpence,’ which alarmed the too susceptible public; and, in short, ‘the book died away,’ and, what is worse, the poor soul’s husband died too, and she writes with the man a corpse before her; but instead of addressing the bishop or Mr. Wilberforce, she hath recourse to that proscribed, atheistical, syllogistical, phlogistical person, mysen, as they say in Notts. It is strange enough, but the rascaille English, who calumniate me in every direction and on every score, whenever they are in great distress recur to me for assistance. If I have had one example of this, I have had letters from a thousand, and as far as is in my power have tried to repay good for evil, and purchase a shilling’s worth of salvation as long as my pocket can hold out.

“Now, I am willing to do what I can for this unfortunate person: but her situation and her wishes (not unreasonable, however) require
A. D. 1822. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 619
more than can be advanced by one individual like myself; for I have many claims of the same kind just at present, and also some remnants of debt to pay in England—God, he knows, the latter how reluctantly! Can the Literary Fund do nothing for her? By your interest, which is great among the pious, I dare say that something might be collected. Can you get any of her books published? Suppose you took her as author in my place, now vacant among your ragamuffins; she is a moral and pious person, and will shine upon your shelves. But seriously, do what you can for her.”