February 10 1815: A Proposed Trip to Italy

On February 10 1815, Lord Byron writes to Thomas Moore, from Seaham,

My dear Tom, Jeffrey has been so very kind about me and my damnable works, that I would not be indirect or equivocal with him, even for a friend. So, it may be as well to tell him that it is not mine; but that if I did not firmly and truly believe it to be much better than I could offer, I would never have troubled him or you about it. You can judge between you how far it is admissible, and reject it, if not of the right sort. For my own part, I have no interest in the article one way or the other, further than to oblige [Hobhouse]; and should the composition be a good one, it can hurt neither party,—nor, indeed, any one, saving and excepting Mr. [Leake].

Curse catch me if I know what H[obhouse] means or meaned about the demonstrative pronoun, but I admire your fear of being inoculated with the same. Have you never found out that you have a particular style of your own, which is as distinct from all other people, as Hafiz of Shiraz from Hafiz of the Morning Post?

So you allowed B * * and such like to hum and haw you, or, rather, Lady J[ersey] out of her compliment, and me out of mine.177 Sun-burn me, but this was pitiful-hearted. However, I will tell her all about it when I see her.

Bell desires me to say all kinds of civilities, and assure you of her recognition and high consideration. I will tell you of our movements south, which may be in about three weeks from this present writing. By the way, don’t engage yourself in any travelling expedition, as I have a plan of travel into Italy, which we will discuss. And then, think of the poesy wherewithal we should overflow, from Venice to Vesuvius, to say nothing of Greece, through all which—God willing—we might perambulate in one twelve months. If I take my wife, you can take yours; and if I leave mine, you may do the same. ‘Mind you stand by me in either case, Brother Bruin.’
And believe me inveterately yours,
B

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