2979. Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 24 April 1817*
My dear Edith
Safely arrived & all well. The first night I just wished for warmer clothing about the knees & feet, so I bought a pair of coarse overall stockings for the second, & was thus the only warm person in the coach.
My Billet doux will be published tomorrow, & laid upon Wm Smith breakfast table, with his M Chronicle, – his bane & antidote  he will put his hand to his forehead when he comes to the word Slanderer,  & then to breakfast with what appetite he may.
Hyde will not hear of a drab.  – we have agreed upon a genteel mixture.
God bless you, –
Bedfords. 3 o clock. Thursday
 Smith had denounced Southey in the House of Commons on 14 March 1817 in the debate on the Seditious Meetings Bill, condemning ‘the settled, determined malignity of a renegado’ and comparing Southey’s arguments against radical views in the Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 227, with those expressed in Wat Tyler (1817), Act 2, lines 103–112. Southey’s response was A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817), published by Murray. The Morning Chronicle (1769–1862) was a Whig daily paper and could thus provide Smith with some ‘antidote’. BACK
 ‘Mr. William Smith is said to have insulted me with the appellation of Renegade; and if it be indeed true that the foul aspersion past his lips, I brand him for it on the forehead with the name of SLANDERER. Salve the mark as you will, Sir, it is ineffaceable!’, A Letter to William Smith, Esq. M.P., (London, 1817), p. 28. BACK