2754. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 15 April 1816

2754. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 15 April 1816⁠* 

Easter Monday April 15. 1816

My dear Harry

Had there been the slight probability of your doing any good I should have desired you to come, – but this has long been impossible. There has been a great diminution of strength today, [1]  & a total loss of the little inclination for food that remained. We believe that an abscess is forming somewhere in the left side of the breast, & you will perceive how little hope there can be in his state of utter weakness. The only favourable circumstance is that wine can be given in almost any quantity, & thus it is that he is chiefly supported. I am as well as I can be under such affliction, expecting the worst & perfectly resigned to it. – I think this event, cutting off as it does the very head & blossom of my earthly happiness – will xxx determine me to leave Keswick when my lease expires, – it has just one year more to run. Composed I shall be any where, – but I fear it will be impossible for me ever to feel any enjoyment in this place, when every object both at home & abroad will perpetually remind me of my loss.



* Address: To/ Dr Southey/ Queen Anne Street/ Cavendish Square/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 18 AP 18/ 1816
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. d. 3. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s only son Herbert was gravely ill and died on 17 April 1816. BACK

People mentioned

Southey, Herbert (1806–1816) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)