413. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 25 May [1799]

413. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 25 May [1799] ⁠* 

London. Saturday 25 May.

My dear friend

Your letter has followed me here & reachd me only this evening. I thank you truly for the trouble you have taken. I remember the house you point out, it is if my memory does not deceive me near the cross, & opposite the pond where the road bends like the letter S. from your account it seems to suit us perfectly, & if there be bed rooms for a servant, my mother, ourselves, & a spare room for a friend, I think there can be no hesitation about it. this appears to be the case, as xx it is divided into two tenements you say, & of course the sitting room of one can hold a bed in case of need.

It gives me great pleasure that there is this prospect of our settling near you. we shall always spend the summer months there & as much more as we can. I feel attached to the country & shall look upon it as my home.

I am term-keeping but leave town tomorrow night & hope to be home on Monday. from your letter I guess that you must be in town now, if I knew where or how to trace you. as this is impossible my only way is to direct to Burton.

I should prefer taking it from year to year to having a term. but this you must regulate according to circumstances.

It gives me great pleasure to hear your little girl [1]  continues well, doubly dear as she must be to you. if we be not disappointed in this business I shall see her at Midsummer.

believe me yours thankfully & truly

Robert Southey.

If I were at home the paper should not travel so empty. but I am visiting & thoroughly fatigued with a compleat days labour in London.


* Address: To/ Charles Biddlecombe Esqr / Burton/ near Ringwood/ Hampshire/ Single
Postmark: C.M.A./ 27/ 99
Watermarks: 1794; [partial] crown
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public Library. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The name of Biddlecombe’s daughter is not recorded. Her mother, Catherine, had died on 24 March 1799 from complications in childbirth. BACK

People mentioned

Southey, Margaret (1752–1802) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Burton (mentioned 1 time)