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I think. It seems, by the papers, a preacher of Johanna Southcote's is named Foley; and I can no way account for the said S**'s confusion of words ' and ideas, but by that of his head's running on Johanna
and her apostles. It was a mercy he did not say 'Lord Tozer. You know, of course, that S** is a 'believer in this new (old) virgin of spiritual impreg
'I long to know what she will produce*; her being 'with child at sixty-five is indeed a miracle, but her 'getting any one to beget it, a greater.
If you were not going to Paris or Scotland, I could 'send you some game: if you remain, let me know.
'P.S. A word or two of "Lara," which your en'closure brings before me. It is of no great promise 'separately; but, as connected with the other tales, it 'will do very well for the volumes you mean to pub'lish. I would recommend this arrangement-Childe 'Harold, the smaller Poems, Giaour, Bride, Corsair,
Lara; the last completes the series, and its very like'ness renders it necessary to the others. Cawthorne 'writes that they are publishing English Bards in 'Ireland: pray inquire into this; because it must be ' stopped.'
TO MR. MURRAY.
'Newstead Abbey, September 7th, 1814. 'I should think Mr. Hogg, for his own sake as
' well as yours, would be "critical" as Iago himself in
his editorial capacity; and that such a publication
*The following characteristic note, in reference to this passage, appears, in Mr. Gifford's hand-writing, on the copy of the above letter:
It is a pity that Lord B. was ignorant of Jonson. The old poet has a Satire on the Court Pucelle that would have supplied him with some 'pleasantry on Johanna's pregnancy.'
would answer his purpose, and yours too, with tole'rable management. You should, however, have a good number to start with-I mean, good in quality; in these days, there can be little fear of not coming up to the mark in quantity. There must be many "“fine things" in Wordsworth; but I should think it 'difficult to make six quartos (the amount of the whole) 'all fine, particularly the pedlar's portion of the poem; 'but there can be no doubt of his powers to do almost anything.
"I am "very idle." I have read the few books I had with me, and been forced to fish, for lack of argument. I have caught a great many perch and 'some carp, which is a comfort, as one would not lose 'one's labour willingly.
Pray, who corrects the press of your volumes? I ' hope "The Corsair" is printed from the copy I cor' rected, with the additional lines in the first Canto, ' and some notes from Sismondi and Lavater, which I gave you to add thereto. The arrangement is very • well.
My cursed people have not sent my papers since 'Sunday, and I have lost Johanna's divorce from Jupiter. Who hath gotten her with prophet? Is 'it Sharpe and how? I should like ' to buy one of her seals: if salvation can be had at half-a-guinea a head, the landlord of the Crown and 'Anchor should be ashamed of himself for charging 'double for tickets to a mere terrestrial banquet. I am afraid, seriously, that these matters will lend a sad handle to your profane scoffers, and give a loose 'to much damnable laughter.
I have not seen Hunt's Sonnets nor Descent of 'Liberty he has chosen a pretty place wherein to
compose the last. Let me hear from
TO MR. MOORE.
Newstead Abbey, September 15th, 1814. This is the fourth letter I have begun to you ' within the month. Whether I shall finish or not, or burn it like the rest, I know not. When we meet, I 'will explain why I have not written-why I have not asked you here, as I wished-with a great many other whys and wherefores, which will keep cold. In short, you must excuse all my seeming omissions
' and commissions, and grant me more remission than
St. Athanasius will to yourself, if you lop off a
single shred of mystery from his pious puzzle. It 'is my creed (and it may be St. Athanasius's too) 'that your article on T** will get somebody killed, ' and that, on the Saints, get him d-d afterwards, 'which will be quite enow for one number. Oons, • Tom! you must not meddle just now with the incom'prehensible; for if Johanna Southcote turns out to
you before you
'Now for a little egotism. My affairs stand thus. To-morrow, I shall know whether a circumstance of 'importance enough to change many of my plans will ( occur or not. If it does not, I am off for Italy next 'month, and London, in the mean time, next week. 'I have got back Newstead and twenty-five thousand
pounds (out of twenty-eight paid already),-as a ""sacrifice," the late purchaser calls it, and he may 'choose his own name. I have paid some of my debts, ' and contracted others; but I have a few thousand 'pounds, which I can't spend after my own heart in this climate, and so, I shall go back to the south,
'Hobhouse, I think and hope, will go with me; but, 'whether he will or not, I shall. I want to see Venice, ' and the Alps, and Parmesan cheeses, and look at the 'coast of Greece, or rather Epirus, from Italy, as I once did-or fancied I did that of Italy, when off 'Corfu. All this, however, depends upon an event, which may, or may not happen. Whether it will, I 'shall know probably to-morrow, and, if it does, I 'can't well go abroad at present.
'Pray pardon this parenthetical scrawl. You shall hear from me again soon;-I don't call this an an'Ever most affectionately, &c.'
The circumstance of importance,' to which he alludes in this letter, was his second proposal for Miss Milbanke, of which he was now waiting the result. His own account, in his Memoranda, of the circumstances that led to this step is, in substance, as far as I can trust my recollection, as follows. A person, who had for some time stood high in his affection and confidence, observing how cheerless and unsettled was the state both of his mind and prospects, advised him strenuously to marry; and, after much discussion, he consented. The next point for consideration was— who was to be the object of his choice; and while his friend mentioned one lady, he himself named Miss Milbanke. To this, however, his adviser strongly objected, remarking to him, that Miss Milbanke had at present no fortune, and that his embarrassed affairs would not allow him to marry without one; that she was, moreover, a learned lady, which would not at all suit him. In consequence of these representations, he agreed that his friend should write a proposal for him to the other lady named, which was accordingy
done; and an answer, containing a refusal, arrived as they were, one morning, sitting together. You 'see,' said Lord Byron, 'that, after all, Miss Milbanke
is to be the person;-I will write to her.' He accordingly wrote on the moment, and, as soon as he had finished, his friend, remonstrating still strongly against his choice, took up the letter,-but, on reading it over, observed, Well, really, this is a very pretty letter;'it is a pity it should not go. I never read a prettier ' one.' 'Then it shall go,' said Lord Byron, and in so saying, sealed and sent off, on the instant, this fiat of his fate.
TO MR. MOORE.
'Nd., September 15th, 1814. I have written to you one letter to-night, but
' must send you this much more, as I have not franked
my number, to say that I rejoice in my god-daughter,
and will send her a coral and bells, which I hope she
' will accept, the moment I get back to London.
My head is at this moment in a state of confusion, 'from various causes, which I can neither describe 'nor explain-but let that pass. My employments have been very rural-fishing, shooting, bathing, and 'boating. Books I have but few here, and those I have read ten times over, till sick of them. So, I
are well em
have taken to breaking soda-water bottles with my pistols, and jumping into the water, and rowing over ' it, and firing at the fowls of the air. But why should "I" monster my nothings" to you, who ployed, and happily too, I should hope. For my part, 'I am happy too, in my way-but, as usual, have con'trived to get into three or four 'do not see my way through. But a few days, per
perplexities, which I
haps a day, will determine one of them.