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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1076. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 28 June 1805 ⁠* 

Dear Danvers

If I recollect my instructions rightly nothing was omitted. cross the sands from Lancaster (& write from Lancaster to say when you shall cross there & when you expect to reach Ambleside, for there you may learn the distance) see Furness Abbey, proceed up Conistone to the head of the Lake where there is a good Inn – from thence by Esthwaite Lake to the Ferry at Windermere, where also there is a good Inn, – & there you may decide whether to take boat or to walk up on the opposite shore, – before you cross go with the person who shows it to see the view from Mr Curwens station-house. [1]  – There is a good Inn at Lowood, two miles from the head of the Lake, or at Ambleside which is at the head, – or a smaller quite good enough for the purpose at Grasmere. At Grasmere if I can hit the time, & the weather be fair I will meet you. call at Wordsworths to know if I be there, & do not feel awkward about it, – besides Mrs Coleridge is there, & you may ask for her if you like that better.

I grieve about the wolf-skin, [2]  & know not what to say. shaking & sunshine are effectual remedies to prevent farther mischief, – but if you have any reason to fear a spread of the xxx evil to other things, then is nothing to be done but to get rid of it by burning – or in any other manner.

You should have sent your trunk off sooner; where the waggon is to be charged once or twice there is often a tiresome delay. If you have leisure it may be worth while to enquire at Birmingham & Manchester – particularly the latter place.

Miss Smith [3]  is going to Lisbon, & I am writing by the next packet to get her all specific information about expences &c. I hope this resolution is taken in time.

My only reason for writing is to repeat instructions lest any should have been omitted. for boats there is always a xxx regular charge. here we pay 5/ for boat & man for a day, & I suppose it will be the same for the six miles up Windermere. for seeing the other things there need no directions. you have nothing to do but to look about you.

Did I tell you that above half the edition of Madoc is sold? [4] 

Little Edith is a vixen, & not pretty, – not a single good picture in her face, – but withal such a look of intelligence, that tho you may at first be disappointed in her, you will soon not feel the want of any prettiness.

God bless you. in about ten days I hope to shake you by the hand

RS.

June 28. 1805.


Notes

* Address: To/ Charles Danvers Esqr/ Bristol./ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ JUL 1/ 1805
MS: British Library, Add MS 30928
Unpublished. BACK

[1] John Christian Curwen (1756–1828; DNB), agriculturist and politician, was the owner of Belle Isle on Windermere, which he had landscaped in picturesque fashion. The station house was erected on the west bank of the lake, opposite the village of Bowness, in order that visitors might obtain a picturesque view. BACK

[2] Southey’s great coat, which he had left in Bristol, and which had suffered from an infestation while in storage with Danvers. BACK

[3] Probably the sister of Thomas Smith. BACK

[4] Southey’s poem Madoc was published in March 1805. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013