2054. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 6 March 1812

2054. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 6 March 1812 ⁠* 

Keswick. March 6. 1812.

My dear Danvers

If the inclosed draft should leave me a few shillings in your debt, we can settle the difference when you make your appearance at Keswick in the summer.

You ask me respecting Miss Smith. [1]  I know not where she is neither have I any means of communicating with her. Should I ever find myself in her neighbourhood, I should call upon her, in respect to her father, – but this is all, – for having only seen her & that but seldom as a child, I should not even know her person as a woman. Perhaps T. Reids [2]  note may have been overlooked by her, – perhaps she delays acknowledging it till she can communicate something satisfactory, – perhaps her attention may have been unpleasantly distracted by matters of serious business, – for Boldero & Lushington [3]  were her fathers bankers.

Miss Fricker is coming to us in April, – early in month the month. I do not think she can travel two nights successively & for a woman to pass a night xx four & twenty hours at a Liverpool or Manchester inn is a very unpleasant thing. If it could be so arranged that she could pass one night at Mrs Reids [4]  we should be very glad, – & this perhaps you could manage for us. I am always asking some little favour of S. Reid & it is his own fault that he will not let me thank him for them under my own roof.

Coleridge has been here about a fortnight, in good spirits & good humour. He leaves us soon to lecture at Liverpool, & then again to London, where he purposes to lecture on. [5]  Lecturing is talking, & therefore he likes it. His bodily health is much as it has been for the last ten years, – his intellect in full vigour, & as he is constantly laying in fresh stores of knowledge, his mind becomes richer every year than the last.

It is not long since a most iniquitous proposition was made to me for cutting up the cork jacket, – at which I exclaimed as loudly as you may well suppose, & insisted that the said jacket should be carefully preserved for your worships use at midsummer. The boat is on the Island, & I hope we shall make much use of it when you arrive

This is but a short letter, – but I must write one to inclose it, & if I lengthen this it will be too late for the post – so

God bless you

Yrs affectionately

R Southey.

Let me know that you have received this.


* Endorsement: 1812/ March 6/ Southey
MS: British Library, Add MS 30928. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Ann Woodruffe Smith (d. 1822), daughter of Thomas Woodruffe Smith. In 1811 she had married John Barton (1789–1852; DNB), half-brother of Bernard Barton. BACK

[2] Possibly 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

[3] The London banking house Boldero, Boldero & Lushington had failed in January 1812, bringing down many country banks and producing a temporary credit crisis. BACK

[4] Rebecca Ford Reid (1765–1851), Samuel Reid’s stepmother. BACK

[5] Coleridge returned directly to London in late March 1812 and began a course of six lectures on drama and Shakespeare on 19 May 1812. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 2 times)