2727. Robert Southey to [James Wellwood Moncreiff], 27 February 1816*
Keswick. 27 Feby 1816
My dear Sir
I have not read xx your epistle without pleasure, – nor the latter part of it without a deeper feeling. Your brother was indeed one of my earliest & dearest friends,  I admired him & esteemed him & loved him, & there were few persons for whom he had a warmer affection than for me. These feelings never abated as long as we were within reach of each other. Our intercourse at Oxford was frequent & uninterrupted, & I well remember how earnestly & sincerely he gave me advice when he thought I stood in need of it. – The recollections of youth become dearer to us as we advance in life, – later friendships seem almost to differ in kind as well as in degree from those of our younger days, – I have experienced as many misfortunes & wrongs as fall to the lot of most men, but I regret nothing but the friends of my youth. Five & twenty years (for so long you may remember me) have changed me in many things, but my heart remains the same.
Should I ever have resolution to visit the Scotch Lakes, Perth shall be one of the points of my journey.  – When you are on the way to or from London, this place is but one stage out of your road.
yours most truly
 William Wellwood Moncreiff (c. 1775–1813), Southey’s contemporary at Balliol College, Oxford; eldest son of Sir Henry Wellwood Moncreiff, 8th Baronet (1750–1826; DNB) and His Majesty’s Advocate in the Admiralty Court at Malta. BACK