[TO JOHN MURRAY*]
Venice—J[anuar]y 27th. 1818
It is the height of Carnival—and I am in the estrum & agonies of a new intrigue—with I don’t know exactly whom or what—except that she is insatiate of love—& won’t take money—& has light hair & blue eyes—which are not common here--& that I met her at the Masque--& that when her mask is off I am as wise as ever.——I shall make what I can of the remainder of my youth—& confess—that like Augustus—I would rather die standing.—
[TO THOMAS MOORE]
Venice, February 2d, 1818
I have hardly had a wink of sleep this week past. We are in the agonies of the Carnival’s last days, and I must be up all night again, as well as to-morrow. I have had some curious masking adventures this Carnival; but, as they are not yet over, I shall not say on. I will work the mine of my youth to the last veins of the ore, and then—good night. I have lived, and am content.
[TO JOHN CAM HOBOUSE]
Venice. Feb[ruary] 23rd. 1818
They may say what they like of Petrotini’s being a liar—but he has told me the only two truths that I have heard in Venice—the first—about the passage in Bianchoni…and the second that a Girl (whom you don’t know—Elena da Mosta—a Gentil Donna) was clapt—and she has clapt me—to be sure it was gratis, the first Gonorrhea I have not paid for. —I am getting better—the Carnival was short—but very lively—and there was good fun among the Masques…When Spooney, sends out a Clerk in Spring with the writings it will be a very good time to send out my little shild (I mean the bastard**) and I wish you would settle it in that way with Shelley—who has written to me frequently upon it—as for the legitimate I hear she is very well.
***Byron wrote of Claire: " I never pretended to love her—but a man is a man—& if a girl of eighteen comes prancing to you at all hours—there is but one way—the suite of all this is that she was with child and returned to England to assist in peopling that desolate island."
The painting at upper left is Pulcinella love (1797) by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1727 - 1804). Venice, Ca Rezzonico (scroll down & enlarge for a sharper image)- Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Villa-House Zianigo Pulcinella inv: Cl. I No 1751.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.