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fondling his sister for all the sights in London.” But consider, my dear, that I have no Maries nor Thomases. When I leave home, I carry all that makes the soul of home with me; I leave nothing behind but walls and furniture ; and when I return, I bring back materials for enlivening my fireside.
To tell the truth, I believe nobody was ever better formed for enjoying life than I, saving and excepting in the construction of an abominable stomach; for I delight in travelling, yet can be happy at home. I enjoy company, yet prefer retirement. I can look with rapture on the glorious features of nature — the dark lake-the rugged mountain—the roaring cataract-yet gaze with no small pleasure on the contents of a haberdasher's window. * * *
May God grant that, as long as I have friends, I may have a heart to love them; that I may never be loose from the sacred charities of kindred, nor stand alone in a world peopled with my brethren. I trust I shall always love you all, and I hope I shall always have a little corner in all your hearts. I particularize “ you,” lest you should fancy that “ all” meant all my brethren of mankind. Now, I should wish to love them all, to be sure; but truly, I have no great bopes. Yet I think I would willingly serve any one, provided I were allowed to tell him plainly and roundly that I thought him a rogue or a fool, if that happened to be my opi. nion at the time,
LORD BYRON TO M. H. BEYLE.
Genoa, May 29, 1823. At present, that I know to whom I am indebted for a very flattering mention in the " Rome, Naples, and Florence in 1817, by Mons. Stendhal,” it is fit that I should return my thanks (however undesired or undesirable) to Mons. Beyle, with whom I had the honour of being acquainted at Milan in 1816. You only did me too much honour in what you were pleased to say in that work ; but it has hardly given me less pleasure than the praise itself, to become at length aware (which I have done by mere accident) that I am indebted for it to one of whose good opinion I was really ambitious. So many changes have taken place since that period in the Milan circle, that I hardly dare recur to it; some dead, some banished, and some in Austrian dungeons.--Poor Pellico! I trust that, in his iron solitude, his Muse is consoling him in part -one day to delight us again, when both she and her poet are restored to freedom.
Of your works I have only seen Rome, Naples, and Florence,” &c.; the Lives of Haydn and Mozart, and the brochure on Racine and Shakspeare. The“ Histoire de la Peinture,” I have not yet the good fortune to possess.
There is one part of your observations in the pamphlet which I shall venture to remark upon ; -it regards Walter Scott. You say that “ his character is little worthy of enthusiasm,” at the same time that you mention his productions in the
manner they deserve. I have known Walter Scott long and well, and in occasional situations which call forth the real character-and I can assure you that his character is worthy of admi. ration, that of all men he is the most open, the most honourable, the most amiable. With his politics I have nothing to do; they differ from mine. But he is perfectly sincere in them; and sincerity may be humble, but she cannot be servile. I pray you, therefore, to correct or soften that passage. You may, perhaps, attribute this officiousness of mine to a false affectation of candour, as I happen to be a writer also. Attribute it to what motive you please, but believe the truth. I say that Walter Scott is as nearly a thorough good man as man can be, because I know it by experience to be the case.
If you do me the honour of an answer, may I request a speedy one ?–because it is possible (though not yet decided) that circumstances may conduct me once more to Greece. My present address is Genoa, where an answer will reach me in a short time, or be forwarded to wherever I
I beg you to believe me, with a lively recollection of our brief acquaintance, and the hope of one day renewing it, your ever obliged and obedient humble servant,
3 B 2
LORD BYRON TO JOHN MURRAY, ESQ.
Missolonghi, Feb. 25, 1824. I have heard from Mr. Douglas Kinnaird that you state a report of a satire on Mr. Gifford having arrived from Italy, said to be written by me, but that you do not believe it; I dare say you do not, nor any body else, I should think. Whoever asserts that I am the author or abettor of any thing of the kind on Gifford lies in his throat ; I always regarded him as my literary father, and myself as his prodigal son. If any such composition exists, it is none of mine. You know, as well as any body, upon whom I have or have not written, and you also know whether they do or did not deserve the same—and so much for such matters.
You will, perhaps, be anxious to hear some news from this part of Greece (which is most liable to invasion), but you will hear enough through public and private channels on that head. I will, however, give you the events of a week, mingling my own private peculiar with the public, for we are here jumbled a little together at present.
On Sunday (the 15th I believe) I had a strong and sudden convulsive attack which left me speechless, though not motionless, for some strong men could not hold me; but whether it was epi. lepsy, catalepsy, cachexy, apoplexy, or what other exy or epsy, the doctors have not decided, or whether it was spasmodic, or nervous, &c., but it was very unpleasant, and nearly carried me off, and all that. On Monday, they put
leeches to my temples, no difficult matter, but the blood could not be stopped till eleven at night (they had gone too near the temporal artery for my temporal safety), and neither styptic nor caustic would cauterize the orifice till after a hundred attempts.
On Tuesday, a Turkish brig of war ran on shore. On Wednesday, great preparations being made to attack her, though protected by her consorts, the Turks burned her, and retired to Patras. On Thursday, a quarrel ensued between the Suli. otes and the Frank guard at the arsenal; a Swedish officer was killed, and a Suliote severely wounded, and a general fight expected, and with some difficulty prevented. On Friday, the officer was buried, and Captain Parry's English artificers mutinied, under pretence that their lives were in danger, and are for quitting the country—they may. On Saturday we had the smartest shock of an earthquake which I remember (and I have felt thirty, slight or smart, at different periods; they are common in the Mediterranean), and the whole army discharged their arms, upon the same principle that savages beat drums, or howl, during an eclipse of the moon: it was a rare scene alto. gether. If you had but seen the English Johnnies, who had never been out of a Cockney workshop before, nor will again if they can help it! And on Sunday, we heard that the Vizier is come down to Larissa with one hundred and odd thousand men.
In coming here 'I had two escapes, one from the Turks (one of my vessels was taken, but afterwards released), and the other from shipwreck;