3750. Robert Southey to Elizabeth Browne, 27 November 1821*
Keswick. 27 Nov. 1821
My dear Madam
What shall I say to you & your dear family under this affliction, – the heaviest of all those which come to us in the regular course of nature?  – The Lord gave, – & the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!  These words are inscribed on my dear Herberts grave-stone: and your heart feels the support which is to be found in religious resignation to the will of God, – as mine has felt it in its anguish.
I have now one friend the less in this world, – & one more in that better one, – toward which I am every day advancing on my journey. xxx not knowing how soon I may find myself at the journeys end.
In mourning for this excellent man you have the consolation of knowing that his life was happy & that you contributed in no xxxx xxxxx little degree to its happiness.
The post-mark & the seal of Dr Nicholls  letter gave me a sad foreboding, which was but too well verified by its contents. I had long & anxiously been looking for news of Wade,  – but this was indeed an unexpected blow.
Mrs Southey joins with me in sorrowful remembrances to the two Miss Brownes,  & in intreating that you will let us hear of you when the task of writing will not be too painful. Give my love also to poor little Mary.  And be assured my dear Mrs Browne that among the many who will sympathize with you in this deprivation there is not one who entertained a higher regard for the good man whom we have lost, nor who will remember him with more lasting respect than he who now in grief & sincerity subscribes himself
Your affectionate friend
God bless & comfort you.
 Whitlock Nicholl (1786–1838), who practised as a physician in Ludlow 1816–1826. As well as medicine, his interests included the Bible and Hebrew. His publications included A Sketch of the Economy of Man (1819), General Elements of Pathology (1820) and An Analysis of Christianity (1823). Southey had dined with him in 1820; see Southey to Edith May Southey, 25–29 April 1820, Letter 3470. BACK