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Letters on Albania by Lord Byron

September 22, 2009

Lord Byron made a grand tour of the Mediterranean in 1809, spending part of the fall of that year in Albania.  In letters to his mother and friends he writes of Albania, with no doubt as to his love of the country.  Here is an excerpt from a letter to his mother:

I like the Albanians much, they are not all Turks, some tribes are Christians, but their religion makes little difference in their manner or conduct; they are esteemed the best troops in the Turkish service. I lived on my route two days at once, and three days again in a Barrack at Salora, and never found soldiers so tolerable, though I have been in the garrisons of Gibraltar and Malta and seen Spanish, French, Sicilian and British troops in abundance. I have had nothing stolen, and was always welcome to their provision and milk. Not a week ago, an Albanian chief (every village has its chief who is called Primate) after helping us out of the Turkish galley in her distress, feeding us and lodging my suite consisting of Fletcher, a Greek, two Albanians, a Greek priest and my companion Mr. Hobhouse, refused any compensation but a written paper stating that I was well received, and when I pressed him to accept a few sequins, “no,” he replied, “I wish you to love me, not to pay me.” These were his words.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 26, 2009 8:44 pm

    The history and literature that support your posts are what make them sheer delight for me!

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