2862. Robert Southey to Thomas Foster Barham, 14 November 1816

2862. Robert Southey to Thomas Foster Barham, 14 November 1816⁠* 

Keswick. 14 Nov. 1816


I have just received your favour of Sept 16; – & thank you for the good opinion which you have been pleased to express of me in prose & in verse. [1]  The happy indifference which I have ever borne to censure & abuse does not render me less sensible of approbation when thus bestowed.

Frank Bowles, [2]  as he was then called, was reading Sallust [3]  in Mr Foot’s school at Bristol in the year 1780, when I began with hic hoec hoc. [4]  I remember him well as he was then for his gentleness & his good nature. My acquaintance with him in after life was but slight, but enough to make me respect & regret him.

I am Sir

yr obedient humble servant

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Thomas Foster Barham Esqr/ Leskinnick House/ Penzance/ Cornwall
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Seal: black wax, with ‘S’, ‘In Labore Quies’ motto below
MS: Beinecke Library, GEN MSS 298, Series I, Box 1, folder 2. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The ‘favour’ is unclear; but Barham’s opinion of Southey was reflected in the title of his Selection from Milton’s Hymn on the Nativity: Set to Music, and Dedicated to Robert Southey, Esq. Poet Laureate (1818). BACK

[2] Francis Cheyne Bowles (1771–1807), in adult life a surgeon at Bristol Royal Infirmary. BACK

[3] Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86 – c. 35 BC), the Roman historian whose idiosyncratic literary style made his work testing for even advanced learners of Latin; ‘hic hoec hoc’ (‘this man, this woman, this thing’) was often the starting point for children in Latin grammar. BACK

[4] From 1780 until 1781 Southey attended the school kept at St Michael’s Hill Bristol by William Foot (1707–1781), a Baptist minister. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)