1864 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alaric Alexander Watts

Bladen Ruspini, 1864; in Alaric Alfred Watts, Alaric Watts, a Narrative of his Life, by his Son (1884) 1:48-49.



"While your father," he [Ruspini] says in a letter he was good enough to address to me on his friend's death, "was residing with us in Pall Mall, he addressed a short complimentary poem to Lord Byron, of whose writings he was a devoted and enthusiastic admirer. Lord Byron at once acknowledged the compliment, and requested your father to call on him at the Albany. I accompanied him, and was in the upper part of the large room on the ground-floor when the interesting interview took place. The room had a large screen before the door, and upon being introduced by Fletcher, we found Lord Byron seated at a writing-table with his back to the screen. He arose at once, and offering your father both hands, seated him by his side. After some conversation which I was not close enough to hear, thinking proper to keep at respectful distance, as one who had no title to be there at all, Lord Byron went to a bookcase, took down a beautifully bound volume of Childe Harold, and adding an inscription on the flyleaf, presented it to your father. This occurred in 1814 or 1815. I often saw the book afterwards in Pall Mall."