2727. Robert Southey to [James Wellwood Moncreiff], 27 February 1816

2727. Robert Southey to [James Wellwood Moncreiff], 27 February 1816⁠* 

Keswick. 27 Feby 1816

My dear Sir

I have not read xx your epistle without pleasure, – nor the latter part of it without a deeper feeling. Your brother was indeed one of my earliest & dearest friends, [1]  I admired him & esteemed him & loved him, & there were few persons for whom he had a warmer affection than for me. These feelings never abated as long as we were within reach of each other. Our intercourse at Oxford was frequent & uninterrupted, & I well remember how earnestly & sincerely he gave me advice when he thought I stood in need of it. – The recollections of youth become dearer to us as we advance in life, – later friendships seem almost to differ in kind as well as in degree from those of our younger days, – I have experienced as many misfortunes & wrongs as fall to the lot of most men, but I regret nothing but the friends of my youth. Five & twenty years (for so long you may remember me) have changed me in many things, but my heart remains the same.

Should I ever have resolution to visit the Scotch Lakes, Perth shall be one of the points of my journey. [2]  – When you are on the way to or from London, this place is but one stage out of your road.

Believe me

yours most truly

Robert Southey.


* MS: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Robert Southey Papers A.S727. ALS; 1p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] William Wellwood Moncreiff (c. 1775–1813), Southey’s contemporary at Balliol College, Oxford; eldest son of Sir Henry Wellwood Moncreiff, 8th Baronet (1750–1826; DNB) and His Majesty’s Advocate in the Admiralty Court at Malta. BACK

[2] The Moncreiffs’ seat was at Tullibole Castle in Perthshire. Southey did not visit on his tour of Scotland in August–September 1819. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)