LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Lady Melbourne to Lord Byron, 7 July 1813

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
7th July 1813.
Dr. Ld. B.

She is what she calls calm this morg., & I was in hopes I might have read some parts of yr. Letter to her—& in that intention told her I had heard & that you wish’d to know how she was, but I soon found, that the less I sd. the better. I ask’d her if she had any message to send; she sd. tell him I have been ill, that I am now calm, but not very well but don’t tell him what pass’d the other night. I then sd.—probably you have told him yr. own story, have you written? After an awkward attempt at equivocation, she confess’d she had, but denied your having sent an answer. However this I don’t believe, as I do not see how you could avoid answering her. She then sd. she should not abuse you; she should keep her thoughts to herself—& to the World she should praise yr. behaviour—& upon my just hinting that she had sd. shameful things the other night & that I was glad she had made this determination she went into a rage, saying tht. she would expose you & clear herself & so on. She is now like a Barrel of Gunpowder & takes fire with the most trifling spark. She has been in a dreadfull [sic]—I was interrupted & obliged to put my paper into my
drawer, & now I cannot for my life recollect what I was going to say—oh now I have it!—I was stating tht. she had been in a dreadful bad humour this last week. With her, when the fermentation begins there is no stopping it till it bursts forth, she must have gone to
Ly. H[eathcote’s] determined to pique you by her waltzing & when she found that fail’d, in her passion she wish’d to expose you, not feeling how much worse it was for herself. Now she seems ashamed—for the first time I ever saw the least mark of that feeling. It might have been kept secret but for Ly. O[xford] & Ly. H[eathcote]—the first from folly—the other from being entirely ignorant how to be good natur’d & from a wish to display her fine feelings. That is the reason why all these Women abuse you—how I hate that affectation of sentiment! I knew they would talk & thought if it reach’d you it must make you uncomfortable & therefore desired Ly. O. to say to you there had been a scene—but tht. she was calm’d & I would write to you next morg. At present I am trying to get her out of Town & hope I shall succeed. I was able to send for Fre[deric]k whom I knew could hold her & I could not by myself & indeed I must do Ly. B[essborough] the justice to say that her representation of her violence in these paroxysms was not at all exaggerated. I could not have believed it possible for any one to carry absurdity to such a pitch. I call it so, for I am convinced she knows perfectly what she is about all the time, but she has no idea of controuling her fury. She broke a glass & scratched herself, as you call it, with the broken pieces. Ly. O. & Ly. H. screamed instead of taking it from her, & I had
just left off holding her for 2 minutes—she had a pair of scissors in her hand when I went up, with which she was wounding herself but not deeply. Pray if you answer her letters do not let her find out I have written you word of all this. I shall perhaps meet you somewhere but if I do not, you shall hear how we go on. I can not describe how fatigued I was yesterday.

I must finish
Yrs. ever
E. M.