Lord Byron’s Love Letter

by Tennessee Williams

A spinster and an old woman are seen in a dark room, talking. In the mean time the door bell rings and a matron who has come to see the Mardi Gras festival calls in. She notices a stuffed bird and expresses her sympathy for it. The spinster tells that it is stuffed. Her husband is outside in the street.

They have come to have a look at Lord Byron’s love letter that the two women have. The letter had been written to the spinster’s grandmother when she had met Byron on the steps of the Acropolis in Athens.

Soon the husband too is called in and the old woman explains how the grandmother had met Lord Byron. The spinster reads the account from a diary. They had gone to Greece to study the classic remains of the oldest European civilization. On the step, she saw Byron. He comes to give her the gloves she had dropped somewhere, the exchange of the gloves allows them to share the warmth of their hands. Love starts thus.

After this, they stop the diary and prepare to show the letter. They tell them soon after that Byron died while defending his country and the grandmother renounced the world and preferred to live in loneliness. She even wrote a sonnet in his name. The spinster recites the poem for the visitor.

At his stage, Tutwiler, the matron’s husband goes to the door and prepares to run away. The wife too rises to follow. The spinster asks them to pay for the letter as that is the trend there. But they run away without caring a work and the two women are left cursing the callous visitors.

contributed by Mahesh Paudyal

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