LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Theresa Villiers to Lady Byron, 19 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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Knightsbridge, June 19th [1816].
My dear Lady Byron

Your letter has been quite a relief to my mind, tho’ I in some degree anticipated its contents from the tone of all A’s late letters to me—but still it is a weight off my mind that she should decidedly have taken the tone she has—at first her letters to me were all gloom & despair—speaking of her misery—of always having some fresh calamity—of her exertions to support herself on account of her baby &c.—all which might apply to her fresh pecuniary difficulties & I was therefore not called upon to make any comment but what related to such distresses—a total silence with respect to you and every thing concerning you de part & d’autre for a whole week—I then thought that absolute silence on my part at such a moment was almost a tacit avowal of my knowledge of what was passing, & as it was for her sake desirable that this should not appear I mentioned having heard that you were ill & gone to Lowestoffe & that probably this prevented your writing. Three letters arrived but no reply to this—at last came one with this sentence at the fag end—“I have written in such hurries lately I have I believe forgot to tell you that the last bulletin from Kirkby brought me also a few lines from Ly. B. I fear she is in very bad health.” !!!!!! I expressed my surprise at her having forgot to tell me this & merely asked if the letter was kind—To this she has not replied tho’ I have had two letters from her since, & I don’t think it necessary to say any more.

I consider that what has pass’d must be conclusive with respect to your greatest object—the safety of your Child—the production of this correspondence should it ever become necessary, & her quiet acquiescence in your proposal must be sufficient for your purpose—as far therefore as this goes, & as far as being convinced she will not bring absolute & immediate ruin upon herself by an éclat, I feel perfectly satisfied—I agree with you as
a general principle “that it is not essential to penitence that we should hate those who have sinned with us”—but this I look upon as a singular case—& nothing but a change of feeling can in this instance prevent a recurrence of sin should the opportunity recur by his coming home. What has pass’d with you will effectually prevent her going to him even if he were to propose it—but that is all. Did you tell her of his having betrayed her to others or do you think it possible to do this? Could she once be brought to believe this fact, I should hope much from it—She tells me she has not heard from him for a great while & I hear elsewhere that he is living at Geneva in such bad company that no English there visit him & hardly any natives—I wish from my soul he may be so occupied with fresh pursuits as to neglect her entirely—that would be her best chance—

She is ordered to come to London for the Pss. Mary’s marriage which I am very sorry for—the tourbillon of that, & her present exertions to sell the Six mile will give her no time for reflection.

As you very kindly ask my opinion as to your occasionally writing to A. on indifferent subjects I must say that I think your doing so will be very kind & very useful to her—& she must acknowledge to herself that it is so—to you it will afford the gratification that the consciousness of performing an act of charity must give—I perfectly believe what you conjecture as to the probability of Ld. B. considering himself the aggrieved person—I have seen self delusion practised in that way to an almost incredible degree in more instances than one—

I am very sincerely anxious to hear that you derive benefit from sea air & change of scene & rejoice that you have a friend at Lowestoffe—total solitude feeds more than cures any deep affliction—

The first impression made by the “Fare thee well” is completely done away with—& I have repeatedly heard great surprise expressed lately at your extraordinary forbearance & endurance—& not a word of
your obduracy—
Murray told me the Farewell to England was not Lord B.’s—& it is not published by him—Augusta has been dreadfully annoyed by the publication of the lines to her “fearing as everything was misrepresented these might be perverted too.” I told her the only objectionable part was the —— instead of her name, as I saw no reason for mystery between them—that I thought it very unfair of Ld. B. to imply she controuled him considering what his actions were—“Still may thy spirit rest on mine,” &c. but that was all.1 . . . I sent your letter to Mr. Wilmot as his anxiety on the subject was as great as mine—but I have not seen him alone since to hear what he says—Adieu my dear Lady B.—I am ashamed to see the quantity I have been writing—I will not be such a bore again, but pray let me hear from you, for I can with truth say that no one can feel a greater interest in all that concerns you than I do & that I am in the fullest acceptation of the words

Most affectionately yrs
Therese Villiers.