February 9, 1821.
Before dinner wrote a little; also, before I rode out, Count P. G. called upon me, to let me know the result of the meeting of the Ci. at F. and at B. * * returned late last night. Every thing was combined under the idea that the Barbarians would pass the Po on the 15th inst. Instead of this, from some previous information or otherwise, they have hastened their march and actually passed two days ago; so that all that can be done at present in Romagna is, to stand on the alert and wait for the advance of the Neapolitans. Every thing was ready, and the Neapolitans had sent on their own instructions and intentions, all calculated for the tenth and eleventh, on which days a general rising was to take place, under the supposition that the Barbarians could not advance before the 15th.
As it is, they have but fifty or sixty thousand troops, a number with which they might as well attempt to conquer the world as secure Italy in its present state. The artillery marches last, and alone, and there is an idea of an attempt to cut part of them off. All this will much depend upon the first steps of the Neapolitans. Here, the public spirit is excellent, provided it be kept up. This will be seen by the event.
It is probable that Italy will be delivered from the Barbarians if the Neapolitans will but stand firm, and are united among themselves. Here they appear so.
February 10, 1821.
Day passed as usual — nothing new. Barbarians still in march — not well equipped, and, of course, not well received on their route. There is some talk of a commotion at Paris.
Rode out between four and six — finished my letter to Murray on Bowles's pamphlets — added postscript. Passed the evening as usual — out till eleven — and subsequently at home.
February 11, 1821.
Wrote — had a copy taken of an extract from Petrarch's Letters, with reference to the conspiracy of the Doge, Marino Faliero, containing the poet's opinion of the matter. Heard a heavy firing of cannon towards Comacchio — the Barbarians rejoicing for their principal pig's birthday, which is to-morrow — or Saint day — I forget which. Received a ticket for the first ball to-morrow. Shall not go to the first, but intend going to the second, as also to the Veglioni.
Notes to the text:
Count P. G. called upon me - This is Byron's friend, Count Pietro Gamba, brother of his mistress Teresa Guiccioli.
the meeting of the Ci. at F. and at B. - This refers to the Carbonari cell to which they both belonged. F. and B. might be neighboring towns of Ferraro and Bologna. See map below.
* * returned late last night - Not identified.
the Barbarians would pass the Po on the 15th inst. - It was expected that the Austrian army would cross the Po River from the north on Feb. 15th.
wait for the advance of the Neapolitans - The Neapolitans were the main body of the Carbonari clandestine forces.
Romagna - The Emilia-Romagna region of Italy where all this takes place. It is centered at a point between Ferrara and Bologna.
my letter to Murray on Bowles's pamphlets - See Appendix III of the Prothero edition of Byron's Works for a transcription of Byron's Letter in reply to William Bowles's strictures on Alexander Pope. Byron objected to Bowles's criticism of Pope's morals.
extract from Petrarch's Letters, with reference to the conspiracy of the Doge, Marino Faliero - An Italian version of the extract from Petrarch's Letters is quoted in the notes to Marino Faliero, Appendix, Note B. Byron's tragic play, Marino Faliero, is described in notes to previous journal entry.
their principal pig's birthday, which is to-morrow — or Saint day — I forget which - February 12th was the birthday of Francis II, Emperor of Austria (12 February 1768 – 2 March 1835).
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The Works of Lord Byron (Prothero edition)