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DON JU A N.

CANTO THE FOURTH.

VOL. XVI.

B

[Canto III, originally included almost all the stanzas which now form Canto IV. Cantos III., IV., and V. were published together, in 8vo., in August, 1821. The following are extracts from Lord Byron's letters to Mr. Murray: –

Ravenna December 4. 1819. “ The third Canto of Don Juan is completed, in about two hundred stanzas; very decent, I believe, but do not know, and it is useless to discuss.”

December 10. 1819. —“ I have finished the third Canto, but the things I have read and heard discourage all further publication -- at least for the present. The cry is up, and cant is up. I should have no objection to return the price of the copyright."

February 7. 1820. — “ I have cut the third Canto into two, because it was too long; and I tell you this beforehand, because in case of any reckoning between you and me, these two are only to go for one, as this was the original form, and, in fact, the two together are not longer than one of the first : so remember that I have not made this division to double upon you. - I have not yet sent off the Cantos, and have some doubt whether they ought to be published, for they have not the spirit of the first. The outcry has not frightened but it has hurt me, and I have not written con amore this time."

October 12. 1820.-“ I don't feel inclined to care further about Don Juan. What do you think a very pretty Italian lady said to me the other day? She had read it in the French, and paid me some compliments, with due DRAWBACKS, upon it. I answered, that what she said was true, but that I suspected it would live longer than Childe Harold. — Ah, but' (said she) • I would rather have the fame of Childe Harold for three years than an IMMORTALITY of Don Juan!' The truth is, that it is toO TRUE, and the women hate many things which strip off the tinsel of sentiment; and they are right, as it would rob them of their weapons. I never knew a woman who did not hate De Grammont's Memoirs for the same reason."

We subjoin a single specimen of the contemporary criticism on Cantos III., IV., and V.

“ It seems to have become almost an axiom in the literary world, that nothing is so painful to the sensibilities of an author as the palpable neglect of his productions. From this species of mortification, no poet has ever, perhaps, been more fully exempt than Lord Byron. None of his pub lications have failed in at least exciting a sufficient portion of general in. terest and attention; and even those among them which the scrutinising eye of criticism might deem somewhat unworthy of his powers, have never compelled him, like many of his poetical brethren, to seek refuge from the apathy and want of discernment of contemporaries, in the consoling anticipation of posthumous honours and triumphs. But, if we are to infer, from the axiom already alluded to, that extensive notoriety must be pleasing

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