1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Lord Byron to Lord Holland, 25 June 1812; Letters and Journals, ed. Rowland E. Prothero (1898-1901) 2:125-29.



The other night, at a ball, I was presented by order to our gracious Regent, who honoured me with some conversation, and professed a predilection for poetry. — I confess it was a most unexpected honour, and I thought of poor Brummel's adventure, with some apprehension of a similar blunder. I have now great hop, in the even to Mr. Pye's decease, of "warbling truth at court," like Mr. Mallet of indifferent memory. — Consider, one hundred marks a year! besides the wine and the disgrace; but then remorse would make me drown myself in my own butt before the year's end, or the finishing of my first dithyrambic. — So that, after all, I shall not meditate our laureate's death by pen or poison.