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'made a devil of a story of the Fornaretta:-" Young
lady seduced!-subsequent abandonment!-leap into 'the Grand Canal!"-and her being in the "hospital
of fous in consequence!" I should like to know who ' was nearest being made "fou," and be d-d to them! 'Don't you think me in the interesting character of a very ill-used gentleman? I hope your little boy is 'well. Allegrina is flourishing like a pomegranate ' blossom.
TO MR. MURRAY.
'Venice, November 8th, 1819.
Mr. Hoppner has lent me a copy of " Don 'Juan," Paris edition, which he tells me is read in 'Switzerland by clergymen and ladies with consider
able approbation. In the Second Canto, you must 'alter the 49th stanza to
''Twas twilight, and the sunless day went down
Which if withdrawn would but disclose the frown
Of one whose hate is mask'd but to assail;
Thus to their hopeless eyes the night was shown,
And grimly darkled o'er their faces pale
And the dim desolate deep; twelve days had Fear 'Been their familiar, and now Death was here.
I have been ill these eight days with a tertian. fever, caught in the country on horseback in a thun'der-storm. Yesterday I had the fourth attack: the 'two last were very smart, the first day as well as the 'last being preceded by vomiting. It is the fever of 'the place and the season. I feel weakened, but not ' unwell, in the intervals, except headache and lassi'tude.
'Count Guiccioli has arrived in Venice, and has 'presented his spouse (who had preceded him two
months for her health and the prescriptions of Dr. Aglietti) with a paper of conditions, regulations of ' hours and conduct, and morals, &c. &c. &c., which he 'insists on her accepting, and she persists in refusing. 'I am expressly, it should seem, excluded by this 'treaty, as an indispensable preliminary; so that they are in high dissension, and what the result may be I 'know not, particularly as they are consulting friends. To-night, as Countess Guiccioli observed me poring over "Don Juan," she stumbled by mere chance on the 137th stanza of the First Canto, and ' asked me what it meant. I told her, " Nothing-but your husband is coming." As I said this in Italian, 'with some emphasis, she started up in a fright, and said, "Oh, my God, is he coming?" thinking it was her own, who either was or ought to have been at 'the theatre. You may suppose we laughed when she found out the mistake. You will be amused, as I 'was;-it happened not three hours ago.
'I wrote to you last week, but have added nothing 'to the third Canto since my fever, nor to " The Pro
phecy of Dante." Of the former there are about 100 'octaves done; of the latter about 500 lines-perhaps " more. Moore saw the third Juan, as far as it then ' went. I do not know if my fever will let me go on 'with either, and the tertian lasts, they say, a good
' while. I had it in Malta on my way home, and the
malaria fever in Greece the year before that. The 'Venetian is not very fierce, but I was delirious one of the nights with it, for an hour or two, and, on my senses coming back, found Fletcher sobbing on one 'side of the bed, and La Contessa Guiccioli weeping
The following curious particulars of his delirium are given by Madame Guiccioli:- At the beginning of winter Count Guiccioli came
' on the other; so that I had no want of attendance. 'I have not yet taken any physician, because, though 'I think they may relieve in chronic disorders, such 'as gout and the like, &c. &c. &c. (though they can't
cure them)-just as surgeons are necessary to set 'bones and tend wounds-yet I think fevers quite 'out of their reach, and remediable only by diet and
'I don't like the taste of bark, but I suppose that I 'must take it soon.
'Tell Rose that somebody at Milan (an Austrian, 'Mr. Hoppner says) is answering his book. William 'Bankes is in quarantine at Trieste. I have not lately 'heard from Excuse this paper: it is long paper 'shortened for the occasion. What folly is this of 'Carlile's trial? why let him have the honours of a martyr? it will only advertise the books in question. 'Yours, &c. 'P.S. As I tell you that the Guiccioli business is
'from Ravenna to fetch me. When he arrived, Lord Byron was ill of a fever, occasioned by his having got wet through;-a violent storm having surprised him while taking his usual exercise on horseback. He had been delirious the whole night, and I had watched continually by his bedside. During his delirium he composed a good many verses, 6 and ordered his servant to write them down from his dictation. The
rhythm of these verses was quite correct, and the poetry itself had no appearance of being the work of a delirious mind. He preserved them for some time after he got well, and then burned them.- Sul comin'ciare dell' inverno il Conte Guiccioli venne a prendermi per ricondurmi
a Ravenna. Quando egli giunse Ld. Byron era ammalato di febbri prese per essersi bagnato avendolo sorpreso un forte temporale mentre 'faceva l'usato suo esercizio a cavallo. Egli aveva delirato tutta la
notte, ed io aveva sempre vegliato presso al suo letto. Nel suo delirio
egli compose molti versi che ordinò al suo domestico di scrivere sotto la sua dittatura. La misura dei versi era esatissima, e la poesia pure non 'pareva opera di una mente in delirio. Egli la conservò lungo tempo dopo restabilito-poi l'abbrucciò.'
I have been informed, too, that, during his ravings at this time, he was constantly haunted by the idea of his mother-in-law,—taking every one that came near him for her, and reproaching those about him for letting her enter his room.