LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Lady Caroline Lamb to Lady Melbourne, [15 October 1812]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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My dearest Lady Melbourne,

Once more I assure you upon my honour, I never opened or intentionally read any letter of yours. I found a part of one on the floor—it was in a hand I used to receive to myself—I made no secret of it, I have committed no wrong. Hitherto I have behaved with perfect honour, deceived by every human being I never have returned in kind their ill-treatment—but as you say it is not for me to complain, & you shall none of you ever more tax me with too much openness. I have borne a great deal, & will bear no more—that which is not spoken is more to be dreaded than that which is seen. I shall write no more, only entreating you not to write unkindly to my Mother, who says, instead of delightful letters
from you, she receives at present nothing but a few short guarded lines—& why? Upon my soul she is innocent, & ignorant of everything of this—she never names one I do not ever speak of & as to my having accused him I hope I did not. If I said he was unkind to me because I wishd to behave well—I did him great wrong. I beg his, I beg your pardon. I scarcely know what I wrote. Do not tell him I said this. I conclude I have deserved the treatment I have met with, & I will bear it without complaint, but it was so unexpected & it is [sic] wounds me so deeply that you must not think I can write to you or any one again.
Lady Melbourne I here do solemnly swear to you—by all that you may hold most sacred if it were not for my mother & the kindness I have received from you all, from this day forth you should never see me again. Oh that I had not been weak enough to return when Lord Byron brought me back, that I had never returned—but come it late, it will come at last—& such an exit I will make from this scene of Deceit & unkindness that it shall expiate even my atrocious conduct as you call [? it and] the canting sorrow of which you accuse me. Lord Byron has now seald my destruction, and it shall follow—mark these words—& when it comes remember it was not the mere impotence of frantic grief, but the secret firm resolution of a heart bitterly & deeply injured. I never more will write to you—& thanks for the letters I have received. I shall not reproach you for them—I deserve unkindness from you. I never have, I hope I never have, accused Lord Byron—he or you best know why he behaves ill to the Woman he so lately professed to love. He is changed perhaps, is
that a reason? No, we are not master of our affections; his love for another is no crime but I neither expected nor can bear insult, hatred, suspicion & contempt. I will not bear it; he may love who he pleases I shall never reproach him—but he should not treat me with cruelty & contempt.

Postmark: “Oc. 15—12.
Ck on Suir” [Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary],