On receiving your letter I think first of the event which has so nearly touched you and yours, and feel for your Sister, whom I saw once – at Lord Glenbervie’s last year.
I followed you towards the door, meaning to request an introduction to her – but you retreated and I had not the courage to advance.
I remember indelibly every time that we have met – that first morning too, when our impressions so well corresponded.
With you, and you only, I then felt at home – I cannot otherwise express it.
My letters to my Mother at that time, for she gave them to me lately to read, show how much you had occupied my attention – my interest.
Though I tried to see in you what I heard of you, mystery and mischief, your character appeared to me very simple…
At one supper party – where you sat between Lady Melbourne and me, but conversed only with her – I heard you say: “Thank God I have not a friend in the world.”
You knew not the pang which you inflicted on a friend so near. Those words of bitterness chilled me.
When I returned home to solitude I wept over the recollection of them, and prayed that you might receive consolation from a friend below, as well as from a friend above.
I did not think of myself – Love did not enter into my speculations, and was not suspected to be in yours – at least with reference to myself…
My pen is running after my thoughts till it is out of breath…
Seaham Hall (September 29 1814)
The Life and Letters of Anne Isabella Lady Noel Byron Ethel Colburn Mayne (London: Constable & Co Ltd 1929)