My dear friend
Your letter startled me. I feel for you − & for your poor brother. these things make us feel the insecurity of existence.
Our departure is fixed for Monday morning. a patient  of Dr Beddoes is going to Lisbon − & takes part of our chaise. to accommodate him we go thro Plymouth, which I was not unwilling to do, as Tom is now in harbour.
Inclosed is a draft payable to you for fifty pounds. whatever money you may receive for me shall be paid to you, without any trouble on your part. I have thought it prudent to insure my baggage & my Uncles orders for £100 – as privateers swarm so in on the Spanish coast. Of ought worse there is little risque – but if we should founder you will remember that I die worth one hundred pounds – to be applied for to Messrs Reid & Smith – Insurance brokers – Bristol. should we be taken into Corūna I shall have little objection to the accident, which will only shorten the voyage & give me an opportunity of seeing Santiago.
<I delayed writing to enclose the draft.>
God bless you.
April. 12. 1800.
* Watermark: [partial] top edge of shield
Endorsement: No 53 1800/ Robert Southey/ No place 12 April/ recd: 16 do/ ansd: 27 May
MS: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin. ALS; 1p.
Previously published: Charles Ramos, The Letters of Robert Southey to John May: 1797–1838 (Austin, Texas, 1976), pp. 55–56. BACK