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"I wrote to you, on my way here, a short note, dated Martigny. Mr. Hobhouse and myself arrived here a few days ago, oy the Simplon and Lago Maggiore route. Of course we visited the Borromean Islands, which are fine, but too artificial. The Simplon is magnificent in its nature and its art,—both God and man have done wonders, to say nothing of the Devil, who must certainly have had a hand (or a hoof) in some of the rocks and ravines through and over which the works are carried.
while correcting the press of a second edition, did all he could to have him hanged by way of advertisement.
"I forgot to mention the triumphal arch begun by Napoleon, as a gate to this city. It is unfinished, but the part completed worthy of another age and the same country. The society here is very oddly carried on,―at the theatre, and the theatre only,-which answers to our opera. People meet there as at a rout, but in very small circles. From Milan I shall go to Venice. If you write, write to Geneva, "Yours ever." as before-the letter will be forwarded.
'Milan, Nov. 1, 1816.
without any late answer.
"I do not know whether I mentioned to you, seme time Milan is striking-the cathedral superb. The city ago, that I had parted with the Dr. Polidori a few weeks altogether reminds me of Seville, but a little inferior. We previous to my leaving Diodati. I know no great narm of had heard divers bruits, and took precautions on the road, him; but he had an alacrity of getting into se: apes, and was near the frontier, against some 'many worthy fellows (i. e. too young and heedless; and having enough to attend to in felons) that were out,' and had ransacked some pre-my own concerns, and without time to become his tutor, I ceding travellers, a few weeks ago, near Sesto, or Cesto, thought it much better to give him his congé. He arrived I forget which, of cash and raiment, besides putting them at Milan some weeks before Mr. Hobhouse and myself. in bodily fear, and lodging about twenty slugs in the re- About a week ago, in consequence of a quarrel at the treating part of a courier belonging to Mr. Hope. But theatre with an Austrian officer, in which he was exceed we were not molested, and, I do not think, in any danger, ingly in the wrong, he has contrived to get sent out of the except of making mistakes in the way of cocking and territory, and is gone to Florence. I was not present, the priming whenever we saw an old house, or an ill-looking pit having been the scene of altercation; but on being sent thicket, and now and then suspecting the 'true men,' who for from the Cavalier Breme's box where I was quietly have very much the appearance of the thieves of other staring at the ballet, I found the man of medicine begirt countries. What the thieves may look like, I know not, with grenadiers, arrested by the guard, conveyed into the nor desire to know, for it seems they come upon you in guard-room, where there was much swearing in several bodies of thirty ('in buckram and Kendal green') at a time, languages. They were going to keep him there for the so that voyagers have no great chance. It is something night; but on my giving my name, and answering for his like poor dear Turkey in that respect, but not so good, for apparition next morning, he was permitted egress. Next there you can have as great a body of rogues to match the day he had an order from the government to be gone in regular banditti; but here the gens-d'armes are said to be twenty-four hours, and accordingly gone he is, some days no great things, and as for one's own people, one can't carry ago. We did what we could for him, but to no purpose, them about, like Robinson Crusoe, with a gun on each and indeed he brought it upon himself, as far as I could shoulder. learn, for I was not present at the squabble itself. I believe this is the real state of his case; and I tell it you because 1 believe things sometimes reach you in England in a false or exaggerated form. We found Milan very polite and hospitable, and have the same hopes of Verona and Venice. have filled my paper. "Ever yours, &c."
TO MR. MOORE,
Nov. 6, 1816
"I have been to the Ambrosian library-it is a fine collection-full of MSS. edited and unedited. I enclose you a list of the former recently published: these are matters for your literati. For me, in my simple way, I have been most delighted with a correspondence of letters, all original and anatory, between Lucretia Borgia and Cardinal Bembo, preserved there. I have pored over them and a lock of her hair, the prettiest and fairest imaginable-I never saw fairer-and shall go repeatedly to read the epistles over and over; and if I can obtain some of the hair by fair means, I shall try. I have already persuaded the librarian to promise me copies of the letters, and I hope he "MY DEAR MOORE, will not disappoint me. They are short, but very simple, "Your letter, written before my departure from England sweet, and to the purpose; there are some copies of verses and addressed to me in London, only reached me recently. m Spanish also by her; the tress of her hair is long, and as Since that period, I have been over a portion of that part I said before, beautiful. The Brera gallery of paintings of Europe which I had not already seen. About a month has some fine pictures, but nothing of a collection. Of since, I crossed the Alps from Svitzerland to Milan, painting I know nothing; but I like a Guercinó-a picture which I left a few days ago, and am thus far on my way to of Abraham putting away Hagar and Ishmael--which | Venice, where I shall probably winter. Yesterday I was seems to me natural and goodly. The Flemish school, on the shores of the Benacus, with his fluctibus et fremitu. such as I saw it in Flanders, I utterly detested, despised, Catullus's Sirmium has still its name and site, and is reand abhorred; it might be painting, but it was not nature; membered for his sake; but the very heavy autumnal rains the Italian is pleasing, and their ideal very noble. and mists prevented our quitting our route (that is, Hob"The Italians I have encountered here are very intelli-house and myself, who are at present voyaging together,) gent and agreeable. In a few days I am to meet Monti. as it was better not to see it at all than to a great disadBy-the-way, I have just heard an anecdote of Beccaria, vantage.
who published such admirable things against the punish- "I found on the Benacus the sam tradition of a city ment of death. As soon as his book was out, his servant still visible in calm weather below the waters, which you fhaving read it, I presume,) stole his watch; and his master, have preserved of Lough Neagh, When the clear cold
carry off a few very commonplace mythological images, and one line about Artemisia, and another about Algiers, with sixty words of an entire tragedy about Etiocies and Polynices. Some of the Italians liked him-others called his performance 'seccatura' (a devilish good word, by-theway)-and all Milan was in controversy about him.
eve s declining.' I do not know that it is authorized by records; but they tell you such a story, and say that the city was swallowed up by an earthquake. We moved to-day over the frontier to Verona, by a road suspected of thieves' the wise convey it call,'-but without molestation. I shall remain here a day or two to gape at the usual marvels-amphitheatre, paintings, and all that time- "The state of morals in these parts is in some sort lax. tax of travel-though Catullus, Claudian, and Shakspeare A mother and son were pointed out at the theatre, as being have done more for Verona than it ever did for itself. pronouced by the Milanese world to be of the Theban They still pretend to show, I believe, the tomb of all the dynasty-but this was all. The narrator (one of the first Capulets-we shall see. men in Milan) seemed to be not sufficiently scandalized by the taste or the tie. All society in Milan is carried on at the opera: they have private boxes, where they play at cards, or talk, or any thing else; but (except at the Cassino) there are no open houses, or balls &c. &c.
"The peasant girls have all very fine dark oyes, and many of them are beautiful. There are also two dead bodies in fine preservation-one Saint Carlo Boromeo, at Milan; the other not a saint, but a chief, named Visconti, at Monza-both of which appeared very agreeable. In one of the Boromean isles, (the Isola bella,) there is a large laurel-the largest known-on which Buonaparte, staying there just before the battle of Marengo, carved with his knife the word 'Battaglia.' I saw the letters, now half
"I have seen the finest parts of Switzerland, the Rhine, the Rhone, and the Swiss and Italian lakes; for the beau-worn out and partly erased. ties of which I refer you to the Guide-book. The north of "Excuse this tedious letter. To be tiresome is the priItaly is tolerably free from the English; but the south vilege of old age and absence: I avail myself of the latter swarms with them, I am told. Madame de Staël I saw and the former I have anticipated. If I do not speak to frequently at Copet, which she renders remarkably plea- you of my own affairs, it is not from want of confidence, sant. She has been particularly kind to me. I was for but to spare you and myself. My day is over-what then? some months her neighbour, in a country-house called I have had it. To be sure, I have shortened it;* and if Diodati, which I had on the Lake of Geneva. My plans I had done as much by this letter, it would have been as are very uncertain; but it is probable that you will see me well. But you will forgive that, if not the other faults of England in the spring. I have some business there. "Yours, ever and most affectionately "B. you write to me, will you address to the care of Mons. "P. S. Nov. 7, 1816. Hentsch, Banquier, Geneva, who receives and forwards my "I have been over Verona. The amphitheatre is wonletters. Remember me to Rogers, who wrote to me lately, derful-beats even Greece. Of the truth of Juliet's story, with a short account of your poem, which, I trust, is near they seem tenacious to a degree, insisting on the factthe light. He speaks of it most highly. giving a date, (1303) and showing a tomb. It is a plain, "My health is very endurable, except that I am subject open, and partly decayed sarcophagus, with withered leaves to casual giddiness and faintnesses, which is so like a fine in it, in a wild and desolate conventual garden, once a lady, that I am rather ashamed of the disorder. When I cemetery, now ruined to the very graves. The situation sailed, I had a physician with me, whom, after some months struck me as very appropriate to the legend, being blighted of patience, I found it expedient to part with, before I left as their love. I have brought away a few pieces of the Geneva some time. On arriving at Milan, I found this granite, to give to my daughter and my nieces. Of the gentleman in very good society, where he prospered for other marvels of this city, paintings, antiquities, &c. exceptsome weeks; but, at length, at the theatre he quarrelled ing the tombs of the Scaliger princes, I have no pretensions with an Austrian officer, and was sent out by the govern- to judge. The Gothic monuments of the Scaligers pleased ment in twenty-four hours. I was not present at his me, but 'a poor virtuoso am I,' and "Ever yours." squabble; but on hearing that he was put under arrest, I went and got him out of his confinement, but could not prevent his being sent off, which, indeed, he partly deserved, being quite in the wrong, and having begun a row for row's sake. I had preceded the Austrian government some weeks myself, in giving him his congé from Geneva. He is not a bad fellow, but very young and hotheaded, and "I wrote to you from Verona the other day in my promore likely to incur diseases than to cure them. Hobhouse gress hither, which letter I hope you will receive. Some and myself found it useless to intercede for him. This three years ago, or it may be more, I recollect your telling happened some time before we left Milan. He is gone to me that you had received a letter from our friend Sam Florence. dated 'On board his gondola.' My gondola is, at this "At Milan I saw, and was visited by, Monti, the most present, waiting for me on the canal; but I prefer writing celebrated of the living Italian poets. He seems near to you in the house, it being autumn-and rather an sixty: in face he is like the late Cooke the actor. His English autumn than otherwise. It is my intention to frequent changes in politics have made him very unpopular remain at Venice during the winter, probably, as it has as a man. I saw many more of their literati; but none always been (next to the East) the greenest island of my whose names are well known in England, except Acerbi. imagination. It has not disappointed me; though its eviI lived much with the talians, particularly with the Mar-dent decay would, perhaps, have that effect upon others. quis of Breme's famil who are very able and intelligent But I have been familiar with ruins too long to dislike men, especially the Abate. There was a famous impro- desolation. Besides, I have fallen in love, which, next to visatore who held forth while I was there. His fluency falling into the canal, (which would be of no use, as I cau astonished me; but although I understand Italian, and speak it, (with more readiness than accuracy,) I could only
"Venice, Nov. 17, 1816.
"Among many things at Milan, one pleased me particularly, viz. the correspondence (in the prettiest loveletters in the world) of Lucretia Borgia with Cardinal Bembo, (who, you say, made a very good cardinal,) and a lock of her hair, and some Spanish verses of hers,-the lock very fair and beautiful. I took one single hair of it as a relic, and wished sorely to get a copy of one or two of the letters; but it is prohibited: that I don't mind; but it was impracticable; and so I only got some of them by heart. They are kept in the Ambrosian Library, which I often visited to look them over-to the scandal of the ibrarian, who wanted to enlighten me with sundry valuable MSS. classical, philosophical, and pious. But I stick to the Pope's daughter, and wish myself a cardinal.
*See Dor Juau, Canto I. stanza 213, &c.
wn) is the best or the worst thing could do. I have Otway. I have not yet sinned against it in verse nor do got some extremely good apartmen ́s in the house of a I know that I shall do so, having been tuneless since I Merchant of Venice,' who is a good deal occupied with crossed the Alps, and feeling, as yet, no renewal of the business, and has a wife in her twenty-second year. Ma-'estro.' By-the-way, I suppose you have seen 'Glenarvon.' hanna (that is her name) is in her appearance altogether Madame de Staël lent it me to read from Copet last like an antelope. She has the large, black, oriental eyes, autumn. It seems to me, that if the authoress had written with that peculiar expression in them which is seen rarely the truth, and nothing but the truth-the whole truth-the among Europas even the Italians-2nd which many romance would not only have been more romantic, but more of the Turkish women give themselves by tinging the eye-entertaining. As for the likeness, the picture can't be good id, an art not known out of that country, I believe. This-I did not sit long enough. When you have leisure, let expression she has naturally, and something more than me hear from and of you, believing me ever and truly yours this. In short, I cannot describe the effect of this kind of most affectionately, "B. eye, at least upon me. Her features are regular, and rather aquiline-mouth small-skin clear and soft, with a and of hectic colour-forehead remarkably good: her hair is of the dark gloss, curl, and colour of Lady Jersey's: her became a vinegar merchant; when, lo! his vinegar turned figure is light and pretty, and she is a famous songstress-sweet (and be d―d to it) and ruined him. My last letter scientifically so: her natural voice (in conversation, I to you (from Verona) was enclosed to Murray-have you mean) is very sweet; and the naïveté of the Venetian dia- got it? Direct to me here, poste restante. There are no lect is always pleasing in the mouth of a woman. English here at present. There were several in Switzer. | land-some women; but, except Lady Dalrymple Ham ton, most of them as ugly as virtue—at least, those that I
"P. S. Oh! your Poem-is it out? I hope Longman has paid his thousands: but don't you do as Horace Twiss father did, who, having made money by a quarto tour,
"Nov. 23. "You will perceive that my description, which was pro-saw." ceeding with the minuteness of a passport, has been interrupted for several days. In the mean time,
Since my former dates, I do not know that I have much to add on the subject, and, luckily, nothing to take away; for I am more pleased than ever with my Venetian, and begin to feel very serious on that point-so much so, that I
shall be silent.
TO MR. MOORE.
"Venice, Dec. 24, 1816. "I have taken a fit of writing to you, which por.ends postage-once from Verona-once from Venice, and again from Venice-thrice that is. For this you may thank yourself, for I heard that you complained of my silenceSo, here goes for garrulity.
"I trust that you received my other twain of letters. My By way of divertisement, I am studying daily, at anway of life' (or 'May of life, which is it, according to the Armenian monastery, the Armenian language. I found commentators?)--my way of life' is fallen into great that my mind wanted something craggy to break upon; and regularity. In the mornings I go over in my gondola to this as the most difficult thing I could discover here for hobble Armenian with the friars of the convent of St. in amusement—I have chosen, to torture me into atten- Lazarus, and to help one of them in correcting the English tion. It is a rich language, however, and would amply of an English and Armenian grammar which he is publish repay any one the trouble of learning it. I try, and shall ing. In the evenings I do one of many nothings either go on; but I answer for nothing, least of all for my intentions at the theatres, or some of the conversaziones, which are or my success. There are some very curious MSS. in like our routs, or rather worse, for the women sit in a semide monastery, as well as books; translations also from circle by the lady of the mansion, and the men stand about Greek Griginals, now lost, and from Persian and Syriac, the room. To be sure, there is one improvement upon ours &c.; besides works of their own people. Four years ago-instead of lemonade with their ices, they hand about stiff the French instituted an Armenian professorship. Twenty rum-punch-punch, by my palate; and this they think pupils presented themselves on Monday morning, full of English. I would not disabuse them of so agreeable an noble ardour, ingenuous youth, and impregnable industry. error, no, not for Venice.' They persevered, with a courage worthy of the nation and "Last night I was at the Count Governor's, which, of of universal conquest, till Thursday; when fifteen of the course, comprises the best society, and is very much like twenty succumbed to the six-and-twentieth letter of the other gregarious meetings in every country,—as in ours,— alphabet. It is, to be sure, a Waterloo of an alphabet-except that, instead of the bishop of Winchester, you have that must be said for them. But it is so like these fellows, the patriarch of Venice; and a motley crew of Austrians, to do by it as they did by their sovereigns-abandon both; Germans, noble Venetians, foreigners, and, if you see a to parody the old rhymes, "Take a thing and give a thing quiz, you may be sure he is a consul. Oh, by-the-way, I -Take a King and give a King. They are the worst forgot, when I wrote from Verona, to tell you that at Milan of animals, except their conquerors. I met with a countryman of yours-a Colonel ****, a very excellent, good-natured fellow, who knows and shows all about Milan, and is, as it were, a native there. He is particularly civil to strangers, and this is his history, at least, an episode of it.
"I hear that Hodgson is your neighbour, having a living in Derbyshire. You will find him an excellent-hearted fellow, as well as one of the cleverest; a little, perhaps, too much japanned by preferment in the church and the tuition of youth, as well as inoculated with the disease of domestic "Six-and-twenty years ago Col. ****, then an ensign, fela ity, besides being overrun with fine feelings about being in Italy, fell in love with the Marchesa ****, and woman and constancy, (that small change Love, which she with him. The lady must be, at least, twenty year people exact so rigidly, receive in such counterfeit coin, and his senior. The war broke out; he returned to England, repay in baser metal;) but, otherwise, a very worthy man, to serve-not his country, for that's Ireland—but England who has lately got a pretty wife, and (I suppose) a child which is a different thing; and she-heaven knows what by this time. Pray remember me to him, and say that I she did. In the year 1814, the first annunciation of the know not which to envy most-his neighbourhood, him, or definitive treaty of peace (and tyranny) was developed to the astonished Milanese by the arrival of Col. * * * * who, flinging himself full length at the feet of Madame
"Of Venice I shall say little. You must have seen many descriptions; and they are most of them like. It is a poetical place; and classical, to us, from Shakspeare and
See Childe Harold, Canto IV. stanza 4 and 18.
murmured forth, in half-forgotten Irish Italian,
eternal vows of indelible constancy. The lady screamed and exclaimed, 'Who are you? The Colonel cried, 'What, don't you know me? I am so and so,' &c. &c. &c.; tall, at length, the Marchesa, mounting from reminiscence Are you not near the Luddites? By the Lord! if there's to reminiscence, through the lovers of the intermediate a row, but I'll be among ye! How go on the weavers twenty-five years, arrived at last at the recollection of her the breakers of frames-the Lutherans of politics-the povero sub-lieutenant. She then said, 'Was there ever such virtue? (that was her very word,) and, being now a widow, gave him apartments in her palace, reinstated him in all the rights of wrong, and held him up to the admiring world as a miracle of incontinent fidelity, and the unshaken Abdiel of absence.
Sighing or suing now,
"Methinks this is as pretty a moral tale as any of Marmontel's. Here is another. The same lady, several years ago, made an escapade with a Swede, Count Fersen, (the) same whom the Stockholm mob quartered and lapidated not very long since,) and they arrived at an osteria on the road to Rome or thereabouts. It was a summer evening, and, while they were at suppe., they were suddenly regaled by a symphony of fiddles in an adjacent apartment, so prettily played, that, wishing to hear them more distinctly, the Count rose, and going into the musical society, said, 'Gentlemen, I am sure that, as a company of gallant cavaliers, you will be delighted to show your skill to a lady, who There's an amiable chanson for you-all impromptu. I feels anxious,' &c. &c. The men of harmony were all have written it principally to shock your neighbour Hodg acquiescence every instrument was tuned and toned, and, striking up one of their most ambrosial airs, the whole band followed the Count to the lady's apartment. At their head was the first fiddler, who, bowing and fiddling at the same moment, headed his troop and advanced up the room. Death and discord!-it was the Marquis himseif, who was on a serenading party in the country, while his spouse had run away from town. The rest may be imagined-but, first of all, the lady tried to persuade him that she was there on purpose to meet him, and had chosen this method for an harmonic surprise. So much for this gossip, which amused me when I heard it, and I send it to you, in the hope it may have the like effect. Now we'll return to Venice.
son, who is all clergy and loyalty-mirth and innocence
milk and water.
"What are you doing now,
"As the liberty lads o'er the s02
Bought their freedom, and cheaply, with blood,
Will die fighting, or live free,
And down with all kings but king Ludd!
• See Letter 127.
"When the web that we weave is complete,
O'er the despot at our feet,
And dye it deep in the gore he has pour'd.
"Though black as his heart its hue,
Yet this is the dew
Which the tree shall renew
Of liberty, planted by Ludd!
"But the Carnival's coming,
"The day after to-morrow (to-morrow being Christmas-Mali, or Malapiero, by name. Mala was his name, and day) the Carnival begins. I dine with the Countess pessima his production,—at least, I thought so, and I ought Albrizzi and a party, and go to the opera.* On that day to know, having read more or less of five hundred Drurythe Phenix (not the Insurance Office but the theatre of lane offerings, during my coadjutorship with the sub-andthat name) opens: I have got me a box there for the super Committee. season, for two reasons, one of which is, that the music is "When does your Poem of Poems come out? I hear remarkably good. The Contessa Albrizzi, of whom I that the Edinburgh Review has cut up Coleridge's Chrisnave made mention, is the De Staël of Venice, not young, tabel, and declared against me for praising it.* I praised but a very learned, unaffected, good-natured woman, very it, firstly, because I thought well of it; secondly, because polite to strangers, and, I believe, not at all dissolute, as Coleridge was in great distress, and, after doing what little most of the women are. She has written very well on the I could for him in essentials, I thought that the public works of Canova, and also a volume of Characters, besides avowal of my good opinion might help him farther, at least other printed matter. She is of Corfu, but married a dead with the booksellers. I am very sorry that Jeffrey has Venetian-that is, dead since he married. attacked him, because, poor fellow, it will hurt him in mind
My flame (my 'Donna' whom I spoke of in my former and pocket. As for me, he's welcome-1 shall never think epistle, my Marianna) is still my Marianna, and I her-less of Jeffrey for any thing he may say against me or mine what she pleases. She is by far the prettiest woman I in future.t
The other night I saw a new play, and the author. The subject was the sacrifice of Isaac. The play succeeded and they called for the author-according to continental custom-and he presented himself, a noble Venetian
nave seen here, and the most loveable I have met with any "I I suppose Murray has sent you, or will send (for I do where as well as one of the most singular. I believe I not know whether they are out or no,) the poem, or poesies told you the rise and progress of our liaison in my former of mine, of last summer. By the mass! they're sublime— letter. Lest that should not have reached you, I will Ganion Coheriza-gainsay who dares! Pray, let me merely repeat that she is a Venetian, two-and-twenty | hear from you, and of you, and, at least, let me know that years old, married to a merchant well to do in the world, you have received these three letters. Direct, right here, and that she has great black oriental eyes, and all the poste restante. "Ever and ever, &c. qualities which her eyes promise. Whether being in love "P. S. I heard the other day of a pretty trick of a bookwith her has steeled me or not, I do not know; but I have seller, who has published some d-d nonsense, swearing not seen many other women who seem pretty. The no-the bastards to me, and saying he gave me five hundred ility, in particular, are a sad-looking race-the gentry guineas for them. He lies-I never wrote such stuff, never ather better. And now, what art thou doing? saw the poems, nor the publisher of thein, in my life, nor had any communication, directly or indirectly, with the fellow. Pray say as much for me, if need be. I have written to Murray, to make him contradict the impostor.
See Note 6 to the Siege of Corinth.'
† See Don Juan Cinto stanze 16
"If you write, address to me here, poste restante, as I shall probably stay the winter over. I never see a newg. paper, and know nothing of England, except in a letter now and then from my sister. Of the MS. sent you, i
"Venice, Nov. 25, 1816.
"It is some months since I have heard from or of you-know nothing, except that you have received it, and are ic I think, not since I left Diodati. From Milan I wrote publish it, &c. &c.; but hen, where, and how, you leave ence or twice; but have been here some little time, and me to guess; but it don't much matter. intend to pass the winter without removing. I was much "I suppose you have a world of works passing through pleased with the Lago di Garda, and with Verona, par-your process for next year? When does Moore's Poen cularly the amphitheatre, and a sarcophagus in a convent appear? I sent a letter for him, addressed to your care garden, which they show as Juliet's: they insist on the truth the other day." of her history. Since my arrival at Venice, the lady of the Austrian governor told me that between. Verona and Vicenza there are still ruins of the castle of the Montecchi, and a chapel once appertaining to the Capulets. Romeo seems to have been of Vicenza, by the tradition; but I was a good deal surprised to find so firm a faith in Bandello's novel which seems really to have been founded on a fact.
* Verice pleases me as much as I expected, and 1 expected much. It is one of those places which I know before I see them, and has always haunted me the most after the East. I like the gloomy garety of their gondolas, and the silence of their canals. I do not even dislike the evident decay of the city, though I regret the singularity of its vanished costume: however, there is much left still; the Carnival, 100, is coming.
"Venice, Dec. 4, 1816. "I have written to you so frequently of late, that you will think me a bore; as I think you a very impolite person for not answering my letters from Switzerland, Milan Verona, and Venice. There are some things I wanted, and want to know; viz. whether Mr. Davies, of inaccurate memory, had or had not delivered the MS. as delivered to him; because, if he has not, you will find that he will boun tifully bestow transcriptions on all the curious of his a St. Mark's, and indeed Venice, is most alive at night. quaintance, in which case you may probably find your The theatres are not open till nine, and the society is pro- publication anticipated by the 'Cambridge,' or other portionably late. All this is to my taste, but most of your Chronicles. In the next place-I forget what was next; countrymen miss and regret the rattle of hackney coaches, but, in the third place, I want to hear whether you have without which they can't sleep. yet published, or when you mean to do so, or why you have "I have got remarkably good apartments in a private not done so, because in your last (Sept. 20,-you may be house; I see something of the inhabitants, (having had a ashamed of the date,) you talked of this being done immegood fany letters to some of them;) I have got my gon-diately. dola; I read a little, and luckily could speak Italian (more "From England I hear nothing, and know nothing c fuently than correctly) long ago. I am studying, out of any thing or any body. I have but one correspondent, curiosity, the Venetian dialect, which is very naïve, and (except Mr. Kinnaird on business now and then,) and her soft, and peculiar, though not at all classical; I go out fre- a female; so that I know no more of your island, or city, quently, and am in very good contentment. than the Italian version of the French papers chooses to tell me, or the advertisements of Mr. Colburn tagged to the end of your Quarterly Review for the year ago. I wrote to you at some length last week, and have little to add, except that I have begun, and am proceeding in, a study of the Armenian language, which I acquire, as well as I can, at the Armenian convent, where I go every day to take lessons of a learned friar, and have gained some singular and not useless information with regard to the literature and customs of that oriental people. They have monks, very learned and accomplished men, some of them. They have also a press, and make great efforts for the I find the language (which enlightening of their nation. vincible (at least, I hope not.) I shall go on. is tuin, the literal and the vulgar) difficult, but not inI found it necessary to twist my mind round some severe study, and for the serpent. this, as being the hardest I could devise here, will be a file
The Helen of Canova (a bust which is in the house of Madame the Countess d'Albrizzi, whom I know,) is, without exception, to my mind, the most perfectly beautiful of human conceptions, and far beyond my ideas of human
an establishment here-a church and convent of ninety
TO MR. MURRAY.
• Sce Poems, p 484
TO MR. MURRAY.
In this beloved marble view,' &c.
Talking of the 'heart' reminds me that I have fallen in love, which, except falling into the canal, (and that would be useless, as I swim,) is the best (or worst) thing I could do. I am therefore in love-fathomless love; but lest you should make some splendid mistake, and envy me the possession of some of those princesses or countesses with whose affections your English voyagers are apt to invest themselves, I beg leave to tell you that my goddess is only the wife of a 'Merchant of Venice; but then she is pretty as an antelope, is but two-and-twenty years old, has the large, black, oriental eyes, with the Italian countenance, and dark glossy hair, of the curl and colour of Lady Jersev's. Then she has the voice of a lute, and the song of seraph, (though not quite so sacred,) besides a long postscript of graces, virtues, and accomplishments, enough to furnish out a new chapter for Solomon's Song. But her great merit is finding out mine-there is nothing so amiable as discernment. Our little arrangement is completed, the usual oaths having been taken, and every thing fulfilled according to the 'understood relations' of such liaisons.
"I mean to remain here till the spring, so address to me directly to Venice, poste restante.-Mr. Hobhouse, for the present, is gone to Rome, with his brother, brother's wife, and sister, who overtook him here; he returns in two months. I should have gone too, but I fell in love, and must stay that over. I should think that and the Armenian
alphabet will last the winter. The lady has, luckily for me, been less obdurate than the language, or, between the two, she is not an Armenian but a Venetian, as I believe I told I should have lost my remains of sanity. By-the-way
"The general race of women appear to be handsome; but in Italy, as on almost all the continent, the highest orders are by no means a well-looking generation, and you in my last. As for Italian, I am fluent enough, ever indeed reckoned by their countrymen very much otherwise. in its Venetian modification, which is something like the Some ure exceptions, but most of them as ugly as Virtue classical dialects, I had not forgot my former practice much Somersetshire version of English; and as for the mora herself. during my voyaging. "Yours, ever and truly,
"PS Remember me to Mr. Gifford."