TO Mr. MOORE Venice. Dec. 5th. 1816


    The Mechitarist Convent of St. Lazarus, Venice. 
    "A small island situated in the midst of a tranquil lake". 
    Biogr. Notes: Lett. N. 340 of Byron.

St.  Lazzaro.  -  An  Arial  view  of  the 
island  of  the Armenians. 

y  way of the divertissement, I am studying daily at an Armenian monastery, the Armenian language. I found that my  mind wanted something craggy to  break  upon;  and  this-as  the  most difficult thing I could discover here for an amusement - I  have chosen, to torture me into attention.
It  is  a  rich  language, however, and would amply repay any one the  trouble  of  learning it. I try, and shall go on; - but I answer for nothing, least of all for my intentions or my success.
There are some very curious Mss. in the monastery, as well as books; translations also  from  Greek originals, now lost, and  from  Persian  and  Syriac  etc.; besides works of their own people.
Four  years  ago  the  French instituted an Armenian professorship. Twenty pupils presented themselves on Monday morning, full  of  noble ardor,  ingenuous  youth,   and   impregnable 
industry.   They persevered, with a courage worthy of the nation and of universal conquest, till Thursday; when fifteen of the twenty succumbed to the six-and-twentieth letter of the alphabet. It is, to be sure, a Waterloo of an alphabet - that must be said for them.  But  it is so like these fellows, to do by  it  as  they  did  by  their sovereigns - abandon both; to parody the old rhymes, 
        "Take a thing and give a thing" - 
        "Take a thing and give a king". 

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