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313. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 6 May [1798] ⁠* 

Bath. May 6.

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. [1] 

Poor Captain 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 [2]  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 letter.

I shall be happy to congratulate you in June. [3]  God bless you & send you all happiness.

our remembrances to your mother – & believe me

yrs very truly

Robert Southey.

I trust you will spare me a day when you visit Bath.


Notes

* Address: To/ Charles Biddlecombe Esqr/ Burton/ near/ Ringwood/ Single
Stamped: BATH
Watermark: crown with initials KG
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public Library
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s brother had been wounded in a fight between the Mars and the French ship L’Hercule on 21 April 1798. BACK

[2] Joan of Arc (1798). BACK

[3] Biddlecombe married Catherine Lacy (d. 1799) on 4 June 1798. BACK

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August 2011