LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh, 1 October 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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Diodati. October 1st 1816.
My dearest Augusta,—

Two days ago I sent you in three letter-covers a journal1 of a mountain-excursion lately made by me & Mr H.2 in the Bernese Alps. I kept it on purpose for you thinking it might amuse you. Since my return here I have heard by an indirect Channel that Lady B. is better, or well. It is also said that she has some intention of passing the winter on the Continent. Upon this subject I want a word or two, and as you are—I understand—on terms of acquaintance with her again you will be the properest channel of communication from me to her. It regards my child. It is far from my intention now or at any future period (without misconduct on her part which I should be grieved to anticipate),

1Letters and Journals,” Vol. III., p. 349.

2 Hobhouse.

to attempt to withdraw my child from its mother. I think it would be harsh; & Though it is a very deep privation to me to be withdrawn from the contemplation and company of my little girl, still I would not purchase even this so very dearly; but I must strongly protest against my daughter’s leaving England, to be taken over the Continent at so early a time of life & subjected to many unavoidable risks of health & comfort; more especially in so unsettled a state as we know the greater part of Europe to be in at this moment. I do not choose that my girl should be educated like
Lord Yarmouth’s son (or run the chance of it which a war would produce), and I make it my personal & particular request to Lady Byron that—in the event of her quitting England—the child should be left in the care of proper persons. I have no objection to its remaining with Lady Noel & Sir Ralph, (who would naturally be fond of it), but my distress of mind would be very much augmented if my daughter quitted England without my consent or approbation. I beg that you will lose no time in making this known to Lady B. and I hope you will say something to enforce my request, I have no wish to trouble her more than can be helped. My whole hope—and prospect of a quiet evening (if I reach it), are wrapt up in that little creature—Ada—and you must forgive my anxiety in all which regards her even to minuteness. My journal will have told you all my recent wanderings. I am very well though I had a little accident yesterday. Being in my boat in the evening the pole of the mainsail slipped in veering round, & struck me on a nerve of one of my legs so violently as to make me faint away. Mr He & cold water brought me to myself, but there was no damage done—no bone hurt—and I have now no pain whatever. Some nerve or tendon was jarred—for a moment & that was all. To-day I dine at Coppet; the Jerseys are I believe to be there. Believe me ever & truly my own dearest Sis. most affectionately and entirely yours