2176. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 7 November 1812

2176. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 7 November 1812 ⁠* 

Keswick. Nov. 7. 1812.

My dear Danvers

If I had had a son born on the fifth of November, a possibility which I looked on to, his name should have been Danvers, – but I could not have resisted the temptation of prefixing Guy. [1]  And to my great delight Tom looking to a like possibility, hath vowed & sworn that if on that day he should <have> a boy born unto him, Guy shall be his name. I have a girl instead, – & I have found out a good reason for a name for her. Isabel she shall be called, which is good Spanish, good Portugueze, & good Cumberland, – now Isabel abbreviates into Bell, & Dr Bell is destined to be her God father. Lo & behold the admirable fitness of things! Mr Shandy [2]  himself would have been delighted herewith.

I may yet have a nephew Guy, tho disappointed of a son; – but I fear not as this nights post has not brought me any such tidings.

All is going on as well as could be wished

God bless you


Tell George this piece of family news. We were all heartily glad to hear that he got so well out of a disagreable business. [3] 

Two copies of Omniana will be sent you, one of which is for Rex. [4] 


* Address: To/ Charles Danvers Esqr/ Bristol
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Endorsement: 1812/ Novr 7
MS: British Library, Add MS 47890. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] After Guido (Guy) Fawkes (c. 1570–1606; DNB), part of the conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5 November 1605. BACK

[2] Laurence Sterne (1713–1768; DNB), The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759–1767), where Mr Shandy spends a great deal of time agonizing over the name of his son. BACK

[3] George Fricker had been accused of assaulting a young woman; see Southey to Charles Danvers, 7 October 1812, Letter 2154. BACK

[4] Two copies … Rex: Written at top of fol 1 r. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)