2764. Robert Southey to Mary Matilda Betham, 20 April 1816
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
 Possibly the shorter pieces later published in Betham’s Vignettes in Verse (1818), no. 278 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK