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Moore was not candid, when he wrote secretly to Lord Byron, to induce him to give up the Magazine; and to tell him, there was “ a taint” in it. He says he ought to have recollected, that Lord Byron always showed the letters that were written to him. This regret he has expressed to a mutual friend; but I do not see how it mends the matter. And what did he mean by "a taint?” Was it a taint of love_(very loth am I to put two such words together, but it is for him to explain the inconsistency) - Was it a taint of love, or of libel? or of infidelity? or of independence? And was the taint the greater, because the independence was true? Yes; Mr. Hazlitt has explained that matter but too well.

Towards the end of September, Lord Byron and myself, in different parties, left Pisa for Genoa. He was restless, as he had always been; Tuscany was uncomfortable to him; and at Genoa he would hover on the borders of his inclination for Greece. Perhaps he had already made arrangements for going there. We met at Lerici on our way. He had an illness at that place; and all my melancholy was put to its height by seeing the spot my departed friend had lived in, and his solitary mansion on the sea-shore. The place is wild and retired, with a bay and rocky eminences; the people suited to it, something between inhabitants of sea and land. In the summer-time they will be up all night, dabbling in the water, and making wild noises. Here Mr. Irelawney joined us. He took me to the Villa Magni (the house just alluded to;) and we paced over its empty rooms, and neglected garden. The sea fawned upon the shore, as though it could do no harm.

At Lerici we had an earthquake. It was the strongest we experienced in Italy. At Pisa there had been a dull intimation of one, such as happens in that city about once in three years. In the neighbourhood of Florence we had another, pretty smart of its kind, but lasting only for an instant. It was exactly as if somebody with a strong hand had jerked a pole up against the ceiling of the lower room, right under one's feet. This was at Maiano, among the Fiesolan hills. People came out of their rooms, and inquired of one another what was the matter; so that it was no delusion. At Lerici nobody could have mistaken. I was awakened

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at dawn with an extraordinary sensation, and directly afterwards the earthquake took place. It was strong enough to shake the pictures on the wall; and it lasted a sufficient time to resemble the rolling of a wagon under an archway, which it did both in noise and movement. I got up, and went to the window. The people were already collecting in the open place beneath it; and I heard, in the clear morning air, the word Terremoto repeated from one to another. The sensation for the next ten minutes or quarter of an hour, was very great. You expected the shock to come again, and to be worse. However, we had no more of it. We congratulated ourselves the more, because there was a tower on a rock just over our heads, which would have stood upon no ceremony with our inn. They told us, if I remember, that they had an earthquake on this part of the coast of Italy, about once every five years. Italy is a land of volcanoes, more or less subdued.

It is a great grapery, built over a flue.

From Lerici, we proceeded part of our way by water, as far as Sestri. Lord Byron and Madame Guiccioli went in a private boat; Mr. Trelawney in another; and myself and family in a felucca. It was pretty to see the boats with their white sails, gliding by the rocks, over that blue sea. A little breeze coming on, our gallant seamen were afraid, and put into Porto Venere, a deserted town a short distance from Lerici. I asked them if they really meant to put in, upon which they looked very determined on that point, and said, that “Englishmen had no sense of danger." I smiled internally to think of the British channel. I thought also of the thunder and lightning in this very sea, where they might have seen British tars themselves astonished with fear. In Italy, Englishmen are called "the mad English," from the hazards they run. They like to astonish the natives by a little superfluous peril. If you see a man coming furiously down the street on horseback, you may be pretty certain he is an Englishman. An English mail-coach, with that cauliflower of human beings a top of it, lumping from side to side, would make the hearts of a Tuscan city die within them. Porto Venere is like a petrified town in a story-book.

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The classical name took us, and we roamed over it. It was curious to pass the houses one after the other, and meet not a soul. Such inhabitants as there are, confine themselves to the sea-shore. After resting a few hours, we put forth again, and had a lazy, sunny passage to Sestri, where a crowd of people assailed us, like savages at an island, for our patronage and portmanteaus. They were robust, clamorous, fishy fellows, like so many children of the Tritons in Raphael's pictures; as if those plebeian gods of the sea had been making love to Italian chambermaids. Italian goddesses have shown a taste not unsimilar, and more condescending; and English ones too in Italy, if scandal is to be believed. But Naples is the head-quarters of this overgrowth of wild luxury. Marini, a Neapolitan, may have had it in his eye, when he wrote that fine sonnet of his, full of aboriginal gusto, brawny, and bearded, about Proteus pursuing Cymothoe.' (See Parnaso, Italiano, tom. 41, p. 10.) Liking every thing real in poetry, I should be tempted to give a specimen; but am afraid of Mr. Moore.

From Sestri we proceeded over the maritime part of the Appennines to Genoa. Their character is of the least interesting sort of any mountains, being neither distinct nor wooded; but barren, savage, and coarse; without any grandeur but what arises from an excess of that appearance. They lie in a succession of great doughy billows, like so much enormous pudding, or petrified mud.

Genoa again! With what different feelings we beheld it the first time! Mrs. Shelley, who preceded us to the city, had found houses both for Lord Byron's family and my own at Albaro, a neighbouring village on a hill. We were to live in he same house with her; and in the Casa Negroto we accordingly found an English welcome. There were forty rooms in it, some of them such as would be considered splendid in England, and all neat and new, with borders and arabesques. The balcony and staircase was of marble; and there was a little flower-garden. The rent of this house was twenty pounds a-year. Lord Byron paid four-and-twenty for his, which was older and more imposing, with rooms in still greater plenty, and a good piece of ground. It was called

*

the Casa Saluzzi. Mr. Landor and his family had occupied a house in the same village—the Casa Pallayicimi. He has recorded an interesting dialogue that took place in it. Of Albaro I have given an account in another work.

The Genoese post brought us the first number of “The Liberal,” accompanied both with hopes and fears, the latter of which were too speedily realized. Living now in a separate house from Lord Byron, I saw less of him than before; and under all the circumstances, it was as well. It was during our residence in this part of Italy, that the remaining numbers of “ The Liberal” were published. I did what I could to make him

persevere;

and have to take shame to myself, that in my anxiety on that point, I persuaded him to send over s6 The Blues” for insertion, rather than contribute nothing. It is the only thing connected with “ The Liberal” that I

gaye myself occasion to regret. I cannot indeed boast of my communications to it. Illness and unhappiness must be my excuse. They are things under which a man does not always write his worst. They may even supply him with a sort of fevered inspiration; but this was not my case at the time. The only pieces I would save, if I could, from oblivion, out of that work, are the “Rhyme and Reason,” the "Lines to a Spider," and the copy of verses entitled “ Mahmoud.” * The little gibe on his native place, out of “ Al Hamadani,” might accompany them.

I must not omit, that Lord Byron would have put his “ Island” in it, and I believe another poem, if I had thought it of use. It would all have been so much dead weight; especially as the readers, not being certain it was contributed by his Lordship, would not have known whether they were to be enraptured or indifferent. By and by he would have taken them out, published them by themselves, and then complained that they would have sold before, if it had not been for 66 The Liberal.” What he should have done

Any relation to “ Saluces," whose “ Markis" married the patient Griselda? Saluces was in the maritime Apennines, by Piedmont, and might have originated a family of Genoese nobles. Classical and romantic associations abound so at every turn in Italy, that upon the least hint a book speaketh.

Imaginary Conversations, Vol. i. p. 179, Second Edition.

for the work was to stand by it openly and manfully, to make it the obvious channel of his junction with the cause of freedom, to contribute to it not his least popular or his least clever productions, but such as the nature of the work should have inspired and recommended, or in default of being able to do this (for perhaps he was not fitted to write for a periodical work) he should have gained all the friends for it he could, not among those whom he “libelled all round, but among thousands of readers all prepared to admire, and love him, and think it an honour to fight under his banner. But he had no real heart in the business, nor for any thing else but a feverish notoriety. It was by this he was to shake at once the great world and the small; the mountain and the mouse; the imaginations of the public, and the approving nod of the men of wit and fashion about town.' Mr. Hazlitt, habitually paradoxical, sometimes pastoral, and never without the self-love which he is fond of discerning in others, believed at the moment that a lord had a liking for him, and that a lord and a sophisticate poet would put up with his sincerities about the aristocratical and the primitive. It begat in him a love for the noble Bard; and I am not sure that he has got rid, to this day, of the notion that it was returned. He was taken in, as others had been, and as all the world chose and delighted to be, as long as the flattering self-reflection was allowed a remnant to act upon. The mirror was pieced at Missolonghi, and then they could expatiate at large on the noble lord's image and their own! Sorry cozenage! Poor and melancholy conclusion to come to respecting great as well as little; and such as would be frightful to think of, if human nature, after all, were not better than they pretend. Lord Byron in truth was afraid of Mr. Hazlitt; he admitted him like a courtier, for fear he should be treated by him as an enemy; but when he beheld such articles as the “Spirit of Monarchy," where the "taint" of polite corruption was to be exposed, and the First Acquaintance with Poets, where Mr. Wordsworth was to be exalted above depreciation,

“ In spite of pride, in erring reason's spitem" (for such was Mr. Hazlitt's innocent quotation) his Lordship could only wish him out again, and take pains to

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