947. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 1 June 1804

947. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 1 June 1804 ⁠* 

June 1. 1804

Dear Tom

I am this day leaving London, & such has been the perpetual hurry & fatigue in which I have been bustling from the hour of my departure from Keswick that the post day is come before I am ready to write a letter! – My last was written at the end of April – in order to go by the May packet. a few days after it was gone Edith was safe in bed, & she & her daughter Edith were well as could be when last I heard a letter came from home. thank God I am on the point of setting out to see them. you can have no conception of the tremendous fatigue it is to be in London on business, with having the numerous acquaintances I have. never was I so thoroughly worn out – every day costs me more exertion of legs & lungs than <would> serve for three months consumption in the country. & much as you know I hate a journey, to get in the Brummejam  [1]  coach this evening will seem like rest. mind the spelling of that word, & always remember to pronounce it so, lest you be mistaken for a Birmingham-man.

Harry will meet me at Keswick. Edward has been unluckily deprived of a birth by the ousting Capt Markham [2]  in these late changes. however there is another Lord of the Admiralty to whom I have some means of applying, & the business will soon be done. Every body rejoices that Lord St Vincent has been turnd out, it being universally acknowledged that he was the very worst first Lord of the Admiralty ever remembered. [3] 

You must forgive a very worthless & disordered letter. I have just finished my packing up. at two o clock have to travel to the very farthest part of Marybone in the hope – & barely a hope – of seeing Mrs Gonne – at four dinner – at five the coach. & it is now nearly one – & I am in expectation of some disturbing visitor or other, & my wits are wool gathering – in fear lest I should have forgotten any thing – which probably will prove the case.

Madoc goes to press immediately, it will be printed in Scotland. [4]  & the proofs sent by post to Keswick. a pleasant circumstance – you know how I enjoy a proof sheet – in the country it will be as good as a newspaper. The Specimens of the Later English Poets are also to go to press without delay. [5]  I have worked at them as hard as a Negro – & in fact till I made myself as black as a negro. Grosvenor Bedford takes the remainder of the trouble & will have to correct the proofs, & also to collect such specimens as I have not been able to meet with. It will be very hard if the profits of these two works do not enable me to take a house. I have been a hard worker – & yet it goes as it comes – I live comfortably perhaps one year more so than another – but tho not behind hand; some damnd thing or other always comes in to prevent me from getting forward. – there are above 180 pages of mine in the last Annual, [6]  which you will probably discover without a key. or by the help of this general one, if the article be quaint, & is not Wm Taylors, for whom you never can mistake me – it is mine. for I love quaintness.

God bless you Tom! I hope to find a letter from you on my return. & I will make amends for this by the next packet. once more God bless you.


Rickmans. Palace Yard. Friday.

Tomorrow Brummejam, thence on to Penkeridge for Miss Barker – & on to Manchester, & Kendal & Keswick – about 340 miles!


* Address: To/ Lieutenant Southey/ H. M. S. Galatea/ Barbadoes/ or elsewhere./ Single
Postmark: [partial] JU/ C/ 1/ 804
Endorsement: Received in Antigua Hospital Sepr 28. 1804
MS: British Library, Add MS 47890. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Slang, based on the locals’ unique accent, for the city of Birmingham. BACK

[2] John Markham (1761–1827; DNB), naval officer and member of the Board of Admiralty (1801–1804 and 1806–1807) and M.P. for Portsmouth (1801–1818 and 1820–1826). BACK

[3] John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent (1735–1823; DNB) was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1801–1804. BACK

[4] Madoc was printed in Edinburgh by the firm of James Ballantyne. BACK

[5] Specimens of the Later English Poets, which Southey jointly edited with Grosvenor Charles Bedford, was not published until 1807. BACK

[6] Southey reviewed, in the Annual Review for 1803, 2 (1804): James Burney, A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean ... Illustrated with Charts (Vol. 1; 1803), 3–12; James Stanier Clarke (1766–1834; DNB), The Progress of Maritime Discovery, from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Eighteenth Century, Forming an Extensive System of Hydrography (1803), 12–20; James Curtis (dates unknown), A Journal of Travels in Barbary in 1801 ... With Observations on the Gum Trade of Senegal (1803), 20–23; Louis Maria Joseph, Count O’Hier de Grandpré (1761–1846), A Voyage in the Indian Ocean, and to Bengal ... To Which is Added a Voyage in the Red Sea, Including a Description of Mocha, and of the Trade of the Arabs of Yemen (1803), 48–54; John Davis (1774–1854), Travels of Four Years and a Half in the United States of America, During 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, and 1802 (1803), 54–59; Lockhart Muirhead (dates unknown), Journals of Travels in Parts of the Late Austrian Low Countries, France, the Pays de Vaud and Tuscany in 1787 and 1789 (1803), 59–63; Charles William Doyle (1770–1842), A Non-Military Journal; Or, Observations Made in Egypt, by an Officer upon the Staff of the British Army: Describing the Country, its Inhabitants, their Manners and Customs (1803), 63–66; William Wittman (fl. 1799–1804), Travels in Turkey, Asia Minor, Syria, and Across the Desert into Egypt During the Years 1799, 1800, and 1801, in Company with the Turkish Army and the British Military Mission (1803), 66–71; [Ann Blund (dates unknown)], Journal of a Short Excursion among the Swiss Landscapes (1803), 79–80; Isaac King (dates unknown), Letters from France (1803), 88–90; Part the First of An Address to the Public from the Society for the Suppression of Vice, Instituted, in London, 1802, Setting Forth, with a List of the Members, the Utility and Necessity of such an Institution, and its Claim to Public Support (1803), 187; Transactions of the Missionary Society (Vol. 1, 1803), 189–201; William Myles (1756–1828), A Chronological History of the People called Methodists ... With an Appendix, Containing Two Lists of the Itinerant Preachers ... With the Last Will and Testament of the Rev. J. Wesley (1803), 201–213; Thomas Malthus (1766–1834; DNB), An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society; with Remarks on the Speculations of W. Godwin, M. Condorcet and Other Writers (1803), 292–301; William Godwin, Life of Geoffrey Chaucer ... Including Memoirs of ... John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; with Sketches of the Manners, Opinions, Arts and Literature of England in the Fourteenth Century (1803), 462–473; George Mason (1735–1806; DNB), The Life of Richard Earl Howe (1803), 499–501; Joseph Ritson (1752–1803; DNB), Ancient Engleish Metrical Romanceës (1802), 515–533; George Ellis, Specimens of the Early English Poets (3rd edn 1803), 538–542; Richard Mant (1776–1848; DNB), The Poetical Works of the Late Thomas Warton (1802), 543–546; William Hayley (1745–1820; DNB), The Life and Posthumous Writings of William Cowper, Esq. (1803), 457–462; Peter Bayley (bap. 1778–1823; DNB), Poems (1803), 546–552; Henry Kirke White, Clifton Grove, a Sketch in Verse, with other Poems (1803), 552–554; Josiah Walker (d. 1831), The Defence of Order, a Poem (1803), 557; The Inquiry. Part 1, 557–558; William Barnes Rhodes (1772–1826; DNB), Epigrams (1803), 558; James Woodhouse (bap. 1735–1820), Norbury Park, a Poem with Several Others Written on Various Occasions (1803), 558; Henry William Tytler (1752/3–1808), The Voyage Home from the Cape of Good Hope (1803), 559; Luke Booker (1762–1835; DNB), Calista, or a Picture of Modern Life, a Poem (1803), 564; D. A. G. B. Cassano (dates unknown), Il Fiore della Poesia Italiana (1802), 562–563; Percy Clinton Sydney, 6th Viscount Strangford (1780–1855; DNB), Poems from the Portuguese of Luis de Camoens (1803), 569–577; William Lisle Bowles, The Picture, Verses Suggested by a Magnificent Landscape of Rubens (1803), 582; John Peter Roberdeau (bap. 1754–1815), Fugitive Verse and Prose (1803), 582–583; George Owen Cambridge (d. 1841), Works of Richard Owen Cambridge, Esq. with an Account of his Life and Character (1803), 583–585; Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, Baroness de Staël-Holstein (1766–1817), A Treatise of Ancient and Modern Literature (tr. 1803), 643–650; Asiatic Researches; or Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal for Enquiring into the History and Antiquities, the Arts, Science and Literature of Asia (vol. VII, 1803), 898–908. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 4 times)
Teddesley (mentioned 1 time)