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"I shall be glad to hear of the event of the Queen's concern. As to the ultimate effect, the most inevitable one to you and me (if they and we live so long) will be that the Miss Moores and Miss Byrons will present us with a great variety of grandchildren by different fathers.

"Pray, where did you get hold of Goethe's Florentine husband-killing story? Upon such matters, in general, I may say, with Beau Clincher, in reply to Errand's wife

"Oh the villain, he hath murdered my poor Timothy !

"Clincher. Damn your Timothy !-I tell you, woman, your husband has murdered mee-he has carried away my fine jubilee clothes.'

"So Bowles has been telling a story, too ('tis in the Quarterly), about the woods of Madeira,' and so forth. I shall be at Bowles again, if he is not quiet. He mis-states, or mistakes, in a point or two. The paper is finished, and so is the letter.

"Yours," &c.

LETTER 398. TO MR. MURRAY.

"Ravenna, 9bre 9°, 1820.

"The talent you approve of is an amiable one, and might prove a 'national service,' but unfortunately I must be angry with a man before I draw his real portrait; and I can't deal in generals,' so that I trust never to have provocation enough to make a Gallery. If the parson' had not by many little dirty sneaking traits provoked it, I should have been

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silent, though I had observed him. Here follows an

alteration: put

"Devil with such delight in damning,

That if at the resurrection

Unto him the free election

Of his future could be given,

'Twould be rather Hell than Heaven;

that is to say, if these two new lines do not too much lengthen out and weaken the amiability of the original thought and expression. You have a discretionary power about showing. I should think that Croker would not disrelish a sight of these light little humorous things, and may be indulged now and then.

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"Why, I do like one or two vices, to be sure; but I can back a horse and fire a pistol without thinking or blinking' like Major Sturgeon; I have fed at times for two months together on sheer biscuit and water (without metaphor); I can get over seventy or eighty miles a day riding post, and swim five at a stretch, as at Venice, in 1818, or at least I could do, and have done it ONCE.

"I know Henry Matthews: he is the image, to the very voice, of his brother Charles, only darker-his laugh his in particular. The first time I ever met him was in Scrope Davies's rooms after his brother's death, and I nearly dropped, thinking that it was his ghost. I have also dined with him in his rooms at King's College. Hobhouse once purposed a similar Memoir; but I am afraid that the letters of Charles's correspondence with me (which are at Whitton with

my other papers) would hardly do for the public: for our lives were not over strict, and our letters somewhat lax upon most subjects.*

"Last week I sent you a correspondence with Galignani, and some documents on your property. You have now, I think, an opportunity of checking, or at least limiting, those French republications. You may let all your authors publish what they please against me and mine. A publisher is not, and cannot be, responsible for all the works that issue from his printer's.

"The White Lady of Avenel' is not quite so good as a real well authenticated (‘Donna Bianca') White Lady of Colalto, or spectre in the Marca Trivigiana, who has been repeatedly seen. There is a man (a huntsman) now alive who saw her also. Hoppner could tell you all about her, and so can Rose, perhaps. I myself have no doubt of the fact, historical and spectral.+ She always appeared on particular occasions, before the deaths of the family, &c. &c. I heard Madame Benzoni say, that she knew a gentleman who had seen her cross his room at Colalto Castle. Hoppner saw and spoke with the huntsman who met her at the chase, and never hunted afterwards. She was a girl attendant, who, one day dressing the hair of a Countess Colalto, was

* Here follow some details respecting his friend Charles S. Matthews, which have already been given in the first volume of this work.

+ The ghost-story, in which he here professes such serious belief, forms the subject of one of Mr. Rogers's beautiful Italian sketches. · See "Italy," p. 43. edit. 1830.

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seen by her mistress to smile upon her husband in the glass. The Countess had her shut up in the wall of the castle, like Constance de Beverley. Ever after, she haunted them and all the Colaltos. She is described as very beautiful and fair. It is well authenticated."

LETTER 399. TO MR. MURRAY.

"Ravenna, 9bre 18°, 1820.

"The death of Waite is a shock to the-teeth, as well as to the feelings of all who knew him. Good God, he and Blake* both gone! I left them both in the most robust health, and little thought of the national loss in so short a time as five

years. They were both as much superior to Wellington in rational greatness, as he who preserves the hair and the teeth is preferable to the bloody blustering warrior' who gains a name by breaking heads and knocking out grinders. Who succeeds him? Where is toothpowder mild and yet efficacious - where is tincture - where are clearing roots and brushes now to be obtained? Pray obtain what information you can upon these Tusculan questions.' My jaws ache to think on't. Poor fellows! I anticipated seeing both again; and yet they are gone to that place where both teeth and hair last longer than they do in this life. I have seen a thousand graves opened, and always perceived, that whatever was gone, the teeth and hair remained with those who had died

* A celebrated hair-dresser.

with them. Is not this odd? They go the very first things in youth, and yet last the longest in the dust, if people will but die to preserve them! It is a queer life, and a queer death, that of mortals.

"I knew that Waite had married, but little thought that the other decease was so soon to overtake him. Then he was such a delight, such a coxcomb, such a jewel of a man! There is a tailor at Bologna so like him! and also at the top of his profession. Do not neglect this commission. Who or what can replace him? What says the public?

"I remand you the Preface. Don't forget that the Italian extract from the Chronicle must be translated. With regard to what you say of retouching the Juans and the Hints, it is all very well; but I can't furbish. I am like the tiger (in poesy), if I miss the first spring, I go growling back to my jungle. There is no second; I can't correct; I can't, and I won't. Nobody ever succeeds in it, great or small. Tasso remade the whole of his Jerusalem; but who ever reads that version? all the world goes to the first. Pope added to The Rape of the Lock,' but did not reduce it. You must take my things as they happen to be. If they are not likely to suit, reduce their estimate accordingly. I would rather give them away than hack and hew them. I don't say that you are not right: I merely repeat that I cannot better them. I must either make a spoon, or spoil a horn;' and there's an end.

"Yours.

"P. S. Of the praises of that little *** Keats, I shall observe as Johnson did when Sheridan the

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