Sunday. 3 December. 1797.
23. East Street. Red Lion Square
but direct under cover to C W Williams Wynn Esqr.
5. Stone Buildings
My dear Tom
I cannot walk London streets on a Sunday, for two weighty
reasons; an I never enter them but to call on
some person, & the idle day is the most unlikely time to find them at
home. & as the book stalls & picture shops are shut, there is no
amusement. so it is a day of rest & of letter writing with me.
Harry comes to town
tomorrow, on his way to Yarmouth. 
George Burnett very kindly
& very handsomely undertakes the trouble of educating him, he boards in
the same family, & his board will not exceed the usual school charges.
this I think one of the best possible situations for him, & Burnett is admirably qualified for
the task. he is the only man whom I should wish to live with, & that
constant gentleness & eveness of mind which make him even desirable as
an inmate give him great advantages as a tutor. is it probable that you shall
ever put in at Yarmouth?
As you may well suppose Harry is happy — &
well may he be so — for let him but behave as he should do, & he will
not have one care to disturb him till he enters this ugly world. we shall keep
him some week or ten days in London, to look about him; & visit the
theatres &c. Edith has the
same routine to go thro — & so you see I kill two birds with one
My Mothers letters have
considerably distressed me. the moment she is left to herself she considers only
the obstacles to quitting the house, & seems ready to let slip the
present opportunity of getting it off her hands. Thomas says he cannot come to
Bath. this is unhandsome conduct, & perhaps my last letter may influence
him to change it. at any rate lest it should fail, I have written to Cottle begging him to go over
& manage the business. there is little to do — to show Williams
& Brake  that the furniture will
discharge all, & give them bills payable in February, (when the rest of
the money for the furniture will be paid — ) & to bind the man to his
agreement for the house. Harry & Margery,
the two great obstacles, are removed.
Coleridges play  is
rejected. this is using him very ill, for he wrote it at the request of
Sheridan.  there is some prospect of
Wordsworths being brought
out,  & he & his sister are now in town. you
heard much of her after Lloyd
returned from Stowey, I believe.
Our pers present situation is a
convenient one — & that is all. those friends whom I see most frequently
live near, & its neighbourhood to the Inns of Court will save me many
long wet & weary walks when I shall be with a Special Pleader. I
& the Law go on & agree as well can as can be wished — it is almost as foolish for a man to quarrel
with his profession as with his wife. a man is an ass if either he is enraged with what he cannot an ill which he cannot remedy, or
if he endures one that he can. he must bear the gout — but there is no occasion
to let a fly tickle his nose.
in 1799 — God permitting — I shall be practising — &
making money — & when I have made enough — & my wishes are
bounded by my wants, (no man has fewer.) — when I have enough Tom — tho my little house in the
country be not bigger than Miss Barnes’s  — I had forgot the poor damsel wanted a little house — but
my small house Tom shall be so
comfortable — that I <shall> lay down to sleep in it every night
the lightest hearted man in the three kingdoms
Harry is arrived. before he
set off my Aunt spent an hour in
warning him against Burnetts wicked principles, whom she calld a fool. if people
will not do good, they should at least abstain from doing evil.
Lloyd desires to be remembered.
Harry & Ediths love. God bless you.
* Address: To/ Mr Southey/ H.M.S. Mars/ Plymouth
Postmark: [partial] DE/ 97
MS: British Library, Add MS
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New
Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965),
I, pp. 154–155. BACK
town of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. BACK
 Unidentified; possibly
landlords or creditors of Margaret Southey. BACK
 Richard Brinsley Sheridan
(1751–1816; DNB). BACK
 William Wordsworth’s The Borderers was neither staged nor published at this
 Mrs Barnes (first name and dates unknown) was Southey’s landlady at Burton
in 1797. BACK