LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Lord Byron to Augusta Leigh, 25 February 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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Venice, February 25th 1817.
Dearest Augusta,

I believe you have received all my letters, for I sent you no description of Venice, beyond a slight sketch in a letter which I perceive has arrived, because you mention the “Canal &c.” that was the longest letter I have written to you from this city of the seventy islands.

Instead of a description of the lady whom Aunt Sophy wants to have described, I will show you her picture, which is just finished for me, some of these days or other. The Carnival is over, but I am not in a descriptive mood, and will reserve all my wonders for word of mouth, when I see you again. I have nothing which would make you laugh much, except a battle some weeks ago in my apartment, between two of the fair “sect” (sisters in law) which ended in the flight of one and the fits of the other, and a great deal of confusion and eau de Cologne, and asterisks, and all that. The cause was—one paying me an evening visit. The other was gone out to a Conversazione, as was supposed for the evening, but lo and behold, in about half an hour she returned and entering my room, without a word, administered (before I could prevent her) about sixteen such slaps to her relation, as would have made your ear ache only to hear them. The assaulted lady screamed and ran away, the assailant attempted pursuit, but being prevented by me, fairly went into asterisks, which cost a world of water of all sorts, besides fine speeches to appease, and even then she declared herself a very ill used person,
although victorious over a much taller woman than herself. Besides she wronged my innocence, for nothing could be more innocent than my colloquy with the other. You may tell this to Sophy if she wants amusement. I repeat (as in my former letter) that I really and truly know nothing of

I have published nothing but what you know already.

I am glad to hear of Ada’s progress in her mother tongue, I hope you will see her again soon. What you “hope” may be, I do not know, if you mean a reunion between Lady B. and me, it is too late. It is now a year, and I have repeatedly offered to make it up, with what success you know. At present if she would rejoin me to-morrow, I would not accept the proposition. I have no spirit of hatred against her, however, I am too sensitive not to feel injuries, but far too proud to be vindictive. She’s a fool, and when you have said that, it is the most that can be said for her.

ever very truly yrs.