LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 1 September 1813

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“August—September, I mean—1st. 1813.

“I send you, begging your acceptance, Castellan, and three vols. on Turkish Literature, not yet looked into. The last I will thank you to

* I had already, singularly enough, anticipated this suggestion, by making the daughter of a Peri the heroine of one of my stories, and detailing the love-adventures of her parent in an episode. In acquainting Lord Byron with this circumstance, in my answer to the above letter, I added, “All I ask of your friendship is—not that you will abstain from Peris on my account, for that if too much to ask of human (or, at least, author’s) nature—but that, whenever you mean to pay your addresses to any of these aerial ladies, you will, at once, tell me frankly and instantly, and let me, at least, have my choice whether I shall be desperate enough to go on, with such a rival, or at once surrender the whole race into your hands, and take, far the future, to Antediluvians with Mr Montgomery.”

A. D. 1813. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 425
read, extract what you want, and return in a week, as they are lent to me by that brightest of Northern constellations,
Mackintosh,—amongst many other kind things into which India has warmed him, for I am sure your home Scotsman is of a less genial description.

“Your Peri, my dear M., is sacred and inviolable; I have no idea of touching the hem of her petticoat. Your affectation of a dislike to encounter me is so flattering, that I begin to think myself a very fine fellow. But you are laughing at me—‘stap my vitals, Tam! thou art a very impudent person;’ and, if you are not laughing at me, you deserve to be laughed at. Seriously, what on earth can you or have you, to dread from any poetical flesh breathing? It really puts me out of humour to hear you talk thus.

* * * * * *

“The ‘Giaour’ I have added to a good deal; but still in foolish fragments. It contains about 1200 lines, or rather more—now printing. You will allow me to send you a copy. You delight me much by telling me that I am in your good graces, and more particularly as to temper; for, unluckily, I have the reputation of a very bad one. But they say the devil is amusing when pleased, and I must have been more venomous than the old serpent, to have hissed or stung in your company. It may be, and would appear to a third person, an incredible thing, but I know you will believe me when I say that I am as anxious for your success as one human being can be for another’s,—as much as if I had never scribbled a line. Surely the field of fame is wide enough for all; and if it were not, I would not willingly rob my neighbour of a rood of it. Now you have a pretty property of some thousand acres there, and when you have passed your present Inclosure Bill, your income will be doubled (there’s a metaphor, worthy of a Templar, namely, pert and low), while my wild common is too remote to incommode you, and quite incapable of such fertility. I send you (which return per post, as the printer would say) a curious letter from a friend of mine*, which will let you into the origin of ‘the Giaour.’ Write soon.

“Ever, dear Moore, yours most entirely, &c.

“P.S. This letter was written to me on account of a different story

* The letter of Lord Sligo, already given.

426 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1813.
circulated by some gentlewomen of our acquaintance, a little too close to the text. The part erased contained merely some Turkish names, and circumstantial evidence of the girl’s detection, not very important or decorous.”