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meant to conceal this at all, and have only not stated it, because Don Juan had no preface nor name to it. If you think it worth while to make this statement, do so in your own way. I laugh at such charges, convinced that no writer ever borrowed less, or made his materials more bis own. Much is coincidence: for instance, Lady Morgan (in a really excellent book, I assure you, on Italy), calls Venice an ocean Rome: I have the very same expression in Foscari, and yet you know that the play was written months ago, and sent to England : the Italy' I received only on the 16th instant.
« Your friend, like the public, is not aware, that my dramatic simplicity is studiously Greek, and must continue so: no reformi ever succeeded at first. I admire the old English dramatists; but this is quite another field, and has nothing to do with theirs. I want to make a regular English drama, no matter whether for the stage or not, which is not my object,—but a mental theatre.
« Yours. « P.S.- Can't accept your courteous offer.
For Orford and for Waldegrave
My Murray. « No man ever rose (says Pope) to any degree of perfection in writing but through obstinacy and an inveterate resolution against the streain of mankind.
But now this sheet is nearly cramm’d,
« These matters must be arranged with Mr Douglas Kinnaird. He is my trustee, and a man of honour. To him you can state all your mercantile reasons, which you might not like to state to me personally, such as heavy season'-'flat public' --don't go off_lordship writes too much'--'won't take advice'—"declining popularity — deduction for the trade'—make very little — generally lose by him'— pirated edition'— foreign edition’— severe criticisms, etc. with other hints and howls for an oration, which I leave Douglas, who is an orator, to answer.
« You can also state them more freely to a third person, as between you and me they could only produce some smart postscripts, which would not adorn our mutual archives. « l am sorry for the Queen, and that's more than
TO MR MOORE.
« Ravenna, August 24th, 1821. « Yours of the 5th only yesterday, while I had letters of the 8th from London. Doth the post dabble into our letters? Whatever agreement you make with Murray, if satisfactory to you, must be so to me. There need be no scruple, because, though I used sometimes to buffoon to myself, loving a quibble as well as the barbarian himself (Shakspeare, to wit)--that, like a Spartan, T
would sell my life as dearly as possible'--it never was my intention to turn it to personal, pecuniary account, but to bequeath it to a friend--yourself - in the event of survivorship. I anticipated that period, because we happened to meet, and I urged you to make what was possible now by it, for reasons which are obvious. It has been no possible privation to me, and therefore does not require the acknowledgments you mention. So, for God's sake don't consider it like
« By the way, when you write to Lady Morgan, will you thank her for her handsome speeches in her book about
books? I do not know her address. Her work is fearless and excellent on the subject of Italypray tell her so-and I know the country. I wish she had fallen in with me, I could have told her a thing or two that would have confirmed her positions.
« J am glad that you are satisfied with Murray, who seems to value dead lords more than live ones. I have just sent him the following answer to a proposition of
For Orford and for Waldegrave, etc.
of the above is, that he wanted to stint me of my sizings,' as Lear says—that is to say, not to propose an extravagant price for an extravagant poem, as is becoming. Pray take his guineas, by all
I taught him that. He made me a filthy offer of pounds once, but I told him that, like physicians, poets must be dealt with in guineas, as being the only advantage poets could have in the association with them, as votaries of Apollo. I write to you in hurry and bustle, which I will expound in my next.
« Yours ever, etc. «P.S.--You mention something of an attorney on his way to me on legal business. I have had no warning of such an apparition. What can the fellow want? I bave some lawsuits and business, but have not heard of any thing to put me to the expense of a travelling lawyer. They do enough, in that way, at home.
« Ah, poor Queen! but perhaps it is for the best, if Herodotus's anecdote is to be believed
« Remember me to any friendly Angles of our mutual acquaintance. What are you doing? Here I have had my hands full with tyrants and their victims. There never was such oppression, even in Ireland, scarcely!»
TO MR MURRAY.
« Piavenna, August 31st, 1821. « I have received the Juans, which are printed so carelessly, especially the fifth canto, as to be disgraceful to me, and not creditable to you. It really must be gone over again with the manuscript, the errors are so gross ; --words added-changed--so as to make cacophony and nonsense. You have been careless of this poem because some of your squad don't approve of it; but I tell you that it will be long before you see any thing half so good as poetry or writing. Upon what principle have you
omitted the note on Bacon and Voltaire? and one of the concluding stanzas sent as an addition ?-because it ended, I suppose,
And do not link two virtuous souls for life
Into that moral centaur, man and wife ? « Now, I must say, once for all, that I will not permit any human being to take such liberties with my writings because I am absent. I desire the omissions to be replaced (except the stanza on Semiramis)- particularly the stanza upon the Turkish marriages; and I request that the whole be carefully gone over with the MS.
«I never saw such stuff as is printed :—Gulleyaz instead of Gulbeyaz, etc. Are you aware that Gulbeyaz is a real name, and the other nonsense ? I copied the cantos out carefully, so that there is no excuse, as the printer read, or at least prints, the MS. of the plays without error.
« If you have no feeling for your own reputation, pray have some little for mine. I have read over the poem carefully, and I tell you, it is poetry. Your little envious knot of pārson-poets may say what they please: time will show that I am not in this instance mistaken.
« Desire my friend Hobhouse to correct the press, especially of the last canto, from the manuscript as it is. It is enough to drive one out of one's reason to see the infernal torture of words from the original. For instance the line
And pair their rhymes as Venus yokes her doves“ is printed
And praise their rhymes, etc. Also“ precarious' for 'precocious;' and thisline, stanza 133,
And this strong extreme effect to tire no longer. Now do turn to the manuscript and see if I ever wrote such a line: it is not verse.
« No wonder the poem should fail (which, however, it won't, you will see) with such things allowed to creep about it. Replace what is omitted, and correct what is so shamefully misprinted, and let the poem have fair play; and I fear nothing.