February 23 1816: Amicable Separation

On February 23 1815, Lord Byron writes to Lord Holland.

My dear Lord – There is no subject – however unpleasant – which would not become less so – by your taking the trouble to be the organ of communication: – the present one has been so public & violent a topic of discussion (if my information be correct) that there need be no hesitation on the score of  delicacy in mentioning it to me or any one else – least of all by you – from whom I have never experienced any thing which could be attributed to other motives than<C> kindness. – If I have never alluded to the subject of your note in my late conversations with you – it was only because I thought you must be sick of it already – from other & various quarters. – – I will see you upon it tomorrow or any other morning or rather afternoon – after 3 o clock – which you are pleased to name. – – –

It is perhaps proper I should tell you – that I have already twice declined acceding to the proposition of the other parties: – who have refused me all explanation or copy of the charge or charges which I am to encounter. – the father writes me two or three bullying letters – for which (though I cannot quarrel with old women) I have a little {& but a little} resentment against him or his wife: & then wonders that I don’t fall down & worship him. – In the mean time every kind of abuse & calumny is permitted if not sanctioned in the circulation by these venerable persons & a confidential housekeeper (a Mrs. Clermont who was once Lady Noel’s maid 2) then her – God knows what – & now – it seems though I can’t tell how – a most important personage in the family) – and at the same {time} all specific statements again & again refused to my repeated request – & no answer returned but a positive demand of what Sir Ralph calls an “amicable separation” a phrase which I don’t quite understand – but which means I suppose something the same as a hostile alliance. – –

In short – they are violent – & I am stubborn – & in these amiable tempers matters stand at present. – They think to <deter me> drive me by menacing with legal measures – let them go into court – they shall be met there. – – – – After what has been already said – they cannot be more anxious for investigation than myself. – – – –

With regard to the consequences which must be disagreeable in any case – – where the exposure of private conversation <obliges> & every unguarded word and <xxx> movement is liable to question & examination: – – all that is unpleasant – but it is to be borne <of> – & if it were even to be attended with utter destruction to mine and all generations lineal & collateral – I will go through before I permit accusers to become judges. – I have one word – & but one word to say of Lady B – <hixxxx> – whatever may become of this business or me in consequence of it – I can attach no blame to her – where there is wrong it maybe fairly divided – between her relatives & myself & where there is right she has the monopoly. – – –

They have presumed on the 3) difference in the esteem of the world for Lady [Byron] & her Lord – to take an ungenerous advantage – knowing that where there was a <difference> {dissention} <division> – all would naturally be with her. – I stop this scrawl – (private of course)
ever yrs.
most truly
[scrawl]
P.S.
I need not add that you have my full approbation & sanction to say whatever you please on this subject to me – either from yourself or any other person.

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