Lord Byron

Epistle To Mr. Murray

My dear Mr. Murray, You’re in a damn ‘d hurry, To set up this ultimate Canto; But (if they don’t rob us) You’ll see Mr. Hobhouse Will bring it safe in his portmanteau. For the Journal you hint of, As ready to print off, No doubt you do right to commend it; But as yet I have writ off The devil a bit of Our ‘Beppo:’–when copied, I’ll send it. Then you’ve Sotheby’s Tour,– No great things, to be sure­,– You could hardly begin with a less work; For the pompous rascallion, Who don’t speak Italian Nor French, must have scribbled by guess work. You can make any loss up With ‘Spence’ and his gossip, A work which must surely succeed; Then Queen Mary’s Epistle-craft, With the new ‘Fytte’ of ‘Whistlecraft,’ Must make people purchase and read. Then you’ve General Gordon, Who girded his sword on, To serve with a Muscovite master And help him to polish A nation so owlish, They thought shaving their beards a disaster. For the man, ‘poor and shrewd,’ With whom you’d conclude A compact without more delay, Perhaps some such pen is Still extant in Venice; But please, sir, to mention your pay.

Venice, January 8, 1818.

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