3345. Robert Southey to [a member of Southey's household at Greta Hall, probably his wife Edith Southey] [fragment], [20 August 1819]

3345. Robert Southey to [a member of Southey’s household at Greta Hall, probably his wife Edith Southey] [fragment], [20 August 1819]⁠* 

[MS missing] tomorrow, & whither we are to return from Loch xxx Kattrin the next day. [1]  Tell my very magnificent & beloved Thom that crosses & other such kickwomangigs are so dear as to be out of all reason & reach. – We have more to see than I expected, & therefore shall be longer about, but there will be no time lost, & I shall not be ill employed upon the way. It is dreadfully hot, – I shall send home a small parcel of books, – Peters Letters are by Mr Wilson chiefly, [2]  – & will show you what a cursed state of society these Scotties have made for themselves, when that sort of personality which used to be the peculiar enjoy enjoyment of the Mrs Candours [3]  & [MS missing]

Love to all. God bless you


Miss S. [4]  is very much disimproved. The manner which she has acquired is the most compleat specimen of falsetto that I ever remember to have seen. Mrs Grant is a very pleasing woman.

Oh the heat!


* MS: Victoria University Library, Toronto. ALS; 2p. (c).
Note on MS: Only the lower portion of 1 fol., written on the recto and the verso, survives.
Dating note: The letter was written on 20 August 1819, the day before Southey and his party visited Loch Katrine. BACK

[1] Southey and his party left Callendar for Loch Katrine on 21 August and returned to Callendar on the following day; see Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819, ed. Charles Harold Herford (London, 1929), pp. 27–43. BACK

[2] John Gibson Lockhart was the author of Peter’s Letters to His Kinsfolk (1819), no. 2223 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Southey was given a copy by the publisher, William Blackwood, when he called on him in Edinburgh on 17 August. Southey was told that Wilson was the author on 18 August. BACK

[3] i.e. talkative, and therefore rather dangerous, gossips, like the character Mrs Candour in Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816; DNB), The School for Scandal (1777). BACK

[4] Hannah Stanger (1799–1867), daughter of James Stanger, a member of an old Cumberland family who made a fortune in business in London and retired to Keswick. Southey had called on her in Edinburgh on 17 August 1819 in order ‘to deliver a small packet from her father’, Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819, ed. Charles Harold Herford (London, 1929), p. 4. Southey met Anne Grant at the same time, as Miss Stanger was staying with her as a pupil. Miss Stanger married, in 1823, Robert Midford (d. 1865), a civil servant in the Ordnance Office. BACK

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