Letter 23: 30 June 1807

Letter 23: 30 June 1807 [1]

  • Physical form: One sheet folded into 2 leaves (18.7 x 23.7 cm)
  • Cover: Miss Rickards / [in a different hand] Hampstead
  • PM: None
  • WM: None
  • SM: Misc MS 4364

It is not without a feeling of tender regret that I find myself obliged to address my dear friends with the breadth of the island between us, [2] instead of those few green fields & that gentle rising which, tho it did divide us for months, seemed always in our power almost by a walk to conquer & which in fact allowed of a not unfrequent intercourse, but I submit to the necessary vicissitudes of life, & trust that our regard is grown strong enough to bear the transplantation. I have received safely both the very elegant presents which your kindness has insisted on making me, they are indeed beautiful, the waiter or tea-board (for it will serve for either I see extremely well) is one of the handsomest I have seen of that beautiful manufacture, [3] I am only sorry that Mrs Rickards would express her kindness by what must have been so costly a one. But how shall I thank you for your beautiful lamp enriched by the work of your own fingers, I fancy the Hours that attend the lamp of

[fol 1v] the Sun scatter just such flowers. Suffice to say it is most beautiful in design & execution & every thing, & has already been admired by two & twenty people (a great rout for me) who drank tea with me the day after I received it, but, however calculated to please their eyes, to none of them could it give, as to myself, those feelings which touch the heart——I expect every day Anne Finch, I hardly hoped she could have been spared, but am very glad she can, as I think a journey will do her good after the loss of her sister, which she feels, poor thing, most acutely. —Probably it is no news to you by this time that Robert Kinder [4] is going to marry Miss Enfield, [5] a match very agreeable to all his friends. Truly we wondered what took him so often to Liverpool, just come home, & hurrying there again in a fortnight’s time, these men of business thought I incur great fatigue—Miss E. by all I know & hear will make an excellent mother for his little girl, & he is too fond a parent not to make that a material object— Miss Plumptre [6] dined with me last Sunday I find she has given up the publishing her tour, & is going to live with her Brother at

[fol 2r] Nottingham. I think she has lost her spirits a good deal. I am glad she will be in the bosom of family comfort. All our friends, almost, are now emigrating into the country one way or another; we shall be stationary, at least for a good while, but often will our thoughts wander to our emigrating friends—Pray remember us to Mrs Rickards & family, & believe both of us, ever [Your]’s & Mrs Rickards’s

obliged & affectionate friends

I answer for Mr Barbauld, as well as for

AL Barbauld


[1] Year from Anne Finch’s expected arrival; she visited in 1807 for six months. See note 3 to Letter 22. Anne's sister Mary (mentioned below) had died earlier this year. BACK

[2] If, despite the address, LR had at this date returned to Birmingham, "the breadth of the island" is an exaggeration. BACK

[3] "That beautiful manufacture": probably Wedgwood, which ALB admired greatly. BACK

[4] Robert Kinder was a son of John Kinder, draper, of Cheapside; after marrying Eliza Enfield he went to New York to head a branch of the trade there. See Note 5 to Letter 7, and below, Letter 33. BACK

[5] "Miss Enfield": Eliza Enfield. See Note 3 to Letter 5. BACK

[6] "Miss Plumptre": Annabella Plumptre (1769–1838), like her sister Anne a writer, but more conservative (ODNB). BACK