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« I see in the last two numbers of the Quarterly a strong itching to assail me (see the review of “The Etonian'): let it, and see if they sha'n't have enough of it: I do not allude to Gifford, who has always been my friend, and whom I do not consider as responsible for the articles written by others.
« You will publish the plays when ready. I am in such a humour about this printing of Don Juan so inaccurately, that I must close this.
«P.S.-I presume that you have not lost the stanza to which I allude? It was sent afterwards : look over my
letters and find it.»
TO MR MURRAY.
« The enclosed letter is written in bad humour, but not without provocation. However, let it (that is, the bad humour) go for little; but I must request your serious attention to the abuses of the printer, which ought never to have been permitted. You forget that all the fools in London (the chief purchasers of your publications) will condemn in me the stupidity of your printer. For instance, in the notes to Canto Fifth, the Adriatic shore of the Bosphorus' instead of the Asiatic!! All this may seem little to you, so fine a gentleman with your ministerial connexions, but it is serious to me, thousands of miles off, and have no opportunity of not
· Written in the envelope of the preceding Letter.
proving myself the fool your printer makes me, except your pleasure and leisure, forsooth.
« The gods prosper you, and forgive you, for I can't.»
TO MR MOORE.
« Ravenna, September 3d, 1821. « By Mr Mawman (a paymaster in the corps, in which you and I are privates) I yesterday expedited to your address, under cover one, two paper books, containing the Giaour-nal, and a thing or two. It won't all doeven for the posthumous public-but extracts from it may. It is a brief and faithful chronicle of a month or so-parts of it not very discreet, but sufficiently sincere. Mr Mawman saith that he will, in person or per friend, have it delivered to you in your Elysian fields. «If you have got the
new Juans, recollect that there are some very gross printers' blunders, particularly in the Fifth Canto,-such as praise' for 'pair-precarious' for 'precocious'—'Adriatic' for 'Asiatic'-"case" for chase'-besides gifts of additional words and syllables, which make but a cacophonous rhythmus. Put the pen through the said, as I would mine through * *'s ears, if I were alongside him. As it is, I have sent him a rattling letter, as abusive as possible. Though he is publisher to the Board of Longitude,' he is in no danger of discovering it. « J am packing for Pisa ---but direct
letters here, till further notice.
« Yours ever, etc.)
One of the « paper-books» mentioned in this letter as
intrusted to Mr Mawman for me, contained a portion, to the amount of nearly a hundred pages, of a prose story, relating the adventures of a young Andalusian nobleman, which had been begun by him, at Venice, in 1817. The following passage is all I shall extract from this amusing Fragment.
« A few hours afterwards we were very good friends, and a few days after she set out for Arragon, with my son, on a visit to her father and mother. I did not accompany her immediately, having been in Arragon before, but was to join the family in their Moorish chateau within a few weeks.
« During her journey I received a very affectionate letter from Donna Josepha, apprizing me of the welfare of herself and my son.
On her arrival at the chateau, I received another still more affectionate, pressing me, in very fond, and rather foolish, terms, to join her immediately. As I was preparing to set out from Seville, I received a third—this was from her father, Don Jose di Cardozo, who requested me, in the politest manner, to dissolve my marriage. I answered him with equal politeness, that I would do no such thing. A fourth letter arrived-it was from Donna Josepha, in which she informed me that her father's letter was written by her particular desire. I requested the reason by return of post-she replied, by express, that as reason had nothing to do with the maiter, it was unnecessary to give any—but that she was an injured and excellent woman. I then inquired why she had written to me the two preceding affectionate letters, requesting me to come to Arragon. She answered, that was because she believed me out of my senses--that, being unfit to take care of myself, I had only to set out on this journey alone, and making my way without difficulty to Don Jose di Cardozo's, I should there have found the tenderest of wives and—a strait waistcoat.
« I had nothing to reply to this piece of affection but a reiteration of my request for some lights upon the subject. I was answered that they would only be related to the Inquisition. In the mean time, our domestic discrepancy had become a public topic of discussion; and the world, which always decides justly, not only in Arragon but in Andalusia, determined that I was not only to blame, but that all Spain could produce nobody so blameable. My case was supposed to comprise all the crimes which could, and several which could not be committed, and little less than an auto-da-fé was anticipated as the result. But let no man say that we are abandoned by our friends in adversity-it was just the reverse. Mine thronged around me to condemn, advise, and console me with their disapprobation.-They told me all that was, would, or could be said on the subject. They shook their heads--they exhorted me-deplored me, with tears in their eyes, and—went to dinner.»
TO MR MURRAY.
* Ravenna, September 4th, 1821 « By Saturday's post, I sent you a fierce and furibund letter upon the subject of the printer's blunders in Don Juan. I must solicit your attention to the topic, though my wrath hath subsided into sullenness.
« Yesterday I received Mr--, a friend of yours, and because he is a friend of yours;
and that's more than I would do in an English case, except for those whom I honour. I was as civil as I could be among packages even to the very chairs and tables, for I am going to Pisa in a few weeks, and have sent and am sending off my chattels. It regretted me that, my books and every thing being packed, I could not send you a few things I meant for
you; but they were all sealed and baggaged, so as to have made it a month's work to get at them again. I gave him an envelope, with the Italian scrap in it,” alluded to in my Gilchrist defence. Hobhouse will make it out for you, and it will make you laugh, and him too, the spelling particularly. The ‘Mericani, of whom they call me the ‘Capo' (or Chief), mean “Americans,' which is the name given in Romagna to a part of the Carbonari; that is to say, to the popular part, the troops of the Carbonari. They are originally a society of hunters in the forest, who took the name of Americans, but at present comprise some thousands, etc.; but I sha'n't let you further into the secret, which
be participated with the postmasters. Why they thought me their Chief, I know not: their Chiefs are like ‘Legion, being many. However, it is a post of more honour than profit, for, now that they are persecuted, it is fit that I should aid them; and so I have done, as far as my means would permit. They will rise again some day, for these fools of the government are blundering: they actually seem to know nothing, for they have arrested and banished many of their own party, and let others escape
who are not their friends.
" It will be observed, from this and a few other instances, that notwithstanding the wonderful purity of English he was able to preserve in his writings, while living constantly with persons speaking a different language, he had already begun so far to feel the influence of this habit as to fall occasionally into Italianisms in his familiar lellers. — «I am in the case to know»— « I have caused write»- « It regrets me,” etc.
2 Ao anonymous letter which he had received, threatening him with assassination.