LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh, 14 September

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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Sept. 14th 1816.
My dearest Augusta

The paper with the initials came safely with your letter, but the hair was either omitted or had slipt out. You may be sure I looked everywhere carefully, but I suppose you in your hurry forgot it. Pray send (or save for me) two or three—but tie them with a thread—or wrap them in a manner more liable to security.

I have written to you lately thrice, twice by private conveyance & once by post. This is the fourth since the letter you mention.

Your having seen my daughter is to me a great satisfaction; it is as if I had seen her myself. Next to you—dearest—she is nearly all I have to look forward to with hope or pleasure in this world. Perhaps she also may disappoint & distress me, but I will not think so; in any case she will at least love me—or my memory.

By Mr Davies I sent you for yourself—little Da—& my nieces, a variety of Chrystal & other trinkets from Mont Blanc & Chamouni, which I got upon the spot for you all. I hope they will arrive safely.

In my last letter I mentioned to you the origin of the stories about “mistresses.” As to “pages”—there be none such—nor any body else. Such assertions and reports find their own remedy sooner or later.

If I understand you rightly, you seem to have been apprehensive—or menaced (like every one else) by that infamous Bedlamite [erased]1—If she stirs against you, neither her folly nor her falsehood should or shall protect her. Such a monster as that has no sex, and should live no longer.

But till such an event should occur, you may rely that I shall remain as quiet as the most unbounded Contempt of her, and my affection for you & regard for your feelings can make me. I should never think of her nor her infamies, but that they seem (I know not why) to make you uneasy. What ’tis she may tell or what she may

1 Caroline Lamb.

know or pretend to know—is to me indifferent. You know I suppose that
Lady Bn secretly opened my letter trunks before she left Town, and that she has also been (during or since the separation) in correspondence with that self-avowed libeller & strumpet [erased]1 wife. This you may depend upon though I did not know it till recently.

Upon such conduct I am utterly at a loss to make a single comment—beyond every expression of astonishment. I am past indignation.

There is perhaps a chance of your seeing me in Spring, as I said before I left England; but it is useless to form plans, and most of all for me to do so. I may say (as Whitbread said to me of his own a short time before his decease), that “none of mine ever succeeded.”

We purpose making a short tour to the Berne Alps next week, and then to return here and cross the Simplon to Milan. Your letters had better be always directed to Geneva Poste Restante and my banker (Mr. Hentsch, a very attentive and good man), will take care to forward them, wherever I may be.

I have answered Georgiana’s letter & am very glad she likes her little cousin. How came Ada’s hair fair?—she will be like her mother and torture me. However if she is kind to you—and when the time comes—if she will continue so, it is enough.

I do not write to you in good spirits, and I cannot pretend to be so, but I have no near nor immediate cause of being thus, but as it is; I only request you will say nothing of this to Hobhouse by letter or message, as I wish to wear as quiet an appearance with him as possible;—besides I am in good health & well without.

The Jerseys are here; I am to see them soon. Made de Staël still very kind & hospitable, but Rocca (to whom she is privately married) is not well, with some old wounds badly cured.

If I see anything very striking in the Mountains I will tell thee. To Scrope I leave the details of Chamouni

1 Wm. Lamb’s.

& the Glaciers & the sources of the Aveiron. This country is altogether the Paradise of Wilderness—I wish you were in it with me—& every one else out of it—Love me,
A., ever thine—