LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lady Byron to Theresa Villiers, 15 June 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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June 15. 1816.
My dear Mrs. Villiers

Having made a visit of two days on the road, I only arrived here yesterday, and found your letter—The material parts of the answer which I have received are that she acquiesces in the limited intercourse, and seeks no further explanation—of course she does not plead guilty, but her assertions are not exactly to the point, though it is evident she perfectly understands me—There is no offensive or irritating expression towards me, and notwithstanding the share which prudence may have had in preventing any such, I felt much more affected than I should have been by her indulgence of more angry feelings—In short it is perhaps the best letter she could have written—How bitter it is to correspond on altered terms with one whom we have not ceased to love——

Do you not consider it mutually advisable, since you have given me so much reason to consult you as my

1 The bulletin as to the health of the child, Ada Byron, sent by Lady Noel to Mrs. Leigh for transmission to Lord Byron.

friend likewise, that I should write to her occasionally without adverting further to this subject?—I do not expect that her affections will ever be detached from him, but I trust they will be purified by reflection and sorrow—I do not think it essential to penitence that we should hate those who have sinned with us—we may, without this equally deplore the transgression, and resolve against its renewal.

I was the object of some obtrusive curiosity on my journey, particularly at Ely and Peterborough—At Bury I was presented with the “Farewell to England”—I think it a feebler effusion of the same sentiments as in the Fare thee well—Habits of misrepresentation necessarily entail a degree of self-delusion—we say things to persuade others till we persuade ourselves—and I have always found this so true of Lord Byron, that I am inclined to think he now really believes himself the injured person. When the whole force of such an imagination is turned to deceive the conscience it is too easy to find “a flattering unction”—and it is perhaps one of the most melancholy & fatal misapplications of human powers.

I am writing in full view of the sea, & not many yards distant—The House adjoining mine will be inhabited by my friend the young Lady Gosford—one of those whom I value most and whose society is likely to be the more salutary to me, as she is wholly unconnected with the causes of my deeper feelings—I have not seen her for the last three years—My health will improve in this quiet life, & then I shall have more power to enjoy the blessings which remain, & of which I am most sensible—

Believe me
Yours very affectly.
A. I. B.

I find I have not time to write to Mr. Wilmot by this post—will you tell him he shall hear from me soon.