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

2622. Robert Southey to John Kenyon, 25 June 1815 ⁠* 

Keswick 25 June 1815.

My dear Sir

I have received your draft & delivered it to [MS cut] who desires me to say what is proper in acknowledgement. [1]  This is so difficult a commission that I think you will excuse me for not attempting to discharge it.

What a chapter to his life has Wellington added! [2]  – He knew that Buonaparte would attempt to break his line, & being necessarily ignorant at what point the attack would be made, thought that it would probably be succesful, but that afterwards as his course would be distinctly seen he thought he could “undertake to answer for him.” – I want to have the French cannon brought to London & piled x as a column to support a statue of Wellington. – How long will it before the war is carried to the gates of Paris?

I am truly glad that we are likely to see you once more among the mountains. If I can be of any use in looking out a habitation for you, you will let me know. – Mrs S. & her sisters [3]  join in remembrances – believe me my dear Sir

yrs very truly [MS missing] in haste

[MS missing]

P.S. While you are at Richmond get permission to see Lord Dysarts [4]  house at Ham, – if you have not already seen it. It is furnished xx precisely as it was in Charles 2ds reign. – There is a choice collection of pictures at a house at the corner of Richmond Green. – Lord Gray I think is the owner, – an Irish peer, [5]  – but I am not [MS cut]tain that this is the name.


* Address: To/ John Kenyon Esqre/ Richmond/ Surry
Postmarks: E/ 28JU28/ 1815; 10oClock/ JU 28/ 1815 FNn
Endorsement: It seems that I have cut off Southeys signature/ to give to some other Collector – xxxx folk!!/ The pictures alluded to belonged to Lord – /not Earl – Fitzwilliam, who has since/ bequeathed them to the University of/ Cambridge – John Kenyon./ London. 1842.
MS: Massachusetts Historical Society
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Kenyon was an extremely wealthy man – his father had owned sugar plantations in Jamaica – and he was noted for his acts of generosity towards those in need. He had agreed to donate £20 per year for five years towards the cost of Derwent Coleridge’s education; see Stephen Potter (ed.), Minnow Among Tritons: Mrs S.T. Coleridge’s Letters to Thomas Poole 1799–1834 (London, 1934), p. 40. BACK

[2] i.e. by his victory over Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) at Waterloo, 18 June 1815. BACK

[4] The politician Wilbraham Tollemache, 6th Earl of Dysart (1739–1821), who lived at Ham House, near Richmond, London. The house was – and still is – little changed from the time of Charles II (1630–1685; reigned 1660–1685; DNB). BACK

[5] The owner of these paintings was actually Richard Fitzwilliam, 7th Viscount Fitzilliam of Merrion (1745–1816; DNB). He subsequently bequeathed his collection, and an endowment to build the Fitzwilliam Museum, to the University of Cambridge. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013