248. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 16 August 1797

248. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 16 August 1797 ⁠* 

My dear Tom

I have been silent because I have been expecting some news of your removal. Sir Harry Neals ship [1]  is full. Admiral Mann [2]  has been applied to by letter — his answer has not yet arrived. should it be unfavourable we will apply to other quarters; you may certainly be easy for removed you will be. you may be easy too as to being made a Lieutenant. my Uncle has interest enough. if the World remains as bad as it is we shall do well. if it is mended we shall do better.

My Uncle has commissioned Thomas, a friend whom I made at Lisbon, to take my Mothers affairs in hand, give security for her debts, & get her out of her house. Thomas left me yesterday to go to Bath. I wish her much to live with me — but to this my Aunt will be the obstacle. in that case the greater part of what my Uncle would allow her might support Harry for a couple of years at school so as to fit him either for law or physic, in which professions I could forward him. his attributes are too good to be wasted upon trade. he may live with me while he is studying physic, which I think the best line for him, or law if he prefers it, & two years education would fit him to begin either study.

I have sent your narration to the Magazine, & it will probably appear in the next Month. [3]  when I return to town I will get the volumes for you.

My Uncles new appointment is a very valuable one whilst it lasts — the pay is half a guinea a day, one hundred a year. more for nobody can tell what — & ratio & forage — in all as much as three hundred a year. he is now very anxious to have my mother removed from her house — & I hope all will soon be well settled.

how very unfortunate it is that we cannot meet on account of your rascally Captain. [4]  you must however make yourself as comfortable as you can be in your present situation by the expectance of speedily exchanging it. it in November we shall return to London. that my mother will live with us, knowing my Aunts influence over her mind, I rather hope than expect. after Christmas I go to a Special Pleaders office where my employment will be drawing out pleadings, & a years hard application there will qualify me for doing business xxxxx myself.

I am become a tolerable fish, & am now going to pickle myself in the sea.

You shall hear again from me as soon as we get any news from Admiral Mann. the application is not likely to fail — & if it should, it will succeed elsewhere.

God bless you.

Ediths love.

yr affectionate brother

Robert Southey.

Wednesday. Aug. 16. 1797. Burton.


* Address: [deletions and readdress in another hand] To/ Mr Southey/ Phoebe Frigate at the Centre/ Falmouth Westgate/ Buildings/ Bath/ Single
MS: Robert H. Taylor Collection, Princeton University Library. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Sir Harry Burrard-Neale, (1765–1840; DNB), naval officer and politician who, in 1797, commanded the San Fiorenzo. BACK

[2] Robert Mann (d. 1813), in 1797 a Rear Admiral of the Red. BACK

[3] Thomas Southey’s account of his captivity had already appeared; see Southey to the Editor of the Monthly Magazine, [c. August 1797] (Letter 241). BACK

[4] Sir Robert Barlow (1757–1843; DNB). BACK

People mentioned

Hill, Herbert (c. 1749–1828) (mentioned 4 times)
Thomas, William Bowyer (d. 1802) (mentioned 2 times)
Southey, Margaret (1752–1802) (mentioned 2 times)
Tyler, Elizabeth (1739–1821) (mentioned 2 times)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Burton (mentioned 1 time)