LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 9 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, Dec. 9th, 1820.

“Besides this letter, you will receive three packets, containing, in all, 18 more sheets of Memoranda, which, I fear, will cost you more in postage than they will ever produce by being printed in the next century. Instead of waiting so long, if you could make any thing of them
A. D. 1820. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 383
now in the way of reversion (that is, after my death), I should be very glad,—as, with all due regard to your progeny, I prefer you to your grand-children. Would not
Longman or Murray advance you a certain sum now, pledging themselves not to have them published till after my decease, think you?—and what say you?

“Over these latter sheets I would leave you a discretionary power*; because they contain, perhaps, a thing or two which is too sincere for the public. If I consent to your disposing of their reversion now, where would be the harm? Tastes may change. I would, in your case, make my essay to dispose of them, not publish, now; and if you (as is most likely) survive me, add what you please from your own knowledge; and, above all, contradict any thing, if I have mis-stated; for my first object is the truth, even at my own expense.

“I have some knowledge of your countryman, Muley Moloch, the lecturer. He wrote to me several letters upon Christianity, to convert me; and, if I had not been a Christian already, I should probably have been now, in consequence. I thought there was something of wild talent in him, mixed with a due leaven of absurdity,—as there must be in all talent, let loose upon the world, without a martingale.

The ministers seem still to persecute the Queen * * * * * * * but they won’t go out, the sans of b—es. Damn Reform—I want a place—what say you? You must applaud the honesty of the declaration, whatever you may think of the intention.

“I have quantities of paper in England, original and translated—tragedy, &c. &c. and am now copying out a Fifth Canto of Don Juan, 149 stanzas. So that there will be near three thin Albemarle, or two thick volumes of all sorts of my Muses. I mean to plunge thick, too, into the contest upon Pope, and to lay about me like a dragon till I make manure of * * * for the top of Parnassus.

“Those rogues are right—we do laugh at t’others—eh?—don’t we†?

* The power here meant is that of omitting passages that might be thought objectionable. He afterwards gave me this, as well as every other right, over the whole of the manuscript.

† He here alludes to a humorous article, of which I had told him, in Blackwood’s Magazine, where the poets of the day were all grouped together in a variety of fantastic shapes, with “Lord Byron and little Moore laughing behind, as if they would split,” at the rest of the fraternity.

384 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1820.
You shall see—you shall see what things I’ll say, ‘an it pleases Providence to leave us leisure. But in these parts they are all going to war; and there is to be liberty, and a row, and a constitution—when they can get them. But I won’t talk politics—it is low. Let us talk of the Queen, and her bath, and her bottle—that’s the only motley nowadays.

“If there are any acquaintances of mine, salute them. The priests here are trying to persecute me,—but no matter.

“Yours, &c.”