LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh, 10 May 1817

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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Rome May 10th 1817.
My dearest Augusta

I have taken a flight down here (see the Map), but shall return to Venice in fifteen days from this date, so address all answers to my usual head- (or rather heart-) quarters—that is to Venice. I am very well, quite recovered, & as is always the case after all illness—particularly fever—got large, ruddy, & robustous to a degree which would please you—& shock me. I have been on horse-back several hours a day for this last ten days, besides now & then on my journey; proof positive of high health, & curiosity, & exercise. Love me—& don’t be afraid—I mean of my sicknesses. I get well, & shall

1 Lord Ernle explains this as referring to “Peter or Patrick Pattieson,” the fictitious character under which Scott disguised the authorship of the first series of the “Tales of my Landlord.” See “Letters and Journals,” Vol. IV., p. 56.

always get so, & have luck enough still to beat most things; & whether I win or not—depend upon it—I will fight to the last.

Will you tell my wife “mine excellent Wife” that she is brewing a Cataract for herself & me in these foolish equivocations about Ada,—a job for lawyers—& more hatred for every body, for which—(God knows), there is no occasion. She is surrounded by people who detest me—Brougham the lawyer—who never forgave me for saying that Mrs Ge Lambe was a damned fool (by the way I did not then know he was in love with her) in 1814, & for a former savage note in my foolish satire, all which is good reason for him—but not for Lady Bn; besides her mother—&c &c &c—so that what I may say or you may say is of no great use—however—say it. If she supposes that I want to hate or plague her (however wroth circumstances at times may make me in words & in temporary gusts or disgusts of feeling), she is quite out—I have no such wish—& never had, & if she imagines that I now wish to become united to her again she is still more out. I never will. I would to the end of the year succeeding our separation—(expired nearly a month ago, Legal reckoning), according to a resolution I had taken thereupon—but the day & the hour is gone by—and it is irrevocable. But all this is no reason for further misery & quarrel; Give me but a fair share of my daughter—the half—my natural right & authority, & I am content; otherwise I come to England, & “law & claw before they get it,” all which will vex & out live Sir R. & Ly N.1 besides making Mrs Clermont bilious—& plaguing Bell herself, which I really by the great God! wish to avoid. Now pray see her & say so—it may do good—& if not—she & I are but what we are, & God knows that is wretched enough—at least to me.

Of Rome I say nothing—you can read the Guide-book—which is very accurate.

I found here an old letter of yours dated November 1816—to which the best answer I can make—is none.

1 Noel.

You are sadly timid1 my child, but so you all shewed yourselves when you could have been useful—particularly
——2 but never mind. I shall not forget him, though I do not rejoice in any ill which befalls him. Is the fool’s spawn a son or a daughter? you say one—& others another; so Sykes works him—let him—I shall live to see him & W.3 destroyed, & more than them—& then—but let all that pass for the present.

yrs. ever

P.S. Hobhouse is here. I travelled from V—— quite alone so do not fuss about women &c—I am not so rash as I have been.