2764. Robert Southey to Mary Matilda Betham, 20 April 1816*
My dear Miss Betham
I have no heart to examine & comment on these poems.  The heaviest of all afflictions has fallen upon us – after a long illness – a dreadful season of hope & fear – we have lost our dear Herbert.  Under such a visitation nothing but religion could support us.
Your portrait of him  is now become invaluable. His mother has behaved with admirable fortitude. For myself I am shaken to the roots, & suffer severely in bodyxx. The mind is at it should be – & I find consolation there where only it can be found.
God bless you
Keswick 20 April 1816
* MS: Beinecke Library, Osborn MSS
File ‘S’, Folder 14106. ALS; 1p.
Previously published: Ernest Betham, ed., A House of Letters: Being Excerpts from the Correspondence of Miss Charlotte Jerningham (the Honble. Lady Bedingfield), Lady Jerningham, Coleridge, Lamb, Southey, Bernard and Lucy Barton, and others, with Matilda Betham; and from Diaries and Various Sources; and a Chapter upon Landor’s Quarrel with Charles Betham at Llanthony (London, 1905), p. 167. BACK