823. Robert Southey to John May, 19 August 1803

823. Robert Southey to John May, 19 August 1803 ⁠* 

My dear friend

We are in heavy affliction – my poor child is dying of hydrocephalos, & we have only to pray to God speedily to remove her. she is quite insensible & that is our main consolation. Edith is suffering bitterly. I myself am recovering, perfectly resigned to the visitation, perfectly satisfied that it is for the best. perfectly assured that the loss will be but for a time.

Never man enjoyed purer happiness than I have for the last twelve months. my plans are now all wrecked. your letter was matter of some little relief to me. Longmans fears wish to delay the Bibl. [1]  & I am rejoiced to have no fetter upon me at present. As soon as it shall please God to remove this little object I shall with all possible speed set off for Cumberland. Edith will be no where so well as with her sister Coleridge. she has a little girl some six months old, & I shall try & graft her into the wound while it is yet fresh.

God bless you my dear friend

Robert Southey.

Friday. Aug. 19. 1803


* Endorsement: No 82. 1803/ Robert Southey/ No place 19th Aug./ recd 20th do/ ansd 20th do
MS: Beinecke Library, GEN MSS 298, Series I, Box 1, folder 16. ALS; 1p.
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), I, p. 229. BACK

[1] Longman and Rees had effectively cancelled their plan to publish Southey’s ‘Bibliotheca Britannica’, a chronological account of all literature published in Britain. BACK

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