FOSCOLO, Ugo (1778-1827). Autograph letter signed ('H[ugues] Foscolo') to Timothy Yeats Brown, Woburn Abbey, 8 April 1820, in French, 3 pages, 8vo, bifolium (remnant of tape to upper left margin and blank verso of f.2, pencil annotation by the recipient's son to upper margin), address leaf (to Brown at Manchester Street, [London], annotated 'Forward it without delay') with Foscolo's armorial seal in black wax with motto 'Accingar zona fortitudinis' (seal tear, remnants of tape on margins). Provenance: Timothy Yeats Brown (b.1789), British Consul at Genoa -- his son Montagu (1834-1921), also Consul; presented to his wife, Agnes, née Bellingham, on 20 January 1893.
FOSCOLO'S FINANCIAL STRUGGLES IN EXILE. Foscolo has just received an order from his native island of Zante [Zacynthos] for £300, payable 21 days after acceptance, which is more or less the sum for which he stood creditor in the islands. Unfortunately, he is not sufficiently in funds for a letter of change already sent to be accepted, but in due course this will enable Foscolo to reimburse the £200 that Yeats Brown had advanced him. As for the costs of the likely rejection of the letter of change, Foscolo will 'of course' pay them -- these are necessary evils, and without Yeats Brown's generous advance he would have been in distress for three months:
'Pour les frais de non-payement et de retour (car je crains que la lettre sera protestée) c'est à moi of course de les payer; et le Ciel veuille qu'ils ne soient pas trop fort[s]!. Mais ces sont des malheurs necessaires; et sans l'avance que votre amitié m'a fait avec tant de spontaneité, je aurais du souffrir le malheur encore plus grand d'attendre pendant trois mois'.
Foscolo, as a leading dissident in Italian politics, was forced into exile with the fall of Napoleon: he arrived in London in September 1816, and was to remain in England until his death at Turnham Green in 1827. Although he was lionised by literary society and the Holland House set, his extravagance and lack of domestic economy were to involve him in prolonged and miserable money troubles, including a period in a debtor's prison.