LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Lord Byron to Lady Melbourne, [13-28 September 1812]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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Sepr. 13th, 1812.

You are all out as to my real Sentiments. I was, am, & shall be I fear, attach’d to another, who is I am informed engaged therefore entirely out of my reach. I have never sd. much to her but have never lost sight of her.

As I have sd. so much I may as well say all—the Woman I mean is M[iss] M[ilbanke]. I know nothing of her fortune, & I am told her Father is not rich, but my own would when my Rochdale arrangets. are closed be sufficient for both—my Debts are not 25,000 pd. & the deuce is in it, if with Rochdale & the surplus of Newstead I could not contrive to be as independent as half the Peerage. I know little of her, & have not the most distant reason to suppose that I am at all a favourite in that quarter, but I never saw a Woman whom I liked esteemed & could love so much—but that chance is gone, & I had better not think of her.

Sepr. 19th. Miss M. I admire, & as I said
in my last could love if she would let me, still I cannot believe what you say, that she is not engaged to
E. I have been assured of the contrary, by such good authority. Aunts are not trusted on such subjects. M. M. is a clever Woman an Amiable Woman, & of high Blood, for I have still a few Norman & Scotch inherited prejudices on that score. Whatever you may think, I assure you I have a very domestick turn, & should wish to be married to a Woman whom I could love & esteem & in whom I could place the greatest confidence. Such is M. M. she always reminds me of “Emma” in the Modern Griselda & whom ever I may marry, that is the Woman I should wish to have married—it is odd enough that my acquaintance with Ly. C[owper] commenced with a confidence on my part about yr. Neice.

28th Sepr. I have always openly professed my admiration of yr. neice & have ever been anxious to cultivate her acquaintance but Ly. C[owper] told me she was engaged to E. [unknown] so did several others. Mrs. [George] L[amb] her great friend talk’d in the same strain & was moreover certain that E. would make the best Husband in the world. Under these circumstances I withdrew, & wish’d not to hazard my Heart, with a Woman I was so extremely inclined to Love but at the same time sure could be nothing to me. The case is now different—& upon hearing from a friend of hers that they are coming here, I have put off my journey to Rochdale—& sent my Agent to settle some Business of importance without me. If you should have any means of introducing me to their Society, pray do. I have trusted you with my
secret and am entirely in your power. I do not care about her fortune, & should be happy if the floating capital of which I am now Master, could by some arrangets. turn out to be advantageous to both. Does
Miss M. waltz?—it is an odd question—but a very essential point with me. I wish I had any hopes that it would be possible for me to make myself agreeable to her, but my fears predominate,—& will I am sure give me a very awkward appearance. I wish you would undertake to say a few words for me—could you not say that I wish to propose, but I have great doubts of her.

Excuse my asking this favour but you have always been so kind to me that I trust to your being my friend in this case. Everything rests with M. M. herself for my earnest wish is to devote my whole life to her.