My dear friend
I thank you for your enquiries for my brother. he
arrived here this morning soon after your letter, from which
you will readily conclude that his wounds are slight &
in a fair way. he has three wounds, made with a pike in an
attempt to board L’Hercule; his escape was almost
miraculous, he fell at the second thrust between the two
ships, & caught a rope as he fell. 
Hood is much regretted by all who knew him, my brother had
experienced uncommon kindness from him, & he attended
him to his grave.
I have been daily in expectation of your
promised visit to Bristol, & this has kept me silent.
you would however have heard from me this week, as my
book  was compleated
yesterday, & I only waited to have two copies done up
from you & Rickman. as you will be here so soon it will now
be better to keep them.
We were under considerable anxiety when first
we heard of the engagement, but it was fortunate that the
first account we saw of his being wounded was by his own
I shall be happy to congratulate you in
God bless you & send you all happiness.
our remembrances to your mother – &
yrs very truly
I trust you will spare me a day when you visit Bath.
* Address: To/ Charles Biddlecombe Esqr/ Burton/ near/ Ringwood/
Watermark: crown with
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public
 Southey’s brother had been
wounded in a fight between the Mars
and the French ship L’Hercule on 21
April 1798. BACK
married Catherine Lacy (d. 1799) on 4 June 1798. BACK