Shelley’s last letter to Mary [reproduced from Shelley’s Ghost, Oxford Bodley]:
Pisa, July 1822.
My dearest Mary
I have recieved both your letters, & shall attend to the instructions they convey. – I did not think of buying the Bolivar; Lord B. wishes to sell her, but I imagine would prefer ready money; I have as yet made no inquiries about Houses near Pugnano – I have no moment of time to spare from Hunt’s affairs; I am detained unwillingly here; and you will probably see Williams in the boat before me; – but that will be decided tomorrow. – – – – – Things are in the worst possible situation with respect to poor Hunt. I find Marianne in a desperate state of health, & on our arrival at Pisa sent for Vaccà – He decides that her case is hopeless, & that although it will be lingering must inevitably end fatally. – This decision he thought proper to communicate to Hunt, – indicating at the same time, with great judgement & precision, the treatment necessary to be observed for availing himself of the chance of his being decieved. This intelligence has extinguished the last spark of poor Hunt’s spirits, low enough before – the children are well & much improved. – Lord Byron is at this moment on the point of leaving Tuscany. The Gambas have been exiled, & he declares his intention of following their fortunes. His first idea was to sail to America, which was changed to Switzerland, then to Genoa, & at last to Lucca.– Every body is in despair & every thing in confusion. Trelawny was on the point of sailing to Genoa for the purpose of transporting the Bolivar overland to the lake of Geneva, & had already whispered in my ear his desire that I should not influence Lord Byron against this terrestrial navigation. – He next received orders to weigh anchor & set sail for Lerici. He is now without instructions moody & disappointed. But it is the worst for poor Hunt, unless the present storm should blow over. He places his whole dependence upon this scheme of a Journal, for which every arrangement had been mad[e] & arri[ved] with no other remnant of his £4 than a debt of 60 crowns. – Lord Byron must of course furnish the requisite funds at present, as I cannot; but he seems inclined to depart without the necessary explanations & arrangements due to such a situation as Hunt’s. These in spite of delicacy I must procure; he offers him the copyright of the Vision of Judgement for his first number. This offer if sincere is more than enough to set up the Journal, & if sincere will set every thing right. –
How are you my best Mary? Write especially how is your health & how your spirits are, & whether you are not more reconciled to staying at Lerici at least during the summer.
You have no idea how I am hurried & occupied – I have not a moments leisure – but will write by next post – Ever dearest Mary
I have found the translation of the Symposium.