3479. Robert Southey to [Christopher Wordsworth], 6 May [1820]

3479. Robert Southey to [Christopher Wordsworth], 6 May [1820] ⁠* 

Dear Sir

I have called to mind a most uncomfortable business which will prevent me from breakfasting with you on Wednesday. Instead of spending the morning with Old Samuel Wesley & the French Prophets, [1]  I must be baggd & powdered for the Levee! [2]  – On Thursday therefore, if you will allow me, I will be at Lambeth at your breakfast hour. [3] 

yrs very truly

Robert Southey

Saturday 6 May


* MS: Morgan Library, Misc Ray, MA 4500. ALS; 1p.
Note on correspondent: The correspondent’s identity is confirmed by Southey to Edith Southey, 12 [May 1820], Letter 3481.
Dating note: Dating from content; Southey attended the levée on Wednesday 10 May 1820; see Southey to Isabel Southey, 13 May 1820, Letter 3482. BACK

[1] Samuel Wesley (1662–1735; DNB), clergyman, poet and father of John Wesley (1703–1791; DNB), the subject of Southey’s The Life of John Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism (1820). Samuel Wesley was ‘Old’ to distinguish him from his eldest son, Samuel Wesley (1690/1691–1739; DNB), clergyman and poet. The ‘French Prophets’ were Protestant exiles from France who showed signs of physical convulsions and speaking in tongues during their spiritual devotions, The Life of John Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism, 2 vols (London, 1820), I, pp. 272–284. They caused much controversy among Wesley’s early followers. BACK

[2] The first levée of George IV’s reign on 10 May 1820. BACK

[3] Southey breakfasted with Christopher Wordsworth on 11 May 1820. BACK