3279. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 7 April 1819

3279. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 7 April 1819⁠* 

Keswick. 7 April. 1819

My dear Harry

The Machine [1]  arrived to-day, – but there is something contained in the bxxxxxx – I did not expect that it could be used while the hæmorrhoids were very bad, – but that hereafter its occasional, & perhaps frequent use, might remedy that state of the intestines which aggravates this cursed disease. – The tumour is still hard, but it is now clearly defined, & every day makes a little difference in it, as if it were coming to a head, tho there is no appearance on the surface of inflammation. Edmondson says he is xxx satisfied that it is a critical abscess, – the effect & he expects the end also of an xxxxxxxx <inflammatory> diathesis [2]  which has continued more than ten months. It is a great evil while it lasts. And tho he assures me there is no danger of its producing any fistulous wound, I very much fear it, from its situation. However we must hope the best, & she has luckily no apprehension of any such possible consequence.

This unfortunate business seems to put off my journey till an indefinite time, – for of course I shall not leave home till she is no longer in a state to occasion any anxiety. I hoped to have been with you the first week in May. – However I have yet much to do, – for so much time has been bestowed in fx upon the Brazil, [3]  which in one respect is unproductive labour, that I must do something for ways & means before I move, or Heaven knows when the Constable will come up with me. [4]  – Sir Domine, it is a very great pity that you & I have not ten thousand a year each, we should know so well how to use it & to enjoy it

God bless you


Poor Kotzebue! He has fallen a victim to a diseased state of public opinion which his own writings xxxx greatly contributed to produce. [5] 


* Address: To/ Dr Southey/ Queen Anne Street/ Cavendish Square/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 10 AP 10/ 1819
Endorsement: Impus: Armoracice Conf/ xxxx 3ix/ Tint: Gent: Comp: 3p; Persuss: Carbenat: 3 xx/ X x xxxxst: xx quotidie/ Pol. Alonao myrhh Xxxx/ in xxxx x o n –
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. d. 4. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A machine to give patients mild electric shocks. It was being used on Edith Southey. BACK

[2] A hereditary or constitutional predisposition to a disease. BACK

[3] Southey’s History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

[4] ‘To outrun the Constable’ was to get into debt; so Southey hoped to break even. BACK

[5] August von Kotzebue (1761–1819), German dramatist, was assassinated on 23 March 1819. He was paid by the Russian government to report on affairs in Germany and was a constant critic of German liberals. Southey probably disapproved of the over-emotional tone of Kotzebue’s plays, but in the 1790s, at least, they were also suspected of political radicalism. BACK

People mentioned

Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 2 times)
Edmondson, John (d. 1823) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)