November 11 1815: My Lord Don’t Be Offended

On November 11 1815, Susan Boyce, AN ACTRESS at Drury Lane and Byron’s lover writes to his Lordship.

Saturday 11th Nov 1815

My Lord dont be offended I am really unhappy pardon my troubling you with this but I would account clearly to you for every part of my conduct (if you will allow me to so to do) nothing shall induce me to frequent the Theatre in future unless I play, at least till this little gossip is forgotten which will be the case in a few days, I was attacked last night in a most cruel manner by Mrs Scott (who by the way was much elevated I dont know whether ‘twas the smell or taste of Gin one it was for certain, she was most disgusting in her manner my situation was truly pitiable I felt more awkwardness than I shall express on seeing you, tho I wait for the express purpose of speaking two or three words, perhaps ‘twas foolish but I am a fool in most things that womans impertinence drew all eyes on us as soon as you entered the room I did not know what to do I looked I felt like a fool, when to complete all out you hurried in a huff, I know you was very angry at something I had very near followed you immediately when I observed every person in the room looking at me expecting no doubt I should do so – my heart fail’d me I cannot my Lord help my nature which will even shrink at publicity in some things that I never was intended for the lot I have drawn in life I feel but I beg pardon I am writing to one who does not believe there is honesty and honour in woman I cannot bear to be suspected of insincerity therefore I will say no more, but leave to time what I should be most proud to accomplish, the possession of your confidence and esteem if I can ever obtain that, most joyfully will I meet you when you please, but pray my Lord be candid examine your heart if you can in a quiet way attach yourself to me and henceforward be my friend I will promise to give myself to you with all my heart to devote my whole time and affection to you, and you only, nor need you accuse me of deception in saying this when you reflect my heart was instantly free when you first made your proposals, may I hope you can and will regard me in the way I wish let me know my Lord for I cannot long be indifferent I am a most uncommon creature if your account of human nature is correct, I hope it is not, I must again ask pardon for intruding so long on your time, God Bless you my Lord may every happiness attend you is the wish of your most sincere admirer, if you will honor me with a line to night, which you can give to the man {in the Hall Mr Murch} who will give you this I will call for it about a quarter before 11 o’clock to night but will not come into the Green Room unless your note should express a wish for me so to do you can write it in Dibdin’s  Room no one will know to whom you are writing, then I shall know when I shall see you again I fear you will never make out this wretched scrawl, God Bless you

(The painting above is by Boilly Louis-Leopold and is entitled Point de Convention or “Absolutely no agreement”.

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