LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lady Byron to Theresa Villiers, 14 September [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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E. Farm.1
Septr. 14 (1816).

My dear Mrs. Villiers—I am inclined, on consideration, to apprehend some disadvantages in a communication to the Wilmots—and my reasons are chiefly from the nature of Mr W’s character—His defect certainly is vanity, and I suspect that might be wounded by her having placed confidence in any one, besides myself, preferably to him & Mrs W—Now I am sure it is not her wish to extend it to them, and I see no good, on the contrary harm, in her ever thinking them in possession of it—Mr W—did injury before, without meaning it, to her state of feelings, by trying to alarm instead of softening—of this I am now thoroughly convinced—He requires to be softened himself, and had not the tact which makes good intentions acceptable to people’s feelings—With very useful executive powers in the time

1 Lord Auckland’s house—Eden Farm.

of action, he cannot lay them aside in the time of rest, and when things had better be left to take their own course, is always wanting to do something—of these facts I wish to make you aware for the future benefit of all parties—

A—— consults me with the deepest feeling upon this point—whether she did not owe it to you voluntarily to renounce all connection with you, for your future sake—in case of any disclosure—and I really believe she would sacrifice any thing to prevent your suffering by your generosity—I told her that as a wife and mother I thought she ought to avail herself of your friendship—The knowledge that you could & would forgive her transgressions only seemed to humble her more—I have nothing to regret in my own conduct towards her, at least I hope not, except that I was at one time inclined to adopt Mr. W’s system—

Do you not think you have reason to write to Lady G1 and soften her?—

The effect of knowing that she was still further betrayed, was such as made her determine at first never to write to him again—but this is not to be desired—nor any violent resolution—I only mention it as it shows the feelings you wished to arise—

I cannot say with how much satisfaction, though of a melancholy kind in some respects, I review my visit to Town—in the hope of its having contributed something to the welfare & comfort of those who are dear to me—and amongst such friends I can never forget you—

Yours most affectly.,
A. I. B.