1430. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, [mid-March 1808]

1430. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, [mid-March 1808] ⁠* 

My dear Tom

If you knew or could conceive the endless succession of hard work, hard walking & engagements to which I am subject in this detestable city, you would rather wonder at my writing at all than that what I write should be so short, so hurried & so unsatisfactory. It seems as if I had been years in London, every minute has been so busy.

I shall escape about this day fortnight by Gods blessing. There is luckily no occasion for going to HHouse, my Uncle having brought over all the books I wanted, [1]  except one, which will probably be found at the Museum. [2]  – The maps are in Arrowsmiths [3]  hands, I have gutted nine volumes of the Peruvian Mercury, [4]  & packed up thirteen tea chests of books. six or eight more will compleat that labour, & I begin to see an end to my work.

This place as usual gave me a severe cough, which however is now wearing off. Among my other occupations is that of sitting for my picture. I had not the conscience to return without telling Edith that there was a miniature painted for her at last. [5] 

My Uncle will probably be at Bristol before me. I shall let you know when I leave town, & also when I set my face towards Bristol, – but pray let me have the earliest news of your goings-on. Remember me to Danvers, – I can stay but three days at Bristol, & instead of abusing me for xx so short a visit he ought to consider it as a proof how highly I value it – when I go so far for it.

God bless you



* Address: To/ Lt Southey
MS: British Library, Add MS 30927. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] For his History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

[2] i.e. the British Museum. BACK

[3] The Arrowsmiths were a family of celebrated map-makers and Southey is probably referring to Aaron Arrowsmith. BACK

[4] Mercurio Peruana, a journal issued twice weekly, and running to three volumes per year, commenced in 1791. BACK

[5] Southey would sit to Mary Betham for this miniature portrait in late March while in London; see Southey to [Mary Matilda Betham], [late March 1808], Letter 1436. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Holland House (mentioned 1 time)