LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Astarte: a Fragment of Truth
Augusta Leigh to Lady Byron, [29 December 1819]

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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Tuesday Night [December 29, 1819]

My dearest A—Yr letter—thro Mrs V arrived today—her Governess brought it me—as she herself is not likely to be in Town for sometime—Altho’ ye change of circumstances makes the advice now unnecessary—the impression of your kindness remains—& ever will remain the same on my heart—I have not words to thank you—but I do hope that I do not may not appear ungrateful in yr Eyes—The time may come when ye same kind solicitude may be excited for me—& I can’t dearest A—help replying to your suggestions—Do you remember once before giving them & I told you, what I must again repeat & recall to you—that supposing me to feel like you on all the points you have touched—there is one which surely escaped you—supposing me to decide on not seeing him—what reasons could I give for it to my relations—friends—acquaintances but—most of all my Husband—I really cannot calculate all the consequences of that step as far as he is concerned—I think you agreed with me before—that this consideration rendered the step impossible—I assure you—all that you have said had passed already in my mind—My idea was this—if what you apprehend, came to pass, my conduct must have been—either this must cease—or our intercourse—& then had the latter been adopted—his caprice is so well known it (the estrangement) wd not have been thought so extraordinary as in the other case—at any rate the intercourse to have been as much restricted as possible—I am sure—at least I hope—you cannot think it could have afforded me any pleasure—& for my children I most perfectly agree with you it wd have been the least desirable upon earth—However I will honestly confess to you—I never have—I cannot now believe as you do in
the depth & strength of what is manifested by fits & starts—when there is nothing else—surely it must be a dreadful idea that he must necessarily be wicked in some way—then dearest A—I do not feel that I could without one effort relinquish—the hope—the chance of making some impression on his better feelings—you will perhaps think me foolish—vain—I hope not the latter—but indeed do you think there is one person in Engd who would—who could say to him what from circumstances I might? it might be lost now but perhaps recur hereafter, & it wd be a satisfaction to me at all events to have said it—Do you mean on the subject of pecuniary interests—what was said of my opinion expressed on the subject of the Mortgage—I mean to decline that wholly—& pray do me the justice to believe that one thought of the interests of my Children as far as that Channel is concerned never crosses my mind—I have only entreated—I believe more than once that ye Will might be altered—but if it is not—as far as I understand the matter—there is not the slightest probability of their ever deriving any benefit—Whatever my feelings dear A—I assure you never in my life have I looked to advantages of that sort—I do not mean that I have any merit in not doing it—but that I have no inclination—therefore nothing to struggle with—I trust my Babes to Providence & provided they are good—I think perhaps too little of the rest—from indolence I daresay & fear—

I am sure you will not be angry with me for saying all I do & have & I only entreat you to reply to me—for very likely I may be wrong—but I have God knows! considered & reflected on probabilities since I have had this dreadful expectation—What a mercy it has ceased! My dear A do not you think it all very odd?—I have not had any letter but besides the message I enclosed you yesterday one thro’ D. K. this Evg to ye same effect—my own opinion is he will never come—or at least if ever—not for this long time—if his life is spared—I will not tire you—with more now—Pray do not hate me for what I have written & do answer me—for I scarcely ever feel
confidence in my own opinions. God bless you—& thank you my dearest A for all your great kindness—Believe me always grateful——