3165. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 11 July 1818

3165. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 11 July 1818⁠* 

Saturday 11 July.

My dear Tom

My Scotch expedition is postponed sine die. [1] Rickman cannot leave town on account of the Queens health. [2]  Parliament will meet if she dies, – & her death is likely to happen at any hour. – Come any day after next week, & the sooner after that time the better. After next week I say, because I must go over to Rydale for two or three days, as soon as Wordsworth is at home, which will be on Wednesday or Thursday next. The reason is that I am writing a Tender Epistle to Brougham, & wish to see him before it is dispatched to the press. [3] 

Broughams head is in chancery, as the fancy would say. [4]  Did you hear his attack upon me, June 30, from the hustings?– By great good luck I had not written a single line concerning the election, & had given W. no other assistance than that of sending him some quotations from B.s. writings. See what an advantage this gives me! – He shall have a William-Smithiad. [5]  It is about half done, & a thunderer it will be. Any farther time upon this would be taken from the work.

Love to Sarah – God bless you


When you come I shall try your ten toes, for I want exercise.


* Address: To/ Capt. Southey, RN./ Warcop./ Brough
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: British Library, Add MS 30927. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The intended excursion was postponed until August–September 1819. BACK

[2] Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818; DNB), Queen consort of King George III (1738–1820; King of Great Britain 1760–1820; DNB) died on 17 November 1818. BACK

[3] The Courier had reported on 4 July 1818 that, when Brougham spoke at the hustings for the Westmorland election on 30 June, he had attacked both Southey and Wordsworth for their hostility to him during the election and for insulting the freeholders of Westmorland. The ‘Tender Epistle’ was not completed and part of it was published (without naming Brougham) as an ‘Appendix’ to the second edition of Carmen Triumphale (London, 1821), pp. 45–53. BACK

[4] ‘The Fancy’ was a term for followers of boxing (often gamblers) and ‘to lay ones head in chancery’ was a boxing expression and a joke at the expense of the law, meaning that a boxer had wedged his opponent’s head under his arm so as to hit him repeatedly in the face. BACK

[5] Southey’s A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M. P. (1817). BACK

Places mentioned

Rydal Mount (mentioned 1 time)