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November 14 1812: Lady Caroline's Terrors

On November 14, 1812, Lord Byron again writes to Lady Melbourne and again what concerns him most is the dreaded arrival of Lady Caroline Lamb in London from Ireland. Lady Caroline is "threatening if some unexpressed or unintelligible wish (about a picture I believe) is not complied with to visit Eywood in all her terrors".  Caroline is now obsessed with getting Byron's  portrait. Byron fears his peaceful time in Eywood with Lady Oxford will be disturbed by her.  He is enjoying the quiet contentment in the arms of Lady Oxford. He also appears to have reconciled himself to not marrying Annabella Milbanke. He writes: "I congratulate A– & myself on our mutual escape. – That would have been but a cold collation, & I prefer hot suppers".

Byron's letter is reproduced below.

Byron to Lady Melbourne, from Eywood, Herefordshire, November 14th 1812: 
Novr. 14th. 1812 

My dear Ly. M. –  This day a further dispatch from C– with letters to me & our hostess – the one to me rational enough but to her only calm at the commencement the conclusion winding up in the old style & threatening if some unexpressed or unintelligible wish (about a picture I believe) is not complied with to visit Eywood in all her terrors. – – They leave Ireland on the 20th. so by this time are safe in England & for aught I know within a few miles of us for the roads are very near my present abode. –  

The floods have detained me beyond my time; indeed business requires me in town & I shall make an attempt for Cheltenham on the 16th. – – —— is very anxious that I should not be in town till C. has left it, so am I – & I think you will be of the same opinion – I have just this moment been called to the window of the room where I am writing, & it has been suggested that a longer stay would be better on that account – but I fear that I must go on Monday, if I remain much longer “il Sposo” may be seized with crotchets & as I return at Xmas – & I really have business, I determine on the journey. – My London letters all stop at Cheltenham so I know nothing but by cross posts. – If C. makes her debut here we shall have a pretty scene. – She has received my letter avowing a penchant elsewhere, & though I did not specify the idol, her subsequent epistles shew that the date of my own letter had sufficiently expounded what was not stated & I do think has answered the purpose to a certain extent. – She requires friendship – but you know that with her disposition it is impossible; for some time at least we must come to a total separation. – – Besides —— I have no choice, & I certainly shall not waver an instant between the two. – You will I hope prevent an interview – after all you have more weight with her than any one – Ly. Blarney always spoils every thing bad as well as good; never did anyone throw away such excellent experience – she does by accident all that Ly. Holland performs on purpose. If Ld. Jersey is not in town I shall stop at M. in my way according to invitation but why are you absent? I expect to find letters from you at Cheltenham & upon your advice much will depend. – – I am perfectly satisfied with my situation & have no intention of changing it unless others set the example. – Everything goes on “sans peur & sans reproche” yet very unlike Bayard for all that.

I congratulate A– & myself on our mutual escape. – That would have been but a cold collation, & I prefer hot suppers.
dear Ly. M. ever yrs
BN 

P.S. – I open my letter to say that I have just been conversing with —— on ye. subject of C– & her late strange letters to —— & she wishes me to remain a few days longer – I shall therefore wait for your answer here – one line only to say where they are will reach me by Wednesday – Pray write it & my movements will be accordingly. – – I thought & fully intended to have finished the subject of C– forever but you perceive that it is impossible till she is more tractable. I am however thankful in one instance that she has hitherto made no progress in disturbing our arrangements – – – I shall wait for your answer here – as otherwise I may stumble on them on the road.

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