British poet, Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), set out on a grand tour of the Mediterranean in 1809, in the course of which he visited Spain, Malta, Albania, Greece and Asia Minor. His visit to Albania in the autumn in the year 1809 made a lasting impression on him and is reflected in the second canto of the poem "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," that catapulted him to fame as a writer in 1812.
Hier noch ein Brief wo er mit Velly Pacha war,der Sohn von Ali Pacha:
Tripolitza, August 16, 1810Dear Hobhouse,
I am on the rack of setting off for Argos amidst the usual creaking, swearing, loading and neighing of sixteen horses and as many men serving us included. You have probably received one letter dated Patras and I send this at a venture. Velly Pacha received me even better than his Father did, though he is to join the Sultan, and the city is full of troops and confusion, which as he said, prevents him from paying proper attention. He has given me a very pretty horse and a most particular invitation to meet him at Larissa, which last is singular enough as he recommended a different route to Ld. Sligo who asked leave to accompany him to the Danube. I asked no such thing, but an his enquiring where I meant to go, and receiving for answer that I was about to return to Albania for the purpose of penetrating higher up the country, he replied, "no you must not take that route, but go round by Larissa where I shall remain some time an my way. I will send to Athens, and you shall join me, we will eat and drink well, and go a hunting." He said he wished all the old men (specifying under that epithet North, Forresti, and Strané) to go to his father, but the young ones to come to him, to use his own expression "vecchio con vecchio, giovane con giovane." He honored me with the appellations of his friend and brother, and hoped that we should be an good terms not for a few days but for life. All this is very well, but he has an awkward manner of throwing his arm round one's waist, and squeezing one's hand in public, which is a high compliment, but very much embarrasses "ingenuous youth". The first time I saw him he received me standing, accompanied me at my departure to the door of the audience chamber, and told me I was a palikar (young brave) and an eumorpho paidi (beautiful boy). He asked if I did not think it very proper that as young men (he has a beard down to his middle) we should live together, with a variety of other sayings, which made Strané stare, and puzzled me in my replies. He was very facetious with Andreas and Viscillie, and recommended that my Albanians' heads should be cut off if they behaved ill. I shall write to you from Larissa, and inform you of our proceedings in that city. In the mean time I sojourn at Athens.
I have sent Eustathius back to his home, he plagued my soul out with his whims, and is besides subject to epileptic fits (tell Matthews this) which made him a perplexing companion, in other matters he was very tolerable, I mean as to his learning, being well versed in the Ellenics. You remember Nicolo at Athens Lusieri's wife's brother. Give my compliments to Matthews from whom I expect a congratulatory letter.
I have a thousand anecdotes for him and you, but at present ti na kano? (what to do?). I have neither time nor space, but in the words of Dawes, "I have things in store." I have scribbled thus much, where shall I send it, why to Malta or Paternoster Row. Hobby, you wretch, how is the miscellany, that damned and damnable work? "What has the learned world said to your paradoxes? I hope you did not forget the importance of monogamy." Strané has just arrived with bags of piastres, so that I must conclude by the usual phrase of
yours etc. etc.