LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lady Byron to Theresa Villiers, 28 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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Endorsed: June 28. 1816.
My dear Mrs. Villiers

I am sorry too on some accounts that A. is going to Town, but may you not do some good by seeing her, & contribute to dispel her delusions? Except at one period I have always found her much more collected & prepared to repel suspicion than he was—and I have always observed the remarkable difference, that his feelings—distinct from practice—were much more sensitive & correct on all moral questions than hers. She did not appear to think these transgressions of consequence. Her self-condemnation has seemed so exclusively attached to what preceded my marriage, that, in opposition to every other probability, it has led me to doubt a positive renewal subsequently—but it is not uncommon in such cases for a compromise to be made with conscience when mischief has not been intended—I had another letter
from her yesterday—and I shall give you an extract for the more you know, the better you will be enabled to judge—

[Lady Byron now gives a copy of the same extracts from Mrs. Leigh’s letter of June 22, very slightly abridged, as have been printed here.]

. . . It is the idea of his occasional derangement which I suppose still continues, that prevents the estranging effect his dishonourable disclosures would otherwise have upon her—It comes in too well to indulge her blindness, and palliate his offences. I am disposed to trouble you with a copy of my reply, and request you to return it as I have no other—I shall be very glad if you think it well-calculated for the purpose I shall not give up, whilst I have any hope of being as much her friend as I wish. I feel for you when you will next meet her.

In a Postscript she desires me not to write on the subject except when she is alone, as she does not wish this to be added to other “grievances”! What is to rouse a feeling which appears completely done away, of the nature & magnitude of the offence (to which, even as an imputation, she is strangely insensible) I know not—I have endeavoured to touch her by expressing my own sentiments more fully—and was anxious to avoid every appe-[arance]? of obtruding an obligation,—when I withdrew esteem———Believe me

Yours most affectly.
A. I. B.
Lowestoffe—June 28.