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"January 13. 1821, Saturday. "Sketched the outline and Drams. Pers. of an intended tragedy of Sardanapalus, which I have for some time meditated. Took the names from Diodorus Siculus, (I know the history of Sardanapalus, and have known it since I was twelve years old,) and read over a passage in the ninth vol. octavo, of Mitford's Greece, where he rather vindicates the memory of this last of the Assyrians.



"Dined news come - the Powers mean to war with the peoples. The intelligence seems positive — let it be so- they will be beaten in the end. king-times are fast finishing. There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist; but the peoples will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it, but I foresee it.

"I carried Teresa the Italian translation of Grillparzer's Sappho, which she promises to read. She quarrelled with me, because I said that love was not the loftiest theme for true tragedy; and, having the advantage of her native language, and natural female eloquence, she overcame my fewer arguments. I believe she was right. I must put more love into Sardanapalus' than I intended. I speak, of course, if the times will allow me leisure. That if will hardly be a peace-maker.


"January 14. 1821.

"Turned over Seneca's tragedies. Wrote the opening lines of the intended tragedy of Sardanapalus. Rode out some miles into the forest. Misty

and rainy.

Returned dined-wrote some more

of my tragedy.

"Read Diodorus Siculus turned over Seneca, and some other books. Wrote some more of the tragedy. Took a glass of grog. After having ridden hard in rainy weather, and scribbled, and scribbled again, the spirits (at least mine) need a little exhilaration, and I don't like laudanum now as I used to do. So I have mixed a glass of strong waters and single waters, which I shall now proceed to empty. Therefore and thereunto I conclude this day's diary.

"The effect of all wines and spirits upon me is, however, strange. It settles, but it makes me gloomy -gloomy at the very moment of their effect, and not gay hardly ever. But it composes for a time, though sullenly.

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"January 15. 1821.

"Weather fine. Received visit. Rode out into the forest-fired pistols. Returned home dined dipped into a volume of Mitford's Greecewrote part of a scene of Sardanapalus.' Went out -heard some music - heard some politics. More ministers from the other Italian powers gone to Congress. War seems certain in that case, it will be a savage one. Talked over various important matters with one of the initiated. At ten and half returned home.

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"I have just thought of something odd. In the year 1814, Moore ('the poet,' par excellence, and he deserves it) and I were going together, in the same carriage, to dine with Earl Grey, the Capo Politico

of the remaining Whigs. Murray, the magnificent (the illustrious publisher of that name), had just sent me a Java gazette - I know not why, or wherefore. Pulling it out, by way of curiosity, we found it to contain a dispute (the said Java gazette) on Moore's merits and mine. I think, if I had been there, that I could have saved them the trouble of disputing on the subject. But, there is fame for you at six and twenty! Alexander had conquered India at the same age; but I doubt if he was disputed about, or his conquests compared with those of Indian Bacchus, at Java.

"It was a great fame to be named with Moore; greater to be compared with him; greatest-pleasure, at least to be with him; and, surely, an odd coincidence, that we should be dining together while they were quarrelling about us beyond the equinoctial line.

"Well, the same evening, I met Lawrence the painter, and heard one of Lord Grey's daughters (a fine, tall, spirit-looking girl, with much of the patrician, thorough-bred look of her father, which I dote upon) play on the harp, so modestly and ingenuously, that she looked music. Well, I would rather have had my talk with Lawrence (who taiked delightfully) and heard the girl, than have had all the fame of Moore and me put together.

"The only pleasure of fame is that it paves the way to pleasure; and the more intellectual our pleasure, the better for the pleasure and for us too. It was, however, agreeable to have heard our fame before dinner, and a girl's harp after.

"January 16. 1821.


rode-fired pistols-returned- dined —wrote — visited—heard music — talked nonsense —and went home.

"Wrote part of a Tragedy— advanced in Act 1st with all deliberate speed.' Bought a blanket. The weather is still muggy as a London May -mist, mizzle, the air replete with Scotticisms, which, though fine in the descriptions of Ossian, are somewhat tiresome in real, prosaic perspective. Politics still mysterious.

"January 17. 1821.

"Rode i' the forest-fired pistols-dined. Arrived a packet of books from England and Lombardy - English, Italian, French, and Latin. Read till eight went out.

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"To-day, the post arriving late, did not ride. Read letters-only two gazettes instead of twelve now due. Made Lega write to that negligent Galignani, and added a postscript. Dined.

"At eight proposed to go out. Lega came in with a letter about a bill unpaid at Venice, which I thought paid months ago. I flew into a paroxysm of rage, which almost made me faint. I have not been well ever since. I deserve it for being such a fool-but it was provoking a set of scoundrels! It is, however, but five and twenty pounds.

"January 19. 1821. "Rode. Winter's wind somewhat more unkind than ingratitude itself, though Shakspeare says otherwise. At least, I am so much more accustomed to

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meet with ingratitude than the north wind, that I thought the latter the sharper of the two. I had met with both in the course of the twenty-four hours, so could judge.

"Thought of a plan of education for my daughter Allegra, who ought to begin soon with her studies. Wrote a letter-afterwards a postscript. Rather in low spirits certainly hippish-liver touched-will

take a dose of salts.

"I have been reading the Life, by himself and daughter, of Mr. R. L. Edgeworth, the father of the Miss Edgeworth. It is altogether a great name. In 1813, I recollect to have met them in the fashionable world of London (of which I then formed an item, a fraction, the segment of a circle, the unit of a million, the nothing of something) in the assemblies of the hour, and at a breakfast of Sir Humphry and Lady Davy's, to which I was invited for the nonce. I had been the lion of 1812; Miss Edgeworth and Madame de Staël, with the Cossack,' towards the end of 1813, were the exhibitions of the succeeding year.

"I thought Edgeworth a fine old fellow, of a clarety, elderly, red complexion, but active, brisk, and endless. He was seventy, but did not look fifty no, nor forty-eight even. I had seen poor Fitzpatrick not very long before—a man of pleasure, wit, eloquence, all things. He tottered-but still talked like a gentleman, though feebly. Edgeworth bounced about, and talked loud and long; but he seemed neither weakly nor decrepit, and hardly old.

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