LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to John Galt, 11 December 1813

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“My dear Galt, Dec. 11, 1813.

“There was no offence—there could be none. I thought it by no means impossible that we might have hit on something similar, particularly as you are a dramatist, and was anxious to assure you of the truth, viz. that I had not wittingly seized upon plot, sentiment, or incident; and I am very glad that I have not in any respect trenched upon your subjects. Something still more singular is, that the first part, where you have found a coincidence in some events within your observations on life, was drawn from observation of mine also, and I meant to have gone on with the story, but on second thoughts, I thought myself two centuries at least too late for the subject; which, though admitting of very powerful feeling and description, yet is not adapted for this age, at least this country. Though the finest works of the Greeks, one of Schiller’s and Alfieri’s, in modern times, besides several of our old (and best) dramatists, have been grounded on incidents of a similar cast, I therefore altered it as you perceive, and in so doing have weakened the whole, by interrupting the train of thought; and in composition I do not think second thoughts are the best, though second expressions may improve the first ideas.

“I do not know how other men feel towards those they have met abroad, but to me there seems a kind of tie established between all who have met together in a foreign country, as if we had met in a state of pre-existence, and were talking over a life that has ceased; but I always look forward to renewing my travels; and though you, I think, are now stationary, if I can at all forward your pursuits there as well as here, I shall be truly glad in the opportunity.

Ever yours very sincerely,

“P.S. I believe I leave town for a day or two on Monday, but after that I am always at home, and happy to see you till half-past two.”