LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh, 3 June 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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Venice. June 3d 1817.

Dearest Augusta—I returned home a few days ago from Rome but wrote to you on the road; at Florence I believe, or Bologna. The last city you know—or do not know—is celebrated for the production of Popes—Cardinals—painters—& sausages—besides a female professor of anatomy, who has left there many models of the art in waxwork, some of them not the most decent.—I have received all your letters I believe, which are full of woes, as usual, megrims & mysteries; but my sympathies remain in suspense, for, for the life of me I can’t make out whether your disorder is a broken heart or the earache—or whether it is you that have been ill or the children—or what your melancholy & mysterious apprehensions tend to, or refer to, whether to Caroline Lamb’s novels—Mrs Clermont’s evidence—Lady Byron’s magnanimity—or any other piece of imposture; I know nothing of what you are in the doldrums about at present. I should think all that could affect you must have been over long ago; & as for me—leave me to take care of myself. I may be ill or well—in high or low spirits—in

1 “Sadly timid” is substituted for “a sad coward,” erased.

2 George Byron.

3 Wilmot.

quick or obtuse state of feelings—like any body else, but I can battle my way through; better than your exquisite piece of helplessness
G. L.1 or that other poor creature George Byron, who will be finely helped up in a year or two with his new state of life—I should like to know what they would do in my situation, or in any situation. I wish well to your George, who is the best of the two a devilish deal—but as for the other I shan’t forget him in a hurry, & if I ever forgive or allow an opportunity to escape of evincing my sense of his conduct (& of more than his) on a certain occasion—write me down—what you will, but do not suppose me asleep. “Let them look to their bond”—sooner or later time & Nemesis will give me the ascendant—& then “let them look to their bond.” I do not of course allude only to that poor wretch, but to all—to the 3d & 4th generation of these accursed Amalekites & the woman who has been the stumbling block of my——

June 4th 1817.

I left off yesterday at the stumbling block of my Midianite marriage—but having received your letter of the 20th May I will be in good humour for the rest of this letter. I had hoped you would like the miniatures, at least one of them, which is in pretty good health; the other is thin enough to be sure—& so was I—& in the ebb of a fever when I sate for it. By the “man of fashion” I suppose you mean that poor piece of affectation and imitation Wilmot—another disgrace to me & mine—that fellow. I regret not having shot him, which the persuasions of others—& circumstances which at that time would have rendered combats presumptions against my cause—prevented. I wish you well of your indispositions which I hope are slight, or I should lose my senses.

Yours ever
very & truly