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,  except one, which will probably be found at the Museum.  – The maps are in Arrowsmiths  hands, I have gutted nine volumes of the Peruvian Mercury,  & 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. 
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
 The Arrowsmiths were a family of celebrated map-makers and Southey is probably referring to Aaron Arrowsmith. BACK
 Mercurio Peruana, a journal issued twice weekly, and running to three volumes per year, commenced in 1791. BACK
 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