November 13 1814: I Have Great Doubts

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Trouble in paradise. Lord Byron writes to Lady Melbourne, from Seaham.

Novr. 13th. 1814 –

My dear Lady Mele. –
I delivered your letters – but have only mentioned ye receipt of your last to myself. –
– – –
Do you know I have great doubts – if this will be a marriage now: – her disposition is the very reverse of our imaginings – she is overrun with fine feelings – scruples about herself & her disposition (I suppose in fact she means mine) and to crown all is taken ill once every 3 days with I know not what – but the day before and the day after she seems well – looks {& eats} well & is cheerful & confiding & in short like any other person in good health & spirits. –

A few days ago she made one scene – not altogether out of C’s style – it was too long & too trifling in fact for me to transcribe – but it did me no good – – in the article of conversation however she has improved with a vengeance – but I don’t much admire these same agitations upon slight occasions. – I don’t know – but I think it by no means impossible you will see me in town soon – I can only interpret these things one way – & merely wait to be certain to make my obeisances and “exit singly.” I hear of nothing but “feeling” from morning till night – except from Sir Ralph with whom I go on to admiration

– Ly. M.86 too is pretty well – but I am never sure of A – for a moment – the least word – and you know I rattle on through thick & thin (always however avoiding anything I think can offend her favourite notions) if only to prevent me from yawning – the least word – or alteration of tone – has some inference drawn from it – sometimes we are too much alike – & then again too unlike – this comes of system – & squaring her notions to the Devil knows what – for my part I have lately had recourse to the eloquence of action (which Demosthenes calls the first part of oratory) & find it succeeds very well & makes her very quiet which gives me some hopes of the efficacy of the “calming process” so renowned in “our philosophy.” – In fact and entre nous it is really amusing – she is like a child in that respect – and quite caressable into kindness and good humour – though I don’t think her temper bad at any time – but very self=tormenting – and anxious – and romantic. – – – – – In short – it is impossible to foresee how this will end now – anymore than 2 years ago – if there is a break – it shall be her doing not mine. –

ever yrs. most truly
[swirl signature]

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