’After the marriage, they posted to Halnaby Lodge in Yorkshire, a distance of about forty miles; to which place my father accompanied them, and he always spoke strongly of Lady Byron’s apparent distress during and at the end of the journey.
’The insulting words mentioned by Mrs. Stowe were spoken by Byron before leaving the park at Seaham; after which he appeared to sit in moody silence, reading a book, for the rest of the journey. At Halnaby, a number of persons, tenants and others, were met to cheer them on their arrival. Of these he took not the slightest notice, but jumped out of the carriage, and walked away, leaving his bride to alight by herself. She shook hands with my father, and begged that he would see that some refreshment was supplied to those who had thus come to welcome them.
’I have in my possession several letters (which I should be glad to show to anyone interested in the matter) both from Lady Byron, and her mother, Lady Milbanke, to my father, all showing the deep and kind interest which they took in the welfare of all connected with them, and directing the distribution of various charities, etc. Pensions were allowed both to the old servants of the Milbankes and to several poor persons in the village and neighbourhood for the rest of their lives; and Lady Byron never ceased to take a lively interest in all that concerned them.
’I desire to tender my humble thanks to Mrs. Stowe for having come forward in defence of one whose character has been much misrepresented; and to you, sir, for having published the same in your pages.
’I have the honour to be, sir, yours obediently,
’G. H. AIRD.
‘DAOURTY, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, Sept. 29, 1869.’
I have now fulfilled as conscientiously as possible the requests of those who feel that they have a right to know exactly what was said in this interview.
It has been my object, in doing this, to place myself just where I should stand were I giving evidence under oath before a legal tribunal. In my first published account, there were given some smaller details of the story, of no particular value to the main purpose of it, which I received not from Lady Byron, but from her confidential friend. One of these was the account of her seeing Lord Byron’s favourite spaniel lying at his door, and the other was the scene of the parting.
The first was communicated to me before I ever saw Lady Byron, and under these circumstances:—I was invited to meet her, and had expressed my desire to do so, because Lord Byron had been all my life an object of great interest to me. I inquired what sort of a person Lady Byron was. My friend spoke of her with enthusiasm. I then said, ’but of course she never loved Lord Byron, or she would not have left him.’ The lady answered, ’I can show you with what feelings she left him by relating this story;’ and then followed the anecdote.