2983. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 1 May 1817*
My dear Edith
I have been unlucky today in missing Rickman for a frank & Bedford for the notes,  – but I will write if it be only these lines to tell you of my Billet Doux.  It has had all the effect you could possibly have wished. Every body has read it, & I hear from Xxxx Wynn that Wm Smith after beginning a letter in reply, thought it better to hold his tongue, & not make a bad matter worse. Lord Lonsdale called to compliment me upon it. – In short never had any man a more compleat triumph.
Frere has interrupted me. I dine at Sir G Bs today with Butler tomorrow – R Academy Saturday,  Mrs Gonne Sunday Sir George again Monday a small party I meet Dr Wordsworth. – Not a minute more have I.
God bless you my dear Edith
Thursday 6 o clock
 William Smith had denounced Southey in the House of Commons on 14 March 1817 in the debate on the Seditious Meetings Bill, condemning ‘the settled, determined malignity of a renegado’ and comparing Southey’s arguments against radical views in the Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 227, with those expressed in Wat Tyler (1817), Act 2, lines 103–112. Southey’s response was A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817), published by Murray. BACK