125. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 21 March [1795] 

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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 1: 1791-1797, Edited By Lynda Pratt

125. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 21 March [1795] ⁠* 

Saturday. March 21.

My dear Tom

Hot with walking & warm repentance I do sit me down to repair the apparent coolness of neglect. my dear brother when I have been writing as hard as is necessary to furnish two lectures a week an hour each in recitation, I have been tempted to fling all down & write to you. I am giving a course of historical Lectures at Bristol, teaching what is right by showing what is wrong.  [1]  my company of course is sought by all who love good Republicans & odd characters. Coleridge & I are daily engaged. & moreover my heart has engagements of a dearer nature which it knows not how to dispense with. for the future it shall come in the routine of my writing desk to write you every ten days & tell you how I go on.

my Joan of Arc goes to the press in about three weeks. a new letter is casting for it. it will be a most elegant volume & you shall receive one as soon as it is out. I shall publish another volume of Poems [2]  most probably before that will be printed. Cottle the Bookseller (who remembers you when he lived with Bulgin [3]  & often enquires for you) is to buy the copy right & they will be printed more elegantly than the last.

John Scott has got me a place of a guinea & half per week for writing in some new work called the Citizen. [4]  of what kind I know not save that it accords with my principles. of this I daily expect to hear more.

if Coleridge & I can get 150 pounds a year between us, we purpose marrying & retiring into the country as our literary business can be carried on there & practising agriculture till we can raise money for America — still the grand object in view.

So I have cut my cables & am drifting on the ocean of life — the wind is fair & the port of happiness I hope, in view.

tis possible that I may be called on to publish my historical Lectures: this I shall be unwilling to do, as they are only splendid declamation. you will however receive whatever I or Coleridge publish, as soon as it is out.

We expect your parcel to night — I shall revere the republican hanger.

my notoriety will not tend to reconcile my Aunt to me. public speaking is awkward at first — but three lectures have accustomed me to it.

my mornings are devoted to hard study. my evenings always engaged — & I generally contrive to pass them with my dear Edith.

I walked over to Bath this afternoon. a good citizen [5]  is now expecting me at the Greyhound.

direct to me at Mrs Sawiers. 25 College Street Bristol. [6]  you shall hear from me regularly. America is the land of my wishes & we shall all there all be happy there

fare you well

yr affectionate brother

Robert Southey.

Coleridge would send fraternity were he here. he is my fellow with me — we live together & write together.


Notes

* Address: Thomas Southey/ Aquilon Frigate/ Spithead
Stamped: [partial] BAT
Endorsement: the parcl is just Come
MS: British Library, Add MS 30,927
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 92–93; Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), I, pp. 235–236 [in part]. BACK

[1] Southey’s ‘Historical Lectures’ ‘Unconnected with the Politics of the Day’ were advertised — in a printed ‘Prospectus’ (Bodleian Library, Autogr. b. 7 (9)) — to take place in the Card Room, Assembly Coffee House, Prince’s Street, Bristol. The tickets cost one guinea for the whole series, or one shilling per lecture. The lectures were not published and seem not to have survived. BACK

[2] Southey’s next verse collection was Poems (1797). BACK

[3] Samuel Bulgin (dates unknown), a Bristol printer, bookseller and stationer. BACK

[4] Probably John Scott (dates unknown), editor of the Morning Advertiser. Nothing seems to have come of the ‘Citizen’. BACK

[5] Unidentified. BACK

[6] For further information see Tim May, ‘The Pantisocrats in College Street’, Notes and Queries, n.s. 52 (2005), 456–460. BACK

Published @ RC

March 2009