1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Henry Gally Knight to Lord Byron, 21 March 1813; Byron, Letters and Journals, ed. Rowland E. Prothero (1898-1901) 3:59n.



You will doubtless be surprized at the receipt of a letter from me, but, I trust, when you have read it, you will acquit me of the charge of unwarrantable intrusion.

Rumour has said that you have lately been employed in the celebration of a Janina story. What is that to me? you will naturally exclaim, and what business have I to ask any questions on the subject? The point is this. During the long hours of a wearisome confinement I have also been endeavouring to amuse the time with the versification of a Janina story, and I am anxious to know whether, as we ranged over the same manor, we have put up the same Game? So far am I from having the vanity to wish to enter the lists with you and break a lance in honor of the same Lady, that if I found we had been engaged on the same subject, I would at once fly further East, and chuse another. I don't ask you to tell me what your subject is. I will tell you mine, and you will perhaps have the goodness to inform me whether you have or have not clash'd. My story is the one which I dare say you heard, as I did, in Albania — the adventures of a certain Miss Phrosyne, whom Ali Pasha wish'd to get into his Haram, but her relations put her to death, to save her from infamy. The said Ali's cruelties have given rise to so man other tragedies that very likely you have chosen another.