LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lady Byron to Augusta Leigh, 17 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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July 17. 1816.
My dearest A——

Indeed, indeed I cannot say all the comfort your letter has given me. I do most heartily wish with you that we had trusted each other more fully—and acknowledge that my own uncertainty of conduct might deceive you, & embarrass yours—I knew not what was best—my indecision might be weakness—and if it has injured you, I deeply regret it—but I did not see things as clearly whilst they were passing, as I do in reviewing them—and the excuse I make for myself I of course extend to you. You are very kind in understanding me as you do, for I am well aware that the very fear of giving pain sometimes makes me appear unfeeling. I hope I understand you as well as any human being can another—will you still think me mistaken “on one point” when I say I am now thoroughly convinced that if from the hour we first met all your conduct had been open to me I could not have found in it any thing to reproach you with—for that your errors of judgment, however to be regretted, were perfectly innocent—God knows what
satisfaction I have in making this acknowledgement—& in resigning doubts as to those parts of your conduct which have but transiently existed & will never return to wrong you. Tell me if this is satisfactory?

It was not of my sufferings in general—but of particular ones that I spoke of you as the cause, &, as I never expressed any feeling towards you which was not sincere, you must not imagine I had less comfort in you than I had—I only did not tell you how that comfort was at times embittered.

You ask me to tell you any thing in which I may imagine you err—The only return I can make is to open my thoughts—& you must judge if they are right or wrong—It seems to me that you dwell too much on the pain you involuntarily occasioned me, and not enough on the irreparable injury you did him by the voluntary sacrifices (for to principles & feelings like yours they must have been entirely sacrifices) which you once made to his immediate indulgences. Perhaps with you he has not given way to the frantic agonies of Remorse—alas! far from repentance, which I have seen awakened by any thing in connection with that fatal remembrance. I know there were other causes for his Despair, but I believe this to have been as baneful as any—and it made all succeeding intimacy unavoidably injurious. As far as any human being is concerned, it is towards him not me, that expiation is due—I have often regretted that the last time we met some bitter feelings (not towards you) which were only the momentary consequences of my situation at the time, influenced me, and may lead you to suppose that I have relinquished a fruitless anxiety for his ultimate good—But I believe Heaven is always open & this hope for him is still dear to me, as the only one that can remain of those that once more nearly concerned me. I have a difficulty in advising as to the communication, from being so ignorant of his present dispositions—I conceive that his fear of my penetration would as in other cases, create hatred—& I
do not see the evils of postponing the disclosure—but if the evils are to you, act so as to avoid them, & you will fulfil my wishes—I will reflect further on this point.

Do not feel any more concern that your expressed sentiments were misunderstood. From what you tell me it could not be your fault & I must say that there was no unfriendly intention towards you in the admission by others of what they saw differently—I hope you will not be under the painful necessity of renewing that topic with any who do not enter into your feelings as I should.

I have good accounts from Kirkby. Little A—— continues quite well—and I am better—The renewal of our confidence in each other has done me good—it is a comfort to say as well as to feel that I am

Yours most affecly
A. I. B.