Scandalous Love Letters To
Lady Caroline Lamb From Her Lover Lord Byron
My dearest Caroline,
If tears, which you saw and know I am not apt to shed, if the agitation in which I parted from you, agitation which you must have perceived through the whole of this most nervous nervous affair, did not commence till the moment of leaving you approached, if all that I have said and done, and am still but too ready to say and do, have not sufficiently proved what my real feelings are and must be ever towards you, my love, I have no other proof to offer.
God knows I wish you happy, and when I quit you, or rather when you from a sense of duty to your husband and mother quit me, you shall acknowledge the truth of what I again promise and vow, that no other in word or deed shall ever hold the place in my affection which is and shall be most sacred to you, till I am nothing.
I never knew till that moment, the madness of – my dearest and most beloved friend – I cannot express myself – this is no time for words – but I shall have a pride, a melancholy pleasure, in suffering what you yourself can hardly conceive – for you don not know me. – I am now about to go out with a heavy heart, because – my appearing this evening will stop any absurd story which the events of today might give rise to – do you think now that I am cold and stern, and artful – will even others think so, will your mother even – that mother to whom we must indeed sacrifice much, more much more on my part, than she shall ever know or can imagine.
“Promises not to love you” ah Caroline it is past promising – but shall attribute all concessions to the proper motive – and never cease to feel all that you have already witnessed – and more than can ever be known but to my own heart – perhaps to yours – May God protect forgive and bless you – ever and even more than ever.
yr. most attached
P.S. – These taunts which have driven you to this – my dearest Caroline – were it not for your mother and the kindness of all your connections, is there anything on earth or heaven would have made me so happy as to have made you mine long ago? and not less now than then, but more than ever at this time – you know I would with pleasure give up all here and all beyond the grave for you – and in refraining from this – must my motives be misunderstood? I care not who knows this – what use is made of it – it is you and to you only that they owe yourself, I was and am yours, freely and most entirely, to obey, to honour, love – and fly with you when, where, and how you yourself might and may determine.
My Dear Lady Caroline,
I have read over the few poems of Miss Milbank with attention. They display fancy, feeling, and little practice would very soon induce facility of expression. Though I have an abhorrence of Blank Verse, I like the lines of Dermody so much that I wish they were in rhyme. The lines in the Cave at Seaham have a turn of thought which I cannot sufficiently commend, and here I am at least candid as my own opinions differ upon such subjects.
The first stanza is very good indeed, and the others, with a few slight alterations might be rendered equally excellent. The last are smooth and pretty. But these are all, has she no others? She certainly is a very extraordinary girl; who would imagine so much strength and variety of thought under that placid Countenance? It is is not necessary for Miss M. to be an authoress, indeed I do not think publishing at all creditable either to men or women, and (though you will not believe me) very often feel ashamed of it myself; but I have no hesitation in saying that she has talents which, were it proper or requisite to indulge, would have led to distinction.
A friend of mine (fifty years old, and an author, but not Rogers) has just been here. As there is no name to the MSS I shewed them to him, and he was much more enthusiastic in his praises than I have been. He thinks them beautiful; I shall content myself with observing that they are better, much better, than anything of Miss M.’s protégé Blacket. You will say as much of this to Miss M. as you think proper. I say all this very sincerely. I have no desire to be better acquainted with Miss Milbank; she is too good for a fallen spirit to know, and I should like her more if she were less perfect.
Believe me, yours ever most truly,
B (Lord Byron)
We are thus far separated – but after all one mile is as bad as a thousand – which is a great consolation to one who must travel six hundred before he meets you again. If it will give you any satisfaction – I am as comfortless as a pilgrim with peas in his shoes and as cold as Charity, Chastity or any other Virtue.
Lord Byron, English poet, to Annabella Milbanke, his future wife.
I got a wife and a cold on the same day, but have got rid of the last pretty speedily. I don’t dislike this place, it is just the spot for a moon; there is my only want, a library, and thus I can always amuse myself, even if alone. I have great hopes this match will turn out well. I have found nothing as yet that I could wish changed for the better; but time does wonders, so I won’t be too hasty in my happiness.
I will tell you all about the ceremony when we meet. It went off very pleasantly, all but the cushions, which were stuffed with peace-stones I believe, and made me make a face which passed for piety.
My love to all my relatives; by the way, what do they mean to give me? I will compromise, provided they let me choose what I will have instead of their presents, nothing but what they could very well spare.
Ever Aunt, thine dutifully,
B. (Lord Byron)
Letters To Lady Byron (Annabella Milbanke)
All I can say seems useless – and all I could say might be no less unavailing – yet I still cling to the wreck of my hopes, before they sink for ever. Were you, then, never happy with me? Did you never at any time or times express yourself so? Have no marks of affection of the warmest and most reciprocal attachment passed between us? or did in fact hardly a day go down without some such on one side, and generally on both? Do not mistake me: I have not denied my state of mind – but you know its causes – and were those deviations from calmness never followed by acknowledgements and repentance? Was not the last that recurred more particularly so? and had I not – had we not the days before and on the day we parted – every reason to believe that we loved each other? that we were to meet again? Were not your letters kind? Had I not acknowledged to you all my faults and follies – and assured you that some had not and could not be repeated? I do not require these questions to be answered to me, but to your own heart.
It is torture to correspond thus, and there are things to be settled and said which cannot be written.
You say it is my disposition to deem what I have worthless? Did I deem you so? Did I ever so express myself to you, or of you to others? You are much changed within these twenty days or you would never have thus poisoned your own better feelings and trampled on mine.
Ever your most truly and affectly.
B. (Lord Byron)
The Wife of Byron Annabella
Here’s a happy new year! but with reason
I beg you’ll permit me to say-
Wish me many returns of the season,
But as few as you please of the day.
– On My Wedding-Day, Domestic Pieces
Love Letter To Countess Teresa Guiccioli From Lord Byron
My dearest Teresa,
I have read this book in your garden; – my love, you were absent, or else I could not have read it. It is a favorite book of yours, and the writer was a friend of mine. You will not understand these English words, and others will not understand them, – which is the reason I have not scrawled them in Italian. But you will recognize the handwriting of him who passionately loves you, and you will divine that, over a book which was yours, he could only think of love. In that word, beautiful in all languages, but most so in yours – Amor mio – is comprised my existence here and hereafter. I feel I exist here, and I fear that I shall exist hereafter, – as to what purpose you will decide; my destiny rests with you, and you are a woman, seventeen years of age, and two out of a convent. I wish that you had stayed there, with all my heart, – or, at least, that I had never met you in your married state.
But all this is too late. I love you, and you love me, – at least, you say so, and act as if you did so, which last is a great consolation in all events. But I more than love you, and cannot cease to love you.
Think of me, sometimes, when the Alps and the ocean divide us, – but they never will, unless you wish it.
B. (Lord Byron)
Letter His Mother From Lord Byron
I am sorry to say that Mr Henry Drury has behaved himself to me in a manner I neither can nor will bear. He has seized now an opportunity of showing his resentment towards me. To day in church I was talking to a Boy who sitting next me; that perhaps was not right, but hear what followed. After Church he spoke not a word to me, but he took this Boy to his pupil room, where he abused me in a most violent manner, called me blackguard, said he would and could have me expelled from the School, and bade me thank his Charity that prevented him; this was the Message he sent me, to which I shall return no answer, but submit my case to you and those you may think fit to consult. Is this fit usage for any body? had I stole or behaved in the most abominable way to him, his language could not have been more outrageous. What must the boys think of me to hear such a Message ordered to be delivered to me by a Master? Better let him take away my life than ruin my Character. My Conscience acquits me of ever meriting expulsion at this School; I have been idle and I certainly ought not to talk in church, but I have never done a mean action at this School to him or any one. If I had done anything so heinous, why should he allow me to stay at the school? Why should he himself be so criminal as to overlook faults which merit the appellation of a blackguard? If he had had it in his power to have me expelled, he would long ago have done it; as it is, he has done worse. If I am treated in this Manner, I will not stay at this School. I write you that I will not as yet appeal to Dr Drury; his son’s influence is more than mine and justice would be refused me. Remember I told you, when I left you at Bath, that he would seize every means and opportunity of revenge, not for leaving him so much as the mortification he suffered, because I begged you to let me leave him.
If you do not take notice of this, I will leave the School myself; but I am sure you will not see me ill treated; better that I should suffer anything than this. I believe you will be tired by this time of reading my letter, but, if you love me, you will now show it. Pray write me immediately.
I shall ever remain,
Your affectionate Son,