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May 26 1812: Foster on Annabella

On May 26 1812,  Augustus Foster, the British Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, again writes to his mother, Elizabeth, the Duchess of Devonshire.  She wrote to him on May 4 sending him copies of Lord Byron's poem Childe Harold.  She had also broken the news that Miss Annabella Milbanke was not interested in him. Foster's response of May 26 confirms that he had strong feelings for Annabella. Part of his letter is reproduced below.  
To Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire.
Washington, May 26, 18 12.

I see you don't like Annabella much. She is certainly rather too cold in her manners, and gives to reason too much empire over her mind, but she has good eyes, is fair, has right ideas, and sense, and mildness. I don't think she will ever be able to love very warmly; but yet I believe she thinks she ought to wait till the spirit moves her, and the spirit perhaps may never come, as I fancy happens to many of her temperament. I long most anxiously to get back to settle that point, good or bad. No Minister ever had such temptations to break up a negotiation. I would give the world to go back for six months, and am miserable that I can't do so, but I can't leave these members to themselves two days together...







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