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of any circumstances that may have necessarily arisen that concern my name as a party.
“I have the honor to be, Sir,
“ T. SHELLEY."
FROM HORACE SMITH TO SHELLEY.
“ Paris, August 30th, 1821. “MY DEAR SHELLEY,
“I WROTE you on the 10th, and have since had the pleasure of receiving yours, by Mr. and Mrs. Gisborne, who made a very short stay here, and left us a few days ago for England.
“He handed me also your poem on Keats's death, which I like, with the exception of the Cenci, better than anything you have written, finding in it a great deal of fancy, feeling, and beautiful language, with none of the metaphysical abstraction which is so apt to puzzle the uninitiated in your productions. It reminded me of Lycidas, more from the similarity of the subject than anything in the mode of treatment.
“ You must expect a fresh stab from Southey whenever he has an opportunity. Mrs. G. also left me a copy for Moore, who is residing in the neighborhood of Paris, though I have not seen him.
“ About a fortnight ago, my wife became worse, and the weather setting in about the same time with an unusual intensity of heat, so completely overcame her that I was obliged to have medical advice, and the physician (an Englishman settled here) dissuades me from taking her to a more southern latitude. Terrified at the intensity of the heat here, where unfortunately it has been of a very uncommon fierceness, she now dreads encountering the sun of Italy; and, in the face of these insuperable dissuasives, I cannot of course proceed. The disappointment and vexation of this sudden overthrow of all my long cherished plans is not less painful to me than the cause of it is distressing. I have also to regret the trouble I have unnecessarily given you, and the disappointment (for I have vanity enough to believe you will think it such) to which I have exposed you. In the midst of these more serious annoyances, I have hardly time to attend to the petty inconveniences to which we must be subjected by wintering here without any of our clothes, books, or comforts, all of which have been shipped to Leghorn. I think of taking a house at Versailles, but at present I am quite unsettled in everything. When I have arranged my plans, I shall write to you again ; till when, and always,
“I am, my dear Shelley,
“ HORATIO SMITH.
Towards the close of December, Mrs. Shelley wrote a letter to Mrs. Gisborne, in which she says :
“ Since writing my last letter, we have heard of the departure of Hunt,* and now anxiously await his arrival. He will be more comfortable than he dreams of now; for Lord Byron has furnished the pian terreno of his own house for him, so that (more lucky than the rest of the economical English, who come here) he will find clean and spacious apartments, with every comfort about him, and a climate climate! We dine in a room without a fire, with all the windows open; a tramontano reigns, which renders the sky clear, and the warm sun pours into our apartments. It is cold at night, but as yet not uncomfortably so; and it now verges towards Christmas-day. I am busy in arranging Hunt's rooms, since that task devolves upon me.
“ Lord Byron is now living very sociably, giving dinners to his male acquaintance, and writing divinely. Perhaps by
* Leigh Hunt and his family had indeed departed, but were driven back by stress of weather; so that their voyage was postponed for some months. - ED.
this time you have seen Cain, and will agree with us in thinking it his finest production. Of some works one sayshas thought of such things, though one could not have expressed them so well. It is not thus with Cain. One has, perhaps, stood on the extreme verge of such ideas, and from the midst of the darkness which had surrounded us the voice of the poet now is heard, telling a wondrous tale.
“ Our friends in Greece are getting on famously. All the Morea is subdued, and much treasure was acquired with the capture of Tripoliza. Some cruelties have ensued; but the oppressor must in the end buy tyranny with blood; such is the law of necessity. The young Greek Prince you saw at our house is made the head of the Provisional Government in Greece. He has sacrificed his whole fortune to his country ; and, heart and soul, is bent upon her cause.
“ You will be glad to hear that Shelley's health is much improved this winter. He is not quite well, but he is much better. The air of Pisa is so mild and delightful, and the exercise on horseback agrees with him particularly. Williams, also, is quite recovered. We think that we may probably spend next summer at La Spezzia - at least, I hope that we shall be near the sea.
“ The clock strikes twelve. I have taken to sit up rather late this last month, and, when all the world is in bed or asleep, find a little of that solitude one cannot get in a town through the day. Yet daylight brings with it all the delights of a town residence, and all the delights of friendly and social intercourse — few of the pains; for my horizon is so contracted that it shuts most of those out.
“ Most sincerely yours,
“ MARY W. S.”
THE BAY OF SPEZZIA.
The end now rapidly approaches. We have arrived at the year which saw the close of Shelley's short life; but a few minor incidents remain to be recorded before we stand in the presence of death.
The winter of 1822 was spent at Pisa. Shelley, during part of the time, was engaged on the dramatic fragment, Charles the First- a subject which he had at one time proposed to Mrs. Shelley ; but, being dissatisfied with the progress he was making, he threw aside the conception, and devoted his thoughts to a mystical poem in the terza rima, called the Triumph of Life — also left incomplete, and the last of his long productions. He likewise, about the same time, made several translations from Goethe, Calderon, Homer, &c., with a view to their publication in the Liberal.
In the January of this year, or towards the end of the previous December, Shelley became acquainted with Mr. Trelawny, who called on him at Pisa, and who, in his recently published Recollections of the last Days of Shelley and Byron, has given an interesting account of his introduction. It was dusk when he arrived at the poet's residence, and through the open door of the room he observed a pair of glittering eyes. Mrs. Williams, who lived in the same house, exclaimed, “ Come in, Shelley ; it's only our friend Tre, just arrived." Thus encouraged, the poet glided in, in some confusion, but holding out both his hands cordially. He was habited in a jacket, which he seemed to have outgrown, and which added to his juvenile appearance. A book was in his hand, which proved to be Calderon's Magico Prodigioso; and, being asked to read some passages, he made an extempore rendering of several parts with marvellous ease and rapidity, accompanying his translation by a masterly analysis of the genius of the author, and a lucid interpretation of the story. Suddenly he disappeared; and Mrs. Williams, in answer to the astonishment of Mr. Trelawny, said, “Oh, he comes and goes like a spirit; no one knows when or where.” Shelley, however, had simply gone to fetch his wife. From this time until the poet's death, Mr. Trelawny was on intimate terms with him.
Mrs. Shelley's opinion of their new friend may be gathered from an entry in her journal, under date January 19th, 1822:
“ Trelawny is extravagant — partly natural, and partly, perhaps, put on; but it suits him well; and, if his abrupt, but not unpolished, manners be assumed, they are nevertheless in unison with his Moorish face (for he looks Oriental, though not Asiatic), his dark hair, his Herculean form. And then there is an air of extreme goodnature, which pervades his whole countenance, especially