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and intentions, all calculated for the tenth and eleventh, on which days a general rising was to take place, under the supposition that the Barbarians could not advance before the 15th.
"As it is, they have but fifty or sixty thousand troops, a number with which they might as well attempt to conquer the world as secure Italy in its present state. The artillery marches last, and alone, and there is an idea of an attempt to cut part of them off. All this will much depend upon the first steps of the Neapolitans. Here, the public spirit is excellent, provided it be kept up. This will be seen by the event.
"It is probable that Italy will be delivered from the Barbarians if the Neapolitans will but stand firm, and are united among themselves. Here they appear so.
"February 11. 1821. "Wrote had a copy taken of an extract from Petrarch's Letters, with reference to the conspiracy of the Doge, Marino Faliero, containing the poet's opinion of the matter. Heard a heavy firing of cannon towards Comacchio the Barbarians rejoicing for their principal pig's birth-day, which is tomorrow-or Saint day-I forget which. Received a ticket for the first ball to-morrow. Shall not go to the first, but intend going to the second, as also to the Veglioni.
"Much as usual. Wrote, before riding out, part of a scene of Sardanapalus.' The first act nearly finished. The rest of the day and evening as before-partly without, in conversazione-partly at home.
"Heard the particulars of the late fray at Russi, a town not far from this. It is exactly the fact of Romeo and Giulietta-not Romeo, as the Barbarian writes it. Two families of Contadini (peasants) are at feud. At a ball, the younger part of the families forget their quarrel, and dance together. An old man of one of them enters, and reproves the young men for dancing with the females of the opposite family. The male relatives of the latter resent this. Both parties rush home and arm themselves. They meet directly, by moonlight, in the public way, and fight it out. Three are killed on the spot, and six wounded, most of them dangerously, - pretty well for two families, methinks-and all fact, of the last week. Another assassination has taken place at Cesenna, in all about forty in Romagna within the last three months. These people retain much of the middle
"February 15. 1821.
"Last night finished the first act of Sardanapalus. To-night, or to-morrow, I ought to answer letters.
"February 16. 1821.
"Last night I Conte P. G. sent a man with a bag full of bayonets, some muskets, and some hundreds of cartridges to my house, without apprizing me, though I had seen him not half an hour before. About ten days ago, when there was to be a rising here, the Liberals and my brethren C1. asked me to purchase some arms for a certain few of our ragamuffins. I did so immediately, and ordered ammunition, &c. and they were armed accordingly. Well the rising is prevented by the Barbarians marching a week sooner than appointed; and an order is issued, and in force, by the Government, 'that all persons having arms concealed, &c. &c. shall be liable to, &c. &c.'-and what do my friends, the patriots, do two days afterwards? Why, they throw back upon my hands, and into my house, these very arms
vernement de la Hollande," by Louis Buonaparte, exKing of Holland, appeared in 1820.]
(without a word of warning previously) with which I had furnished them at their own request, and at my own peril and expense.
"It was lucky that Lega was at home to receive them. If any of the servants had (except Tita and F. and Lega) they would have betrayed it immediately. In the mean time, if they are denounced or discovered, I shall be in a scrape.1
"At nine went out-at eleven returned. Beat the crow for stealing the falcon's victuals. Read 'Tales of my Landlord'-wrote a letter and mixed a moderate beaker of water with other ingredients.
"February 18. 1821.
"The news are that the Neapolitans have broken a bridge, and slain four pontifical carabiniers, whilk carabiniers wished to oppose. Besides the disrespect to neutrality, it is a pity that the first blood shed in this German quarrel should be Italian. How ever, the war seems begun in good earnest : for, if the Neapolitans kill the Pope's carabiniers, they will not be more delicate towards the Barbarians. If it be even so, in a short time there will be news o' thae craws,' as Mrs. Alison Wilson says of Jenny Blane's unco cockernony' in the 'Tales of my Landlord,'
1 ["Lord Byron's connexion with the Gambas led to his becoming mixed up, to a much greater extent than we were till now aware of, in the Carbonari politics. He contributed large sums of money to the conspiring patriots his house became a regular rendezvous for insurrectionary consultations, and, such was his imprudence, a complete magazine of arms and ammunition. His biographer seems to consider this "devotion to the sacred cause of human freedom," as almost enough to cover more sins than could ever be laid to his charge: we, however, are of the old school in many respects, and in none more decidedly than in the firm belief, that the
Mais ces longs jours
Passés près de Christine.'
This is the thought reversed, of the last stanza of the ballad on Charlotte Lynes, given in Miss Seward's Memoirs of Darwin, which is pretty-I quote from memory of these last fifteen years.
"For my first night I'd go
To those regions of snow,
Where the sun for six months never shines;
He too soon came again,
To disturb me with fair Charlotte Lynes.' 2
To-day I have had no communication with my Carbonari cronies; but, in the mean time, my lower apartments are full of not. I suppose that they consider me as a their bayonets, fusils, cartridges, and what depôt, to be sacrificed, in case of accidents. It is no great matter, supposing that Italy could be liberated, who or what is sacrificed. It is a grand object-the very poetry of politics. Only think-a free Italy!!! Why, there has been nothing like it since the days of Augustus. I reckon the times of Cæsar (Julius) free; because the commotions left every body a side to take, and the parties were pretty equal at the set out. But, afterwards, it was all prætorian and legionary business - and since!-we shall see, or, at least, some will see, what card will turn up. The Dutch did more than these fellows have It is best to hope, even of the hopeless. to do, in the Seventy Years' War.
man who, on any pretext, takes a part, voluntarily, in a war with which the service of his own country has nothing to do, incurs moral guilt of a deep and heinous dye.” — Quart. Rev. 1831.]
2 ["At a convivial meeting of Lichfield gentlemen, most of whom could make agreeable verses, it was proposed that every person in company should give a ballad or epigram on the lady whose health he drank. Vyse toasted Miss Lynes, and taking out his pencil, wrote the stanzas extempore."- Seward's Life of Dr. Darwin.]
the masquerade because it lightens the pious reason!
"Still blowing away. A. has sent me some news to-day. The war approaches nearer and nearer. Oh those scoundrel sovereigns! Let us but see them beaten - let the Neapolitans but have the pluck of the Dutch of old, or the Spaniards of now, or of the German Protestants, the Scotch Presbyterians, the Swiss under Tell, or the Greeks under Themistocles- - all small and solitary nations (except the Spaniards and German Lutherans), and there is yet a resurrection for Italy, and a hope for the world.
February 20. 1821. "The news of the day are, that the Neapolitans are full of energy. The public spirit here is certainly well kept up. The Americani' (a patriotic society here, an under branch of the ' Carbonari') give a dinner in the Forest in a few days, and have invited me, as one of the Ci. It is to be in the Forest of Boccacio's and Dryden's Huntsman's Ghost;' and, even if I had not the same political feelings, (to say nothing of my old convivial turn, which every now and then revives,) I would go as a poet, or, at least, as a lover of poetry. I shall expect to see the spectre of Ostasio degli Onesti' (Dryden has turned him into Guido Cavalcanti — an essentially different person, as may be found in Dante) come thundering for his prey in the midst of the festival.2 At any rate, whether he does or no, I will get as tipsy and patriotic as possible.
Within these few days I have read, but not written.
"February 21. 1821.
"As usual, rode-visited, &c. Business begins to thicken. The Pope has printed a declaration against the patriots, who, he says, meditate a rising. The consequence of all this will be, that, in a fortnight, the whole country will be up. The proclamation is not yet published, but printed, ready for distribution. ** sent me a copy privately a sign that he does not know what to think. When he wants to be well with the patriots, he sends to me some civil message or other. "For my own part, it seems to me, that nothing but the most decided success of the
1 In Boccacio, the name is, I think, Nastagio.
2 ["The knight came thundering on, but, from afar,
Barbarians can prevent a general and immediate rise of the whole nation.
'Rode, &c. as usual. The secret intelligence arrived this morning from the frontier to the Ci. is as bad as possible. The plan has missed the Chiefs are betrayed, military, as well as civil-and the Neapolitans not only have not moved, but have declared to the P.government, and to the Barbarians, that they know nothing of the matter!!!
Thus the world goes; and thus the Italians are always lost for lack of union among themselves. What is to be done here, between the two fires, and cut off from the Nn. frontier, is not decided. My opinion was,-better to rise than be taken in detail; but how it will be settled now, I cannot tell. Messengers are despatched to the delegates of the other cities to learn their resolutions.
I always had an idea that it would be bungled; but was willing to hope, and am so still. Whatever I can do by money, means, or person, I will venture freely for their freedom; and have so repeated to them (some of the Chiefs here) half an hour ago. I have two thousand five hundred scudi, better than five hundred pounds, in the house, which I offered to begin with.
Log-book continued. 1
"February 27. 1821. "I have been a day without continuing the log, because I could not find a blank book. At length I recollected this.
Rode, &c. wrote down an additional stanza for the 5th canto of D. J. which I had composed in bed this morning. Visited l'Amica. We are invited, on the night of the Veglione (next Dominica) with the Marchesa Clelia Cavalli and the Countess Spinelli Rusponi. I promised to go. Last night there was a row at the ball, of which I am a 'socio.' The Vice-legate had the imprudent insolence to introduce three of his servants in masque without tickets, too! and in spite of remonstrances. The consequence was, that the young men of the ball took it up, and were near throw ing the Vice-legate out of the window. His servants, seeing the scene, withdrew, and he after them. His reverence Monsignore ought to know, that these are not times for the predominance of priests over decorum. Two minutes more, two steps further, and the whole city would have been in arms, and the government driven out of it.
"Such is the spirit of the day, and these fellows appear not to perceive it. As far as the simple fact went, the young men were right, servants being prohibited always at these festivals.
"Yesterday wrote two notes on the 'Bowles and Pope' controversy, and sent them off to Murray by the post. The old woman whom I relieved in the forest (she is ninetyfour years of age) brought me two bunches of violets. 'Nam vita gaudet mortua floribus.' I was much pleased with the present. An English woman would have presented a pair of worsted stockings, at least, in the month of February. Both excellent things; but the former are more elegant. The present, at this season, reminds one of Gray's stanza, omitted from his elegy: "Here scatter'd oft, the earliest of the year,
By hands unseen, are showers of violets found; The red-breast loves to build and warble here, And little footsteps lightly print the ground.' As fine a stanza as any in his elegy. I wonder that he could have the heart to omit it. s
"Last night I suffered horribly-from an indigestion, I believe. I never sup-that is, never at home. But, last night, I was prevailed upon by the Countess Gamba's per
1 In another paper-book.
2 [Stanza 158-
"Thus in the East they are extremely strict,
suasion, and the strenuous example of her brother, to swallow, at supper, a quantity of boiled cockles, and to dilute them, not reluctantly, with some Imola wine. When I came home, apprehensive of the consequences, I swallowed three or four glasses of spirits, which men (the venders) call brandy, rum, or hollands, but which gods would entitle spirits of wine, coloured or sugared. All was pretty well till I got to bed, when I became somewhat swollen, and considerably vertiginous. I got out, and mixing some soda-powders, drank them off. This brought on temporary relief. I returned to bed; but grew sick and sorry once and again. Took more soda-water. At last I fell into a dreary sleep. Woke, and was ill all day, till I had galloped a few miles. Querywas it the cockles, or what I took to correct them, that caused the commotion? I think both. I remarked in my illness the complete inertion, inaction, and destruction of my chief mental faculties. I tried to rouse them, and yet could not-and this is the Soul!!!! should believe that it was married to the body, if they did not sympathise so much with each other. If the one rose, when the other fell, it would be a sign that they longed for the natural state of divorce. But as it is, they seem to draw together like post-horses. "Let us hope the best-it is the grand possession."
LOVE OF THE OLD
LETTER TO MOORE CONCERNING THE ME-
DURING the two months comprised in this Journal, some of the Letters of the follow
editions, but was afterwards omitted, because Gray thought (and in my own opinion very justly) that it was too long a parenthesis in this place. The lines, however, are im themselves exquisitely fine, and demand preservation."
And wedlock and a padlock mean the same," &c.] ["This stanza was printed in some of the early-MATTHIAS.]
ing series were written. The reader must, therefore, be prepared to find in them occasional notices of the same train of events.
LETTER 404. TO MR. MOORE.
“Ravenna, January 2. 1821. "Your entering into my project for the Memoir, is pleasant to me. But I doubt (contrary to me my dear Made Mac F * *, whom I always loved, and always shallnot only because I really did feel attached to her personally, but because she and about a dozen others of that sex were all who stuck by me in the grand conflict of 1815) - but I doubt, I say, whether the Memoir could appear in my lifetime; — and, indeed, I had rather it did not; for a man always looks dead after his Life has appeared, and I should certes not survive the appearance of mine. The first part I cannot consent to alter, even although Madame de Stael's opinion of B.C. and my remarks upon Lady C.'s beauty (which is surely great, and I suppose that I have said so at least, I ought) should go down to our grandchildren in unsophisticated naked
"As to Madame de Stael, I am by no means bound to be her beadsman - she was always more civil to me in person than during my absence. Our dear defunct friend, Monk Lewis, who was too great a bore ever to lie, assured me upon his tiresome word of honour, that at Florence, the said Madame de Stael was open-mouthed against me ; and when asked, in Switzerland, why she had changed her opinion, replied, with
1 of this gentleman, the following notice occurs in the "Detached Thoughts:"-" Lewis was a good man, a clever man, but a bore-a damned bore-one may say. My only revenge or consolation used to be setting him by the ears with some vivacious person who hated bores especially, Madame de Stael or Hobhouse, for example But I liked Lewis; he was a jewel of a man, had he been better set ;- I don't mean personally, but less tiresome, for he was tedious, as well as contradictory to every thing and every body. Being short-sighted, when we used to ride out together near the Brenta in the twilight in summer, he made me go before, to pilot him: I am absent at times, especially towards evening; and the consequence of this pilotage was some narrow escapes to the Monk on horseback. Once I led him into a ditch over which I had passed as usual, forgetting to warn my convoy; once I led him nearly into the river, instead of on the moveable bridge which incommodes passengers; and twice did we both run against the Diligence, which, being heavy and slow, did communicate less damage than it received in its leaders, who were terrafied by the charge; thrice did I lose him in the grey of the gloaming, and was obliged to bring-to to his distant signals of distance and distress; all the time he went on talking without intermission, for he was a man of many words.
laudable sincerity, that I had named her in a sonnet with Voltaire, Rousseau, &c. 2 and that she could not help it through decency. Now, I have not forgotten this, but I have been generous, as mine acquaintance, the late Captain Whitby, of the navy, used to say to his seamen (when 'married to the gunner's daughter')-two dozen and let you off easy.' The two dozen' were with the cat-o'-nine tails ;- the 'let you off easy' was rather his own opinion than that of the patient.
My acquaintance with these terms and practices arises from my having been much conversant with ships of war and naval heroes in the year of my voyages in the Mediterranean. Whitby was in the gallant action off Lissa in 1811. He was brave, but a disciplinarian. When he left his frigate, he left a parrot, which was taught by the crew the following sounds-(it must be remarked that Captain Whitby was the image of Fawcett the actor, in voice, face, and figure, and that he squinted).
"I would give many a sugar cane
2 [" Rousseau-Voltaire - our Gibbon-and De Stael, Leman ! these names are worthy of thy shore," &c. Works, p. 565.]
3 The following passage from the letter of mine, to which the above was an answer, will best explain what follows: "With respect to the newspaper, it is odd enough that Lord **** and myself had been (about a week or two before I received your letter) speculating upon your assistance in a plan somewhat similar, but more literary and less regularly periodical in its appearance. Lord, as you will see by his volume of Essays, if it reaches you, has a very sly, dry, and pithy
+ [Probably Lord John Russell, whose " Essay on the English Government and Constitution" had recently appeared.]