LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh, 13 January 1817

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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Produced by CATH
Venice Jany 13th 1817.
My dearest Augusta.

I wrote to you twice within the last and present months. Your letter of the 24th arrived to-day. So you have got the po’s. Pray tell me if Murray has omitted any stanzas in the publication; if he has I shall be very seriously displeased with him. The number sent was 118 to the 3d Canto.3 You do not mention the concluding 4 to my daughter Ada which I hoped would give you pleasure at least. I care not much about opinions at this time of day, and I am certain in my mind that this Canto is the best which I have ever written; there is depth of thought in it throughout and a strength of repressed passion which you must feel before you find; but it requires reading more than once, because it is in part metaphysical, and of a kind metaphysics which every will not understand. I

1 Sophia Byron.

2 Jane Clairmont, step-daughter of William Godwin. See “Letters and Journals,” Vol. III., pp. 347 and 427.

3 Of “Childe Harold.”

never thought that it would be popular & should not think well of it if it were, but those for whom it is intended will like it. Pray remember to tell me if any have been omitted in the publication. The lines on Drachenfels originally addressed to you, ought to be (& I suppose are) in the centre of the Canto—and the number of Stanzas in the whole 118—besides 4 of ten lines beginning with “Drachenfels” the lines which I sent to ou (sic) at the time from Coblentz—with the violets dearest ✣

Have you also got Chillon & the Dream & do you understand the latter?

If Murray has mutilated the MS. with his Toryism, or his notions about family considerations I shall not pardon him & am sure to know it sooner or later & to let him know it also.

I wrote to you the other day about Ada, if the answer is still refused I shall take legal measures to enforce it, and have ordered H.1 to do so. Remember I do not seek this, I wish it not, I regret it, but I require an explicit promise that Ada shall on no consideration quit the country, whether the mother does or no, and by all that is most sacred, there is no measure which I will not take to prevent it, failing in a reply to my just demand. So say—and so I will do. They will end by driving me mad, I wonder they have not already.

Of Venice I gave you some account in one of my letters. I have not much to add to it. I told you that I had fallen in love and that I shall probably remain here till the Spring, and that I am studying the Armenian language.

Marianina is not very well to-day, and I shall stay with her to nurse her this Evening. It is the Carnival, but the height of the Masquing is not yet begun. Catalani comes here on the 20th, but we have famous Music already, and a better opera than in London and a finer theatre, the Fenice by name, where I have a box, which costs me about 14 pounds sterling for the season instead

1 Hanson, his solicitor.

of four hundred as in London, and a better box and a better opera, besides the music the Scenery is most superb. There is also a ballet inferior to the singing. The Society is like all foreign Society. There is also a Ridotto. My paper’s out.

Ever yrs.