828. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [24 August 1803]

828. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [24 August 1803] ⁠* 

You have probably heard how my home comforts have been cut down to the ground. my little girl was laid by the side of Mrs Danvers yesterday. she was the little wonder & favourite of the neighbourhood. & I loved her better than man ought to love any thing of such uncertain existence.

We are going to Keswick, the best place for poor Edith who is almost heart broken. hers are all chronic feelings, & it will be long before she recovers. As for me Suppression is so much my habit & system that a stricture ought to be my natural death. I work double tides, work bodily at packing – talk – eat – as I should do. I am resigned & shall soon be contented – chearful & even joyous – but happy as I have been to that full extent & with that full knowledge of my own happiness, that cannot be till I have another child, if it please God to give me another, nor even then unless it should be such as the one we have lost.

God bless you.


The books arrived. you will have a good account of my time if my health holds out.


* Endorsement: Aug –24 –1803
MS: Huntington Library, RS 42. ALS; 1p.
Previously published: Orlo Williams, Lamb’s Friend the Census-Taker. Life and Letters of John Rickman (Boston and New York, 1912), p. 91 [in part].
Dating note: Dated from internal evidence; one of a series of letters written by Southey on Wednesday 24 August 1803. BACK

People mentioned

Danvers, Mrs. (d. 1803) (mentioned 1 time)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)