2983. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 1 May 1817

2983. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 1 May 1817⁠* 

My dear Edith

I have been unlucky today in missing Rickman for a frank & Bedford for the notes, [1] – but I will write if it be only these lines to tell you of my Billet Doux. [2]  It has had all the effect you could possibly have wished. Every body has read it, & I hear from Xxxx Wynn that Wm Smith after beginning a letter in reply, thought it better to hold his tongue, & not make a bad matter worse. Lord Lonsdale called to compliment me upon it. – In short never had any man a more compleat triumph.

Frere has interrupted me. I dine at Sir G Bs today with Butler tomorrow – R Academy Saturday, [3] Mrs Gonne Sunday Sir George again Monday a small party I meet Dr Wordsworth. – Not a minute more have I.

God bless you my dear Edith


Thursday 6 o clock

I have seen Coleridge & he says he shall go to Cumberland. [4] 


* Address: To/ Mrs Southey/ Keswick/ Cumberland
Postmark: [illegible]
MS: British Library, Add MS 47888. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Banknotes to transmit to Edith Southey. BACK

[2] William Smith had denounced Southey in the House of Commons on 14 March 1817 in the debate on the Seditious Meetings Bill, condemning ‘the settled, determined malignity of a renegado’ and comparing Southey’s arguments against radical views in the Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 227, with those expressed in Wat Tyler (1817), Act 2, lines 103–112. Southey’s response was A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817), published by Murray. BACK

[3] The Royal Academy’s Anniversary Dinner on 3 May 1817; Southey was invited as Poet Laureate. BACK

[4] Coleridge did not visit his family in Cumberland. BACK