LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh, 28 October 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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Octr 28th 1816.—
My dearest Augusta

Two days ago I wrote you the enclosed1 but the arrival of your letter of the 12th has revived me a little, so pray forgive the apparent “humeur” of the other, which I do not tear up—from lazyness—and the hurry of the post as I have hardly time to write another at present.

I really do not & cannot understand all the mysteries & alarms in your letters & more particularly in the last. All I know is—that no human power short of destruction—shall prevent me from seeing you when—where—& how—I may please—according to time & circumstance; that you are the only comfort (except the remote possibility of my daughter’s being so) left me in prospect in existence, and that I can bear the rest—so that you remain; but anything which is to divide us would drive me quite out of my senses; Miss Milbanke appears in all respects to have been formed for my destruction; I have thus far—as you know—regarded her without feelings of personal bitterness towards her, but if directly or indirectly—but why do I say this?—You know she is the cause of all—whether intentionally or not is little to the purpose——You surely do not mean to say that if I come to England in Spring, that you & I shall not meet? If so I will never return to it—though I must for many

1 The preceding letter.

reasons—business &c &c—But I quit this topic for the present.

My health is good, but I have now & then fits of giddiness, & deafness, which make me think like Swift—that I shall be like him & the withered tree he saw—which occasioned the reflection and “die at top” first. My hair is growing grey, & not thicker; & my teeth are sometimes looseish though still white & sound. Would not one think I was sixty instead of not quite nine & twenty? To talk thus—Never mind—either this must end—or I must end—but I repeat it again & again—that woman has destroyed me.

Milan has been made agreeable by much attention and kindness from many of the natives; but the whole tone of Italian society is so different from yours in England; that I have not time to describe it, tho’ I am not sure that I do not prefer it. Direct as usual to Geneva—hope the best—& love me the most—as I ever must love you.