March 5 1816: I Alone Am Responsible


On March 5 1816 Lady Byron writes to Lord Byron.

I deeply regret the necessity you have imposed upon me of replying to your last letter, delivered by Milward,300 for, anxious as I am to avoid any allusions which may irritate or wound your feelings, I must not incur the hazard of leaving an. erroneous impression upon your mind by an ambiguous or undecided answer. Most calmly and repeatedly have I weighed all that has passed, and after the maturest deliberation the result is a firm conviction that a separation is indispensable. This resolution is not formed under the impulse or at the suggestion of others; it is mine, and mine only, and for the consequences I alone am responsible.

I am not less surprised than hurt at the view you have taken of the proposal Lord Holland sent you. The matter and manner were dictated and approved by me. Certainly I am guiltless of all intentional misstatements, and still more strongly do I disclaim all design of insult and offence. If there be any error in the statement, or if the inference appear to you unfair, let the mistakes be pointed out, and they shall be corrected, and any modification of the proposal receive a candid consideration. Without doubting the justice of my cause I have no hesitation in acknowledging my reluctance to have recourse to any other mode of redress, whilst a possibility remains of obtaining the end with your consent. And after your repeated assertions that when convinced my conduct had not been influenced by others, you should not oppose my wishes, I am yet disposed to hope those assertions will he realised. An interview I must decline—all my former reasons for avoiding so painful a meeting derive additional force from consideration. A. I.

BYRON. MIVART’S HOTEL, March 5, 1816.

I have now seen Mrs. Leigh, who has heard from me the substance of this letter, and it does not appear to me that any further answer can be required to her communication.

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