691. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 7 July 1802

691. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 7 July 1802 ⁠* 

My dear friend

I have received your letter barely in time to answer it by return of post. Mr Coleman [1]  has had more trouble than I can thank him for. his advice about the beds is doubtless the best – so let them be sold. [2]  the prints I would reserve – except the unhappy Ceyx [3]  which is spoilt – & therefore its companion Niobe [4]  may go. the prints then – the unfinished hearth carpet of Ediths work, & the little mahogany machine for making fringe – are all we wish reserved with the linen. the prints may go with the books to Rickman. the carpet & machine in the chest – the trunk of linen should accompany the chest.

I write in haste that no time may be lost. Our election is just over & has ended very strangely – the people were piqued at the manner in which a stranger [5]  was to be forced upon them – & have chosen a merchant in the independent interest [6]  – to the great surprize & satisfaction of himself & every body else –. thank you for your friendly invitation – but here we must stay awhile for reasons not to be removed – but – if you come near Bristol – do not forget us – you will make our remembrances to your Mother & Mr Coleman –

God bless you –

yrs truly

R Southey.

July 7. 1802.


* Address: To/ Charles Biddlecombe Esqr/ Burton/ near/ Ringwood
Stamped: [partial] 122/ BRIS
Watermark: E & P/ 1801
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public Library. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Unidentified; presumably an acquaintance of Southey from his residence at Burton. BACK

[2] Southey was arranging for the disposal of household items left behind at Burton. BACK

[3] See Publius Ovidius Naso (43 BC- 17/18 AD), Metamorphoses, Book 11. Ceyx, King of Thracis, was drowned at sea and he and his wife, Alcyone, were turned into kingfishers. BACK

[4] In Greek mythology, Niobe boasted she had fourteen children, while the goddess Leto had only two. In revenge, Leto sent her two children, Artemis and Apollo, to kill all of Niobe’s offspring. Famed for her tears, Niobe was a stock figure of mourning. BACK

[5] Sir Frederick Morton Eden, 2nd Baronet (1766-1809; DNB), who initially stood as a candidate for Bristol in the 1802 General Election, but retired before the poll. BACK

[6] The Whig plantation owner Evan Baillie (1741-1835). BACK

People mentioned

Rickman, John (1771–1840) (mentioned 1 time)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Burton (mentioned 2 times)