3330. Robert Southey to John Kenyon, 17 July 1819

3330. Robert Southey to John Kenyon, 17 July 1819⁠* 

Keswick. 17 July. 1819.

My dear Sir

Your letter to Mrs Coleridge gives us a hope of seeing you in Cumberland. It would vex me if I were to be absent when you arrive. I have an engagement to be in Edinburgh on the 10th of August, & there meet a friend from London, to proceed to the Highlands with him. [1]  He is a busy man, & I have no time to spare. – I calculate therefore on returning home within four weeks, – & will engage that you shall will find me here the first week in September. – Our spare-bed is likely to be occupied by my fellow traveller Nash, – otherwise I should not be willing that you should seek a lodging elsewhere. But the more of your in-door time that you can give us the better, & I shall be at your service for the Lake & the Mountains, – almost as able of limb as I was fifteen years ago when we had our Pisgah view [2]  of Was-dale at sunset, – tho xxx in <some> other respects a little the worse for the wear.

I learned from the newspapers what had befallen you at Naples. [3]  On such occasions it is worse than idle to offer either condolence or consolation, the former is impertinent, & the latter is best found in ourselves. You have yet, I trust, many years of happiness in store.

This little town is almost doubled in size since you saw it, – the elder generation has passed to the church-yard, the younger shot up into manhood, & half the population has come into the world, during the intervening years. The little girl (then my only one) who you remember in arms, is now as tall as her mother. I have three others, [4]  – & after an interval of seven years from the birth of the last, a boy just five months old. – Whether I shall ever have heart to attempt to educate him, – if we should both live till he requires tuition, is a question which I have not asked myself. But it is not the vice of my nature to look forward with anxiety

Farewell my dear Sir. Tell me of your arrival in England, – & that we may expect to bid you welcome here –

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey

It would give my brother great pleasure to see you. You & His name is on the door of No 15. Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square


* Address: For/ John Kenyon Esqre/ to the care of Messrs Denisons’/ Fenchurch Street/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: F/ 20 JY 20/ 1819
Seal: red wax, design illegible
Endorsement: Southey.
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, KESMG 1996.5.233. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished BACK

[1] Southey’s tour of Scotland lasted from 17 August until 1 October 1819. For his record of events, see Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819, ed. Charles Harold Herford (1929). BACK

[2] A view of something that will not be visited, as in the view of the Promised Land given to Moses, Deuteronomy 34: 1–4. Kenyon had visited Southey in 1804; see Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 21 November 1804, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part Three, Letter 991. BACK

[3] Kenyon’s first wife, Susan (d. 1818), had died at Naples during their continental tour. BACK

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Keswick (mentioned 1 time)