3750. Robert Southey to Elizabeth Browne, 27 November 1821

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? [1]  – The Lord gave, – & the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord! [2]  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 [3]  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, [4]  – but this was indeed an unexpected blow.

Mrs Southey joins with me in sorrowful remembrances to the two Miss Brownes, [5]  & 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. [6]  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

Robert Southey.

God bless & comfort you.


* Address: To/ Mrs Browne/ Ludlow
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: British Library, Add MS 47891. ALS; 3p. (The MS also contains a copy in an unknown hand.)
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Wade Browne had died earlier in November 1821. BACK

[2] Job 1: 21. BACK

[3] 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

[4] Wade Browne (1796–1851), only son of Wade Browne; in later life a country gentleman at Monkton Farleigh in Wiltshire. He was currently abroad, hence Southey’s concern for his welfare. BACK

[5] Wade Browne’s two unmarried daughters by his first marriage: Elizabeth and Sarah. BACK

[6] Mary (dates unknown), the only child of Browne’s second marriage. BACK

People mentioned

Browne, Wade (1760–1821) (mentioned 2 times)
Southey, Herbert (1806–1816) (mentioned 1 time)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)