2416. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 6 May 
2416. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 6 May  *
P 55.  If consumption originates in the Azores, it surely must originate also at in Madeira, – climate, race & habits of life being the same. But a Port. Dr Pitta has lately published an English book about Madeira which you should look for. 
P. 60 Stable boys grooms &c – pass a good deal of time in stables , where perhaps incipient colds may be cured by the climate.
P.61. So in this vale, – consumption has increased with the increased use of cotton among the women, in place of worsted, flannel & shifts.
P. 62 Sir Kenelm Digby was too eminent a man to be designated thus lightly. 
I have found a passage for you in Izaak Waltons Life of Dr Donne  which must relate to the human milk prescription. “His old friend & physician Dr Fox, a man of great worth, came to him to consult his health; who after a sight of him, & some queries concerning his distempers, told him that by Cordials, & drinking milk twenty days together, there was a probability of his restoration to health; but he passionately denied to drink it. Nevertheless Dr Fox,  who loved him most entirely, wearied him with solicitations, till he yielded to take it for ten days; at the end of which time he told Dr Fox he had drunk it more to satisfy him, than to recover his health; & that he would not drink it ten days longer upon the best moral assurance of having twenty years added to his life; for he loved it not, [ie his life]  & he was so far from fearing death which is the King of terrors, that he longed for the day of his dissolution.”  – Donne died of consumption. Perhaps Dr Zouch, who edited all Izaak Waltons Lives may have a note upon his passage, but certainly old Donne would not have rebelled against the prescription had it been any other kind of milk than human. 
I find also tho too late for your present use in Abraham Parsons’s Travels that at Aleppo ‘the air is reckoned pernicious to people in consumptions; in which disorders those who can afford the expence usually go to some part of the sea coast, mostly to Latachia which often recovers them.” –  Th[MS torn] Parsons was Uncle to Berjew the apothecary at Bristol,  & his book is an exceedingly interesting. It may yet be of use to you to know that at Aleppo “the night air in summer is so dry, that a sheet of the finest writing paper exposed to it all night, may be written on in the morning without the least sign of its having imbibed any moisture.” P. 65. 
Obs: on P. Cons. will be title enough, & better than if more were said.
Keswick. May 6.
* Address: To/ Dr Southey/ Queen Anne Street/ Cavendish House/ London./ Proof Sheet
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 9 MY 9/ 1814
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. d. 3. ALS; 2p.
 The first part of this letter deals with comments on the proofs of Henry Herbert Southey’s Observations on Pulmonary Consumption (1814). BACK
 Izaak Walton (1593–1683; DNB), Life of Donne (1640). Walton had been an admirer and friend of the Anglican clergyman and poet John Donne (1572–1631; DNB). BACK
 The Lives of Dr John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton; Mr Richard Hooker; Mr George Herbert; and Dr Robert Sanderson. By Izaak Walton. With Notes, and the Life of the Author, by Thomas Zouch, 2nd edn (York, 1807), p. 83. BACK
 The biographer and Anglican clergyman Thomas Zouch (1737–1815; DNB). His note had cited this passage as evidence that ‘Dr. Donne seems to have entertained an indifference to and an alienation from every secular pursuit … he has his attention principally fixed upon another and a better state. His desires and affections being mortified and entirely subdued, he familiarizes to his thoughts the idea of death’; The Lives of Dr John Donne, Sir Henry Wotton; Mr Richard Hooker; Mr George Herbert; and Dr Robert Sanderson. By Izaak Walton. With Notes, and the Life of the Author, by Thomas Zooch, 2nd edn (York, 1807), p. 83, n.d. BACK
 The traveller and commercial consul Abraham Parsons (d. 1785; DNB), Account of Travels in Asia and Africa (London, 1808), p. 65. BACK
 Parsons’ Account was published posthumously by his nephew John Paine Berjew (1748–1833), who practised medicine in Bristol. BACK