I had a heavy loss by Manuel—
Too lucky if it prove not annual,—
And Sotheby, with his Orestes,
(Which, by the way, the old Bore's best is,
Has lain so very long on hand,
That I despair of all demand;
I've advertised, but see my books,
Or only watch my Shopman's looks;—30
Still Ivan, Ina, and such lumber,
My back-shop glut, my shelves encumber.
There's Byron too, who once did better,
Has sent me, folded in a letter,
A sort of—it's no more a drama
Than Darnley, Ivan, or Kehama;
So altered since last year his pen is,
I think he's lost his wits at Venice.
In short, Sir, what with one and t' other,
I dare not venture on another.40
I write in haste; excuse each blunder;
The Coaches through the street so thunder!
My room's so full—we've Gifford here
- [Maturin's second tragedy, Manuel, produced at Drury Lane, March 8, 1817, with Kean as "Manuel Count Valdis, failed, and after five nights was withdrawn." It was published in 1817. "It is," says Byron (letter to Murray, June 14, 1817), "the absurd work of a clever man."—Letters, 1900, iv. 134, and note 1.]
- [Sotheby published, in 1814, Five Tragedies, viz. "The Confession," "Orestes," "Ivan," "The Death of Darnley," and "Zamorin and Zama."]
- [Ina, A Tragedy, by Mrs. Wilmot [Barberina Ogle (1768-1854), daughter of Sir Chaloner Ogle], afterwards Lady Dacre, was produced at Drury Lane, April 22, 1815. Her "tragedy," writes Byron to Moore, April 23, 1815, "was last night damned." See Letters, 1898, ii. 332, note 3, etc.; ibid., 1899, iii. 195, note 1.]