« AnteriorContinuar »
set out for Rome, it is not unlikely I may find myself at St. Petersburg.
“ You tell me to take care of myself;' — faith, and I will. I won't be posthumous yet, if I can help it. Notwithstanding, only think what a · Life and Adventures, while I am in full scandal, would be worth, together with the membra' of my writingdesk, the sixteen beginnings of poems never to be finished ! Do you think I would not have shot myself last
year, had I not luckily recollected that Mrs.C ** and Lady N**, and all the old women in England would have been delighted ;- besides the agreeable · Lunacy,' of the Crowner's Quest,' and the regrets of two or three or half a dozen ? Be assured that I would live for two reasons, or more ;
there are one or two people whom I have to put out of the world, and as many into it, before I can depart in peace;' if I do so before, I have not fulfilled my mission. Besides, when I turn thirty, I will turn devout; I feel a great vocation that way in Catholic churches, and when I hear the organ.
“ So ** is writing again! Is there no Bedlam in Scotland ? nor thumb-screw ? nor gag? nor handcuff? I went upon my knees to him almost, some years ago, to prevent him from publishing a political pamphlet, which would have given him a livelier idea of · Habeas Corpus' than the world will derive from his present production upon that suspended subject, which will doubtless be followed by the suspension of other of his Majesty's subjects.
I condole with Drury Lane and rejoice with **
that is, in a modest way, on the tragical end of the new tragedy.
“ You and Leigh Hunt have quarrelled then, it seems ? I introduce him and his poem to you, in the hope that (malgré politics) the union would be beneficial to both, and the end is eternal enmity ; and yet
I did this with the best intentions : I introduce * * *, and * * *
your money: my friend. Hobhouse quarrels, too, with the Quarterly: and (except the last) I am the innocent Istmhus (damn the word! I can't spell it, though I have crossed that of Corinth a dozen times) of these enmities.
“I will tell you something about Chillon. - A Mr. De Luc, ninety years old, a Swiss, had it read to him, and is pleased with it,- so my sister writes. He said that he was with Rousseau at Chillon, and that the description is perfectly correct. But this is not all : I recollected something of the name, and find the following passage in . The Confessions,' vol. iii. page 247. liv. visi.:
6 • De tous ces amusemens celui qui me plût davantage fut une promenade autour du Lac, que je fis en bateau avec De Luc père, sa bru, ses deux fils, et ma Therése. Nous mîmes sept jours à cette tournée par le plus beau temps du monde. J'en gardai le vif souvenir des sites qui m'avoient frappé à l'autre extrémité du Lac, et dont je fis la description, quelques années après, dans la Nouvelle Heloise.'
“ This nonagenarian, De Luc, must be one of the deux fils.' He is in England - infirm, but still in.. faculty. It is odd that he should have lived so long, and not wanting in oddness that he should have made this voyage with Jean Jacques, and afterwards, at such an interval, read a poem by an Englishman (who had made precisely the same circumnavigation) upon the same scenery.
“ As for · Manfred,' it is of no use sending proofs; nothing of that kind comes. I sent the whole at different times. The two first Acts are the best ; the third so so; but I was blown with the first and second heats. You must call it a Poem,' for it is no Drama, and I do not choose to have it called by so ** a name-a'Poem in dialogue,' or — Pantomime, if you will; any thing but a green-room synonyme ; and this is your motto –
“ • There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'
“ Yours ever, &c. “ My love and thanks to Mr. Gifford.”
“ Venice, April 11. 1817. “ I shall continue to write to you while the fit is on me, by way of penance upon you
former complaints of long silence. I dare say you would blush, if you could, for not answering. Next week I set out for Rome. Having seen Constantinople, I should like to look at t'other fellow. Besides, I want to see the Pope, and shall take care to tell him that I vote for the Catholics and no Veto.
“ I sha’n’t go to Naples. It is but the second best sea-view, and I have seen the first and third, viz. Constantinople and Lisbon, (by the way, the last is but a river-view; however, they reckon it after Stamboul and Naples, and before Genoa,) and Vesuvius is silent, and I have passed by Ætna. So I shall e'en return to Venice in July; and if you write, I pray you to address to Venice, which is my head, or rather my heart, quarters.
“ My late physician, Dr. Polidori, is here on his way to England, with the present Lord G** and the widow of the late earl. Dr. Polidori has, just now, no more patients, because his patients are no
He had lately three, who are now all dead one embalmed. Horner and a child of Thomas Hope's are interred at Pisa and Rome. Lord G ** died of an inflammation of the bowels : so they took them out, and sent them (on account of their discrepancies), separately from the carcass, to England. Conceive a man going one way, and his intestines another, and his immortal soul a third !
was there ever such a distribution ? One certainly has a soul ; but how it came to allow itself to be enclosed in a body is more than I can imagine. I only know if once mine gets out, I'll have a bit of a tussle before I let it get in again to that or any other.
« And so poor dear Mr. Maturin's second tragedy has been neglected by the discerning public! * * will be d—d glad of this, and d-d without being glad, if ever his own plays come upon any stage.'
“ I wrote to Rogers the other day, with a message for you. I hope that he flourishes. He is the Tithonus of poetry – immortal already. You and I must wait for it.
“I hear nothing - know nothing. You may easily suppose that the English don't seek me, and I avoid them. To be sure, there are but few or none here, save passengers. Florence and Naples are their Margate and Ramsgate, and much the same sort of company too, by all accounts, which hurts us among the Italians.
“ I want to hear of Lalla Rookh -- are you out ? Death and fiends ! why don't you tell me where you are, what you are, and how you are ? I shall go to Bologna by Ferrara, instead of Mantua : because I would rather see the cell where they caged Tasso, and where he became mad and * *, than his own MSS. at Modena, or the Mantuan birthplace of that harmonious plagiary and miserable flatterer, whose cursed hexameters were drilled into me at Harrow. I saw Verona and Vicenza on my way here Padua too.
“ I go alone, but alone, because I mean to return here. I only want to see Rome. I have not the least curiosity about Florence, though I must see it for the sake of the Venus, &c. &c.; and I wish also to see the Fall of Terni. I think to return to Venice by Ravenna and Rimini, of both of which I mean to take notes for Leigh Hunt, who will be glad to hear of the scenery of his Poem. There was a devil of a review of him in the Quarterly, a year ago, which he answered. All answers are imprudent: but, to be sure, poetical flesh and blood must have the last word — that's certain. I thought,