BIOGR. NOTES, LETT. N340     Bologna, August 29, 1819 

Byron's tempestuous mind is soothed under  the 
Olive-trees of St. Lazarus 

    For I have been accostom'd to entwine 
    My thoughts with Nature rather in the fields 
    Than Art in galleries... 
    Child Harold's Pilgrimage. 

Byron's Olive-tree hill at St. Lazarus, as it is now 

is gymnastic exercises  were  sometimes  violent,  and  at others almost  nothing.  His  body, like  his  spirit,  readily accommodated itself to all his inclinations.  During  an  entire 
winter, he went out every morning alone to row himself to the island of the Armenians (a small island situated in the midst of a tranquil lake, and distant from Venice about half  a  league), to enjoy the society of those learned and hospitable monks,  and to learn their difficult language; and, in the evening, entering again into his gondola, he went but only for a couple  of  hours into company. A second winter, whenever the water  of  the  lake was violently agitated, he was observed to cross it, and landing on the nearest terra firma, to fatigue at least two horses  whit  riding. 
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  
Of his household frugalities I speak but on  the  authority of others; but it is not difficult to  conceive  that,  with  a restless spirit like his, which  delighted  always  in  having 
something to conted with, and which,  but  a  short  time  before, "for want," as he said, "of something craggy to break  upon,"  had tortured itself with the study of  the  Armenian  language, 
he should, in default of all better  excitement,  find  a  sort  of stir and amusement in the task of contesting, inch by inch,  every  encroachment  of  expense,  and  endeavouring   to suppress  what he himself calls 
"That climax of all earthly ills, 
 The inflammation of our weekly bills". 

1816 | 1817 | 1818 | 1819 | 1820 | 1821 | 1823 | 1824
 Go to homepage