LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Emily Lamb to Frederick Lamb, [1803]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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Dearest Fred,

You never could accuse me of weakness again, had you been witness of the scene I bore yesterday. I had no conception of anything like it, & indeed I almost wonder that I could so steadily keep my resolutions, but there is a firmness about me that I can bring forward on great occasions and particularly on this as I was backed by your warning. No, on some occasions I can sacrify my happiness to that of others—but this is too serious, and besides I should only sacrify myself to make him unhappy—for I never could feign what I did not feel—so we parted yesterday in a most desperate manner,—& tho’ I was really unhappy all the evening & had a most dreadful headache yet I put on my usual composure. This morning he sent to beg a conference with Mama & one more with me. This was acceded to—but with considerable nervousness on my part—it began worse than yesterday’s with a great many oaths on his part taking heaven & earth to witness that he could love only me. I endeavour’d to compose him & to explain the case, namely that I would love if I could but that I could not & that my friendship he should have. He only begged me to forget everything that had passed, that he repented having spoken to me—that he only desired to see me as he had done, that I would behave to him with as much confidence as usual & that he was quite sure in time I should love him. I said I could not say anything as to the latter but that
all I wished was to live with him on the same terms as formerly, & this is decided. Tho I plainly told him that I did not feel myself the least bound, & that I desired he would not feel so either, nor that he would not hope that I should love him, & that I never would marry unless it was to a man whom I loved better than all the world besides—he said he never would accuse me of giving him false hopes whatever might happen as I had plainly detailed the case, so here we rest—quite independant—& indeed I wish I did love him for nobody ever appeared so sincere or so deserving—but somehow it is a feeling that cannot be commanded. He pressed me hard to know if I loved no one else; this I denied as indeed I can with perfect truth—he then desired to know whether I liked no one as well or near as well as him—this I would not answer, as I thought it more than I could with safety say. Dearest
Fred, I don’t think you can disapprove me, indeed I don’t think you will—for I have acted so very steadily that I should not care if every word I said to him was published to the whole town, but however let me beg you to keep your own counsel & to let nobody know anything about the whole transaction. I tell nobody for I think it is acting dishonourably towards him, & Mama says she knows nothing about it, so dearest Fred be secret & write to me; if this is not clear or detailed enough I am ready to scribble quires, only tell me. I wish you would come to town that I might sit in your room of a morning; it is so very comfortable, besides this is the month you was to return.

Yrs. ever affectly.,
Em. L.