Lady Byron Vindicated eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about Lady Byron Vindicated.
is another feature of this mask of state.  I know no one more habitually destitute of that enthusiasm he so beautifully expresses, and to which he can work up his fancy chiefly by contagion.  I had heard he was the best of brothers, the most generous of friends; and I thought such feelings only required to be warmed and cherished into more diffusive benevolence.  Though these opinions are eradicated, and could never return but with the decay of my memory, you will not wonder if there are still moments when the association of feelings which arose from them soften and sadden my thoughts.  But I have not thanked you, dearest Lady Anne, for your kindness in regard to a principal object,—­that of rectifying false impressions.  I trust you understand my wishes, which never were to injure Lord Byron in any way:  for, though he would not suffer me to remain his wife, he cannot prevent me from continuing his friend; and it was from considering myself as such that I silenced the accusations by which my own conduct might have been more fully justified.  It is not necessary to speak ill of his heart in general:  it is sufficient that to me it was hard and impenetrable; that my own must have been broken before his could have been touched.  I would rather represent this as my misfortune than as his guilt; but surely that misfortune is not to be made my crime!  Such are my feelings:  you will judge how to act.  His allusions to me in ‘Childe Harold’ are cruel and cold, but with such a semblance as to make me appear so, and to attract all sympathy to himself.  It is said in this poem that hatred of him will be taught as a lesson to his child.  I might appeal to all who have ever heard me speak of him, and still more to my own heart, to witness that there has been no moment when I have remembered injury otherwise than affectionately and sorrowfully.  It is not my duty to give way to hopeless and wholly unrequited affection; but, so long as I live, my chief struggle will probably be not to remember him too kindly.  I do not seek the sympathy of the world; but I wish to be known by those whose opinion is valuable, and whose kindness is clear to me.  Among such, my dear Lady Anne, you will ever be remembered by your truly affectionate,

‘"A.  BYRON."’

It is the province of your readers, and of the world at large, to judge between the two testimonies now before them,—­Lady Byron’s in 1816 and 1818, and that put forward in 1869 by Mrs. B. Stowe, as communicated by Lady Byron thirteen years ago.  In the face of the evidence now given, positive, negative, and circumstantial, there can be but two alternatives in the case:  either Mrs. B. Stowe must have entirely misunderstood Lady Byron, and been thus led into error and misstatement; or we must conclude that, under the pressure of a lifelong and secret sorrow, Lady Byron’s mind had become clouded with an hallucination in respect of the particular point in question.

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Lady Byron Vindicated from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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