LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Theresa Villiers to Lady Byron, 9 May [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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Thursday May 9th. [1816].
My dear Lady Byron

Your kind letter reached me very safely yesterday—and I sincerely thank you for it. Whatever steps you take towards the attainment of the objects you have in view will, I have no doubt, be right, & I can only again repeat that if I can in any degree contribute to either I shall at all times be most happy (&) ready to comply with your wishes—Nothing can be more amiable than all your feelings towards poor A. & I trust the time will come when she will fully appreciate them. Her fever has not yet subsided—and the wretched condition of her own affairs must and will for a time, prevent all retrospective recollections turning to good account. Her expressions of conscious innocence to me are certainly wonderful—but I think I can, under various pre-
tences, check intemperate language to all but myself, where it will do no harm. It is very good of you to enter into any details with me explanatory of your conduct—I feel I have no possible right to ask them—yet your confidence almost inclines me to risk being indiscreet. If I am so—send me no answer—but I feel so sure that you had a good reason for every action, that I wish if possible to be able to assign such to myself, as well as others, for one thing—namely—your having urged A. to come to town during your confinement.—This circumstance was mentioned to me by A. in consequence of her having heard both from the Wilmots and me that
Ld. Byron had allowed himself to advance opinions publickly wh. could not but create the reports that had been circulated—& she says “if Ly. B. had ever heard such reports or if she had not treated them with the contempt they deserved, would she have invited me to come?” I confess I constantly used this argument myself while she was in Piccadilly & this makes me perhaps doubly anxious to be set right in this particular. Nothing could be more natural than your wish for her to remain a few days after you left town under all the circumstances you mention—Dr. Baillie’s opinion was entirely suppressed to me—and so have many other things not unnaturally—tho’ alas all this confirms the recent impression I have received.

The anecdote of your maid is very satisfactory—I never thought much faith shd. be given to her evidence but this ought to be known. Always believe me very affectionately yours

T. V.