2998. Robert Southey to Helen Maria Williams, [17 May 1817]

2998. Robert Southey to Helen Maria Williams, [17 May 1817]⁠* 

Mr Southey will have great pleasure in waiting on M. Williams tomorrow evening, [1]  & will take the liberty of bringing with him his two fellow travellers, Mr Nash, & Mr Senhouse; – the former he believes M. Williams has formerly seen, the latter would be mortified were he to leave Paris without seeing the person to whom we are indebted for such interesting memoirs of the most interesting times. [2] 

Mr S’s stay is very short; – he is merely passing thro Paris on his way to Switzerland, one of the chief pleasures which he promised himself in this city was that of paying his respects to a countrywoman, who thro all the changes of the Revolution has preserved an English heart.

Hotel de Vienne. Saturday afternoon.


* Address: Madam/ Madame H. M. Williams/ 11. Rue de Clery
MS: Princeton University Library, in a graingerised copy of “The two scribbling Mrs. P.P.’s” The Intimate Letters of Hester Piozzi and Penelope Pennington, 1788–1821 edited by Oswald Knapp. Extra-illustrated by the addition of the 198 Holograph Letters of Mrs. Piozzi, wholly or partially published in the text, together with a large number of other Letters, Poems, Anagrams, Epigrams, and Prologues by Mrs. Piozzi; a series of Important Letters by Mrs. Pennington; numerous Letters and Portraits of other Persons referred to in their Correspondence, and over 300 Contemporary Views and Caricatures collected and arranged by A. M. Broadley, 6 vols (Bridport, Dorset, 1914), I, between pp. 26–27. AL; 2p.
Dating note: Southey and his companions arrived in Calais on 11 May and travelled to Paris, where they stayed until 21 May. This letter was written on the one Saturday they spent in the city. BACK

[1] Southey drank tea at Williams’s house on the evening of 18 May 1817. BACK

[2] Helen Maria Williams’s Letters from France (1790–1796), a first-hand account of the events of the revolution. BACK

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