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December 27 1812: Princess Charlotte and Caroline

On December 27 1812, Lord Byron writes to Lady Melbourne about Princess Charlotte, the estranged daughter of the Prince Regent,  and inevitably Lady Caroline Lamb. The latter has written to him with a "long account of the bonfire still more ludicrous than yours, full of Yeomanry, pages, gold chains, basket of flowers” – herself – & all other fooleries". 
My dear Ly. M. –  I know very little of the P’s party [Princess Caroline] & less of her publication (if it be hers) & am not at all in ye. secret, but I am aware that the advice given her by the most judicious of her “little Senate” has been to remain quiet & leave all to the P Ce. – I have heard nothing of the thing you mention except in ye. papers & did not imagine it to be hers. I by no means consider myself as an attache to her or any party, though I certainly should support her interest in Parliament if brought forward in any shape – & I doubt the possibility of the divorce – firstly – because he would already if he could – 2dly. – unless there is different law for Sovereign & subject she might recriminate (even were the charge proved) & by the law of the land as in Ld. Grosvenor & Duke C’s case there could be no divorce – 3dly. it would hurt the daughter 4 thly. if he married again & the Holy Ghost or any other begat him an heir – still there would be a party ready to bastardize the product of the 2 marriage by maintaining the legality of the first & denying his divorce to be legal – & 5thly . the uproar would be prodigious & injure his nerves – for my part I care not & think this country wants a little “civil buffeting” to bring some of us to our senses. – I shall not mention your name nor what you have said though I fully agree with you that it is much better for her to be quiet. – M’amie thinks I agree with her in{all} her politics, but she will discover that this is a mistake. – She insists always upon the P’s innocence but then as she sometimes reads me somewhat a tedious homily upon her own I look upon it in much the same point of view as I should on Mary Magdalen’s vindication of Mrs.  Joseph, or any other immaculate riddle. – I suspect from what you say & what I have heard that there will be a scene. – 

My proposed confidence to you will do for our [  ] meeting & consists merely of one or two slight {domestic} things on which I want to ask your advice, & you know I not only ask but take it when you please. – – I am glad C is so quiet – her account of my letter is right – her inference from it wrong – if she knew anything of human nature she would feel that as long as men love they forgive every thing, but the moment it is over they discover fifty things on which to ground a plausible & perpetual implacability. – She could not renew it – & this she knows, but she is quite right to reserve a point for Vanity. 
In her last she says “she shall quit the room or the house the moment I enter it.” I answered that she was to do as she pleased but that my carriage would be always respectful & as friendly as she thought proper to allow – an expression I now regret for she will interpret it into a wish to be again in her trammels which I neither would nor could. – Her letters were still more absurd than ever telling me she had “perjured herself to Lady Cr & Mrs. L” &c. to whom it seems I betrayed her &. (I can safely appeal to both as you will or may discover) & all this was my fault & so on. – 

Then comes a long account of the bonfire still more ludicrous than yours, full of Yeomanry, pages, gold chains, basket of flowers” – herself – & all other fooleries. – – Ld. O. goes to town on Saturday next, & we shall follow him the week or fortnight after – in the mean time write to me – we are very quiet & happy – but I shall certainly attend to what you say on travelling “en famille.” – Believe me dear Ly M ever yrs [Byron]

P.S. – I just hear that we shall not be in town before the 20th. – 


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