November 19 1814: My Own Byron

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On November 19 1814, Annabella Milbanke writes to her fiancé Lord Byron, from Seaham,

My own Byron—I must say goodnight before I go to rest. It is my comfort to think of that kind promise that you would make yourself as happy as possible. The spirit of Self-denial, which has always strangely possessed me, must have tyrannised over me when I agreed to your departure. All my present as well as past reflections convince me that to you I may entrust not only my happiness, but every other interest of most importance—and if I could not—my feeling is that I would rather share distress with you than escape it without you. My fear was that I should create it by disappointing you—anything but that would have been supportable.

I certainly was not myself during your stay. “Now being gone, I am a—what?—again.”
Before you pass sentence on me finally, wait to see me myself. Myself is by no means the grave, didactic, deplorable person that I have appeared to you. I am only sage under some visitation of anxiety. This I wanted you to understand, and to help me out of that atmosphere of sober sadness in which I was almost suffocated. Those who have seen me quite as a domestic animal have had more reason to complain of my nonsense than my sense. It has however always been a long time before I could recover my natural temperament with a new inmate.

What a history of Myself! I wish I had as long a one of thyself—God bless thee—do not— I have forgotten what I was going to say—Remember me as Thy wife—

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