1437. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, [March 1808]

1437. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, [March 1808] ⁠* 

Dear Tom

The plain truth is that I have no time to write a longer letter than this note-sheet will hold. You will wonder not to hear of me, & I am wondering in my turn at your silence.

My Uncle is a grown older in his appearance, – but materially better than when he first arrived in England. Yesterday I dined with him at Ld Hollands, where to my surprize we met the the Rehoboam [1]  of Taxation Ld Henry Petty, [2]  Windham [3]  & a round table full of the same party. All the morning I had been unpacking & sorting his books, of which there is a prodigious collection for me, & a good many for you. He dines here to day, & I have scarcely time to dress before he will knock at the door.

This morning I went to look for Neville White, & found only his brother James, – a very fine lad with whom I am exceedingly pleased. No man could have behaved more naturally or better, – All the edition is sold. [4] 

I have been interrupted, & some of the little time left which I had been able to xxx lay by for the purpose taken from me. You know not, – indeed tongue can hardly tell nor heart of man conceive the fatigue which I undergo in this place – My uncle will soon go to Bristol.

God bless you


Pray let me know what King says & what he means to do. [5] 


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Unpublished.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

[1] King of Israel; described in the Bible (1 Kings 12 and 14: 21–31; 2 Chronicles 10–12) as having imposed heavy taxes upon the people, provoking them to rebel. BACK

[2] Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863; DNB), cousin of Lord Holland, former Chancellor of the Exchequer in the ministry of 1806–1807, in which post he increased taxes and launched an economy drive to pay for the war. BACK

[3] William Windham (1750–1810; DNB), politician and scholar. Windham had been Secretary for War and the Colonies in the ministry of 1806–1807. BACK

[4] The Remains of Henry Kirke White, of Nottingham (1807), which were edited by Southey. BACK

[5] Thomas had gone to Bristol to see John King who was going to treat him for haemorrhoids. BACK