2985. Robert Southey to Edith Southey [fragment], 5 May 1817
2985. Robert Southey to Edith Southey [fragment], 5 May 1817 *
Stafford Row – Buckingham Gate, perhaps Mrs C. will favour him with a letter on the occasion. He is at this <time> troubled with a bilious complaint in his thigh as he calls it, – that is to say a miserable xxx boil. And if you want more money before I return write to Bedford & he will immediately send it. I reckon confidently upon reaching home the second week in July, & will rather shorten my route than lengthen my absence. – having wished myself at home ever since I left it. But I am very glad that I came to London just as the Billet Doux was published  it has really been like coming to enjoy a triumph, & never was a triumph so compleat. Every body congratulates me that the opportunity was given me for writing in such a manner.
I have written this before breakfast after which I am going to Turner, to talk about the house,  & then to Rickmans where I shall leave this to be franked. You shall hear again before my departure, & again from Calais, – & as often as I can. Mrs Vardon is looking admirably well, we shall find her at Brussels on our return. Martha is there but looking well. I sent Eliza the letter Billet Doux in a frank. D. Jardine has called upon me, – one of his sisters is married, – the other dead!  He tells me that Tom Reid  is becoming a very rich man, & that Sam shall hearken like somebody else, after Botany Bay. 
I am very weary of noise, new faces, & continual excitement. It seems as if I had already been whole years from home.
God bless you my dear Edith
Monday 5 May Q Anne Street
* Address: [in another hand] London
Fifth May 1817/ Mrs Southey/ Greta Hall/ Keswick/ Cumberland/
Postmark: FREE/ 5 MAY 5/ 1817
MS: British Library, Add MS 47888. ALS; 2p.
 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
 That is, about the possible purchase of Greta Hall, whose owner, Samuel Tolson Jnr (dates unknown), had been declared bankrupt. BACK
 In March 1817 Anne Jardine (dates unknown) had married Henry Parkes (d. 1828) of Warwick; her younger sister, Margaret Jardine, had died, unmarried, in Bristol in 1813. BACK
 Thomas Whitehead Reid (1786–1845), younger half-brother of Samuel Reid. Originally a sugar-refiner, he was by this time a merchant in London. BACK