LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Augusta Leigh to Lady Byron, [23 July 1816]

I. Byron Characteristics
II. Three Stages of Lord Byron’s Life
III. Manfred
IV. Correspondence of Augusta Byron
V. Anne Isabella Byron
VI. Lady Byron’s Policy of Silence
VII. Informers and Defamers
VIII. “When We Dead Awake”
IX. Lady Byron and Mrs. Leigh (I)
X. Lady Byron and Mrs. Leigh (II)
XI. Byron and Augusta
Notes by the Editor
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Tuesday Night (July 23rd 1816).

My dearest A—Do not imagine that either silence or an uncomfortable letter are proofs of forgetfulness on my part. Without doing much, I have scarcely a moment of peace & quiet here—constant interruptions of one sort or other—& from a remains of nervous weakness I believe—my head becomes so confused that I cannot collect my thoughts so as to express one-half of them to you. I have felt quite vexed at the recollection of the hurry I wrote to you in—yet I could not help it. You are so kind & good to me I would not have you think that I feel it one bit less than I really do—& it is impossible you can know how much that is—but I know you will make allowances. You(r) last letter my dearest A was such a comfort to me—ye greatest I can at present receive—since I think from it you do “understand me as well as any human being can another,” & I have suffered a great deal from the idea that you might & did mistake on one point. Don’t reproach yourself—or imagine I could ever reproach you for past doubts—it was but too natural you should have had them & none but you would so kindly have dismissed them. Thank you my dear A—— for complying with my request—& offering your thoughts—I am certain they are right & I assure you I always mistrust my own & endeavour to examine into every motive. Tell me always when you see anything wrong & believe me that greatest act of friendship will be most gratefully felt and acknowledged. I never witnessed any thing like what you have alas! & describe to have been his Agonies—& whatever I have suffered I have always carefully concealed from him,
altho’ could I have hoped for any good effect it might have been greater kindness not to have done so I have said but little of
him my dearest A—— fearing you might mistake ye nature of my feelings—I am certain they are & ever have been such as you could not disapprove—If I did but know how to contribute to his ultimate1 good! but Alas! I do not—tho’ like you that hope is cherished as the dearest of all—I rely upon your offering me your thoughts upon this & every point my dearest A——that is to say if you see no objection to yourself in so doing—I am perhaps raising up melancholy recollections & doing you harm—then tell me so sincerely & every thing else you would wish to say to me—& how I can by any means contribute to your comfort—I have thought much about the communication you allude to in yr last letter—& think certainly that it would be better at least postponed—I have been forbid to mention any & every thing but his child—& it was a relief to me—for without I could do any good I would much rather be silent—I have written by his two friends—whose departure however will not I believe take place before Saturday or Sunday—& only swerved from the rule indicated to me so far as to say I had met with ye greatest kindness from you. Dearest A—— it must ever give me great concern to think that anything I could have said wore the appearance even of unkindness towards you—I have very long avoided “that topic,” except when I thought I could change opinions injurious to you—& I have even experienced that my very silence has been turned against me! so it is difficult to know what to do—yet I believe that is the safest line——

this letter has as usual met with 10,000 interruptions but it must go “with all its imperfections on its head”

I hope your health continues to improve & yt of little Ada to be perfect—I fear I must remain here till after ye 12th when My Mistress gives a great affair to which I shall be summoned—nothing good at home, except that my darlings are well—

1 Underlined twice.


Georgey’s love and she is going to write to you immediately

Ever my dearest A—— Most affecly & gratefully yrs
finished Wedy.