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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

2422. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, 14 May 1814 ⁠* 

Saturday evening May 14. 1814

The last four lines of your note, Senhora, are all that could have been wished, & all that should have been said; – but I am far too desirous of seeing things return to their former course to dwell upon any expression in the former part, however improper I may think them & however much I may wish they had not been there. – A chance meeting would at any moment have set all to rights, & this was so likely that it seemed the wisest & the easiest way to wait for it. The chapter of accidents turned out unluckily, but for this no person is blameable. [1] 

I should have written this last night, but the post brought me a letter from poor Cottle telling me [he] had broken a blood-vessel, that the haemorrhage continues & that he did not expect to recover. [2]  This comes upon a grief from which I know not when I shall recover; – the impression is upon me night & day, & even when the wound is healed I shall feel the loss like that of a limb thro life [3] 

God bless you

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ Miss Barker/ with Wm. Wordsworth Esqre/ Rydale/ Ambleside
Postmark: KESWICK/ 298
MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Robert Galloway Kirkpatrick, ‘The Letters of Robert Southey to Mary Barker From 1800 to 1826’ (unpublished PhD, Harvard, 1967), p. 427
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s letter of apology presumably ended the coolness between him and Mary Barker caused by her quarrel with the Fricker sisters. BACK

[2] See Southey to Joseph Cottle, 13 May 1814, Letter 2420. BACK

[3] Charles Danvers died on 3 May 1814. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013