1135. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 29 December 1805

1135. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 29 December 1805 ⁠* 

My dear Charles

Nearly a fortnight ago I sent you a draft at sight on Longman for forty pounds – during this time I have been so unwell that I have not till now recollected that you have not acknowledged it. If it should not have arrived write to stop payment – tho I fear it may be too late. [1] 

I am recovering, I hope, from a smart attack of influenza – & before I am well Edith is taken with it. We hope that tonight & tomorrow mornings doses of James’s powder [2]  will leave me able to begin upon bark [3]  but I am very weak – head still aching – pulse still out of order – nights restless &c – however certainly on the recovery. Edith is very poorly indeed.

Your last letter should have crossed mine with the draft on the road. the Cid is the right book. [4]  your stories of the Methodists come just in time. tell me in your next the servants exact explanation of Pinch & Plain – I am not quite sure whether the articles to be forwarded were Scotch Coals or Wax Candles – or Cards instead of the former. It is a symptom of recovery that I ask the question.

We are very uncomfortable about Coleridge who would be at Venice just about the time of its capture. [5] Tom well but can get no letters from any body. Do write to him that he x may have a chance the more.

God bless you –


Sunday. Dec. 29. 1805.


* Address: To/ Charles Danvers Esqr/ Bristol./ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial, illegible]
MS: British Library, Add MS 30928. ALS; 2p. BACK

[1] see Southey to Charles Danvers, 17 December 1805, Letter 1133. BACK

[2] James’s fever powder, containing phosphate of lime and oxide of antimony as sweating agents, was the invention of the physician and medical writer, Robert James (bap. 1703–1776). BACK

[3] ‘Fever Bark’ was a popular treatment for illnesses such as influenza. BACK

[4] Danvers had several of Southey’s books in storage for him. On 13 March 1805 (Letter 1048) and again on 28 November 1805 (Letter 1127) he had written to Danvers requesting his copy of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (c. 1043–1099), Chronica de la Famoso Cavallero Cid Ruy Diez Campeador (1593). BACK

[5] Coleridge was travelling home from Malta through Italy, as Napoleon’s troops brought it under French sway. He did not arrive back in Britain until August 1806. BACK