Page images

a patriot! Had he lived, perhaps Ire“ land had not now been a land of He“ lots.”

“ What did you mean,” asked I one day, “ by that line in • Beppo,'—

• Some play the devil, and then write a novel'?”

“ I alluded,” replied he,“ to a novel that had some fame in consequence of “ its being considered a history of my

life and adventures, character and ex

ploits, mixed up with innumerable lies “and lampoons upon others.

Madame “ de Staël asked me if the picture was “ like me,-and the Germans think it is not a caricature. One of my foreign biographers has tacked name, place, and “ circumstance to the Florence fable, and

gives me a principal instead of a subor“ dinate part in a certain tragical history “ therein narrated. Unfortunately for my

biographers, I was never at Florence for

more than a few days in my life; and “ Fiorabella's beautiful flowers are not so

quickly plucked or blighted. Hence, “ however, it has been alleged that mur“ der is my instinct; and to make innocence my victim and my prey, part of

I imagine that this dark “ hint took its origin from one of my “ Notes in ‘The Giaour,' in which I said “ that the countenance of a person dying

by stabs retained the character of ferocity, or of the particular passion imprinted on it, at the moment of dissolution. A

A sage reviewer makes this comment on my remark :-_ It must have

my nature.

[ocr errors]

“ been the result of personal observa“ tion !'


“ But I am made out a very amiable person in that novel! The only thing belonging to me in it, is part of a let“ ter; but it is mixed up with much fic“titious and poetical matter. Shelley “ told me he was offered, by the “ bookseller in Bond Street, no small sum “ if he would compile the Notes of that “ book into a story; but that he declined " the offer.

But if I know “ the authoress, I have seen letters of “ hers much better written than any part “ of that novel. A lady of my acquaint

ance told me, that when that book was

going to the press, she was threatened “ with cutting a prominent figure in it if

But the story would only “ furnish evidence of the unauthenticity of “ the nature of the materials, and shew the

manner and spirit with which the piece was got up.-Yet I don't know why I “ have been led to talk about such non

sense, which I paid no more attention “ to than I have to the continual calum

nies and lies that have been unceasingly “ circulated about me, in public prints,

and through anonymous letters. I got “ a whole heap of them when I was at

Venice, and at last found out that I had “ to thank Mr. Sotheby for the greater “ share of them. It was under the “ishness produced by this discovery that

I made him figure also in my ‘Beppo' “ as an 'antique gentleman of rhyme,'

nder the wasp

“ a bustling Botherby,' &c.

I always thought him the most insufferable of “ bores, and the curse of the Hampbell,

as Edgeworth was of his club. There

was a society formed for the suppression “ of Edgeworth, and sending him back

to Ireland ;-but I should have left the “ other to his

Snug coterie and literary lady,'

and to his

that Rogers

pretended to take for an old arm-chair, “ if he had not made himself an active

bore, by dunning me with disagreeable news,-and, what was worse, and more nauseous and indigestible still, with his “ criticisms and advice.

“ When Galignani was about to publish a new edition of my works, he applied to

« PreviousContinue »