3518. Robert Southey to John May, 31 July 1820

3518. Robert Southey to John May, 31 July 1820⁠* 

My dear friend

Your letter gives me much concern, – because tho the present immediate evil is over, the same want of consideration & of proper feeling (to use no stronger terms) which has occasioned it now, may bring it on again at any time, & thus your tranquillity interest, & what is of still more consequence, your peace of mind, are made to depend almost as much upon another as upon yourself. – [1] 

Herewith you have the commencement of my promised autobiography. [2]  You will see by the dates at the beginning & end that it has <been> written at different snatches of time, – & there has been some delay occasioned by copying it, as I have made a transcript for the double purpose of having it at hand to refer to that I may not say the same thing twice, – & of inserting in its proper place any thing that I may not have called to mind in its order. I shall begin a second letter [3]  without delay, – & preserve as many recollections as I can of manners that even within my remembrance have past away.

We are all well, thank God. I am very busy, laying in materials largely for various works, & proceeding with several of them. – Mr Walpole is not forgotten. [4]  Remember me most kindly to Mrs May & your daughers: [5]  – & to John Coleridge when you see him

God bless you

Yrs affectionately

R Southey.

31 July 1820


* MS: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Robert Southey Papers A.S727. ALS; 1p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] May was experiencing increasing financial difficulties, and Southey was anxious about the activities of May’s younger brother and business partner in Brazil, William Henry May (1785–1849). BACK

[2] Southey to John May, 26 July 1820, Letter 3514. BACK

[3] Southey to John May, 1–15 August 1820, Letter 3520. BACK

[4] Southey’s proposed, but unexecuted, memoir of Robert Walpole (1736–1810), the British envoy to Portugal 1771–1800. BACK

[5] May’s daughters, Mary Charlotte (b. 1804), Susanna Louisa (1805–1885) and Charlotte Livius (b. 1812). BACK

People mentioned


JSON What's this?
As you're browsing RC, you might see small buttons scattered on various pages. These buttons let you download that page's content in a ready-to-use data file! Learn more on our RC Data page.