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ten times the bustle of Congreve; but are they to be compared? and yet she drove Congreve from the theatre.>>

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«Yours of the 29th u'timo hath arrived. I must really and seriously request that you will beg of Messrs Harris or Elliston to let the Doge alone: it is not an acting play; it will not serve their purpose; it will destroy yours (the sale); and it will distress me. not courteous, it is hardly even gentlemanly, to persist in this appropriation of a man's writings to their mountebanks.

It is

« I have already sent you by last post a short protest1 to the public (against this proceeding); in case that they persist, which I trust that they will not, you must then publish it in the newspapers. I shall not let them off with that only, if they go on; but make a longer appeal on that subject, and state what I think the injustice of their mode of behaviour. It is hard that I should have all the buffoons in Britain to deal with-pirates who will publish, and players who will act—when there are

1 To the letter which inclosed this protest, and which has been omitted to avoid repetitions, he had subjoined a passage from Spence's Anecdotes (p. 197 of Singer's edition) where Pope says, speaking of himself, « 1 had taken such strong resolutions against any thing of that kind, from seeing how much every body that did write for the stage was obliged to subject themselves to the players and the town.»-Spence's Anecdotes, p. 22.

In the same paragraph, Pope is made to say, « After I had got acquainted with the town, I resolved never to write any thing for the stage, though solicited by many of my friends to do so, and particularly Bet

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thousands of worthy men who can neither get bookseller nor manager for love nor money.

« You never answered me a word about Galignani. If you mean to use the two documents, do; if not, burn them. I do not chuse to leave them in any one's possession: suppose some one found them without the letters, what would they think? why, that I had been doing the opposite of what I have done, to wit, referred the whole thing to you-an act of civility at least, which required saying, ‘I have received your letter.' I thought that you might have some hold upon those publications by this means; to me it can be no interest one way or the other.'

«The third canto of Don Juan is dull,' but you must really put up with it: if the two first and the two following are tolerable, what do you expect? particularly as I neither dispute with you on it as a matter of criticism, or as a matter of business.

«Besides, what am I to understand? you, and Douglas Kinnaird, and others, write to me, that the two first published cantos are among the best that I ever wrote, and are reckoned so; Augusta writes that they are thought 'execrable' (bitter word that for an author-eh, Murray?) as a composition even, and that she had heard so much against them that she would never read them, and never has. Be that as it may, I can't alter; that is not my forte. If you publish the three new ones without ostentation, they may perhaps succeed.

Pray publish the Dante and the Pulci (the Prophecy of Dante, I mean). I look upon the Pulci as my grand

No further step was ever taken in this affair; and the documents, which were of no use whatever, are, I believe, still in Mr Murray's possession.

performance. The remainder of the 'Hints,' where be they? Now, bring them all out about the same time, otherwise 'the variety' you wot of will be less obvious.

"I am in bad humour:-some obstructions in business with those plaguy trustees, who object to an advantageous loan which I was to furnish to a nobleman on mortgage, because his property is in Ireland, have shown me how a man is treated in his absence. Oh, if I do come back, I will make some of those who little dream of it spin,—or they or I shall down." go

* *

LETTER CCCCVII.

TO MR MURRAY.

"

January 20th, 1821. I did not think to have troubled you with the plague and postage of a double letter this time, but I have just read in an Italian paper, ‘That Lord Byron has a tragedy coming out,' etc. etc. etc. and that the Courier and Morning Chronicle, etc. etc. are pulling one another to pieces about it and him, etc.

« Now I do reiterate and desire, that every thing may be done to prevent it from coming out on any theatre' for which it never was designed, and on which (in the present state of the stage of London) it could never

'The self-will of Lord Byron was in no point more conspicuous than in the determination with which he thus persisted in giving the preference to one or two works of his own which, in the eyes of all other persons, were most decided failures. Of this class was the translation from Pulci, so frequently mentioned by him, which appeared afterwards in the Liberal, and which, though thus rescued from the fate of remaining unpublished, must for eve,I ear, sabmit to the dɔɔm of being unreal

succeed. I have sent you my appeal by last post, which you must publish in case of need; and I require you even in your own name (if my honour is dear to you) to declare that such representation would be contrary to my wish and to my judgment. If you do not wish to drive me mad altogether, you will hit upon some way to prevent this.

ແ Yours, etc.

« P.S.-I cannot conceive how Harris or Elliston should be so insane as to think of acting Marino Faliero; they might as well act the Prometheus of Eschylus. I speak of course humbly, and with the greatest sense of the distance of time and merit between the two performances; but merely to show the absurdity of the attempt.

<< The Italian paper speaks of a 'party against it:' to be sure there would be a party. Can you imagine, that after having never flattered man, nor beast, nor opinion, nor politics, there would not be a party against a man, who is also a popular writer at least a successful? Why, all parties would be a party against.">

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« If Harris or Elliston persist, after the remonstrance which I desired you and Mr Kinnaird to make on my behalf, and which I hope will be sufficient—but if, I say, they do persist, then I pray you to present in person the enclosed letter to the Lord Chamberlain : I have said person, because otherwise I shall have neither answer

in

nor knowledge that it has reached its address, owing to 'the insolence of office.'

<< I wish you would speak to Lord Holland, and to all my friends and yours, to interest themselves in preventing this cursed attempt at representation.

« God help me! at this distance, I am treated like a corpse or a fool by the few people that I thought I could rely upon; and I was a fool to think any better of them than of the rest of mankind.

« Pray write.

«Yours, etc.

« P.S.—I have nothing more at heart (that is, in literature) than to prevent this drama from going upon the stage: in short, rather than permit it, it must be suppressed altogether, and only forty copies struck off privately for presents to my friends. What curst fools those speculating buffoons must be, not to see that it is unfit for their fair-or their booth?"

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Pray get well. I do not like your complaint. So, let me have a line to say you are up and doing again, To-day I am 33 years of age.

Through life's road, etc. etc.'

« Have you heard that the 'Braziers' Company' have, or mean to present an address at Brandenburgh-house, 'in armour,' and with all possible variety and splendour of brazen apparel?

1

Already given in his Journal.

VOL. IV.

4

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