394. Robert Southey to Thomas
Southey, 2 April 1799
My dear Tom
has been <is> at Bath with her sister & we for this last
week have been daily expecting her. of course your letter has been delayed &
neglected like every thing else. as soon as she gave me her direction I wrote to
her what you said – if she & now write & in case she has not, to desire you to draw
on me at Cottles, for ten pounds at
sight, or one day after sight. this is safer than sending the money.
You had better not go to town sooner than there is any occasion
on account of the expence. our expences here are such as to swallow up every
thing I can get, & exceed by 50 or 60 pounds those of any former year. in
addition to this comes the Income Bill  which after every deduction is made will rob me of ten pounds.
I could not support another year without involving myself in debt. my Mother is three fourths of her
time in the Green. if we
could have foreseen this Peggy
might have been boarded somewhere & there would now have been money to
spare, but it is ridiculous to keep up a house merely to hold my mothers cloaths. While her
sister lives my Mother will
never be comfortable either with her or from her.
My Uncles Agent  as you call him
has no money in his hands. what my
Uncle can spare goes regularly to his sister – & more than he can
spare with convenience. I should think in such a case as that of going up to
pass, if you want more money there would be no impropriety in your applying at
In London I shall see you as I expect to breakfast there on May
day. perhaps change of air & fresh diet may help to reestablish you – or if
your swelling returns you can have better advice than is to be found on board
ship. if Combe  has any thing to send to his brother
you can take it for him as I shall see his brother.
I am better – but not well –
God bless you
April 2. 99.
Edward is here while they are
at Bath. I never saw a boy more thoroughly false & disagreable.
write & say how you are.
* Address: To/ Mr Thomas
Southey/ Royal George/ Portsmouth/ Single
Postmark: BRISTOL/ APR 2
MS: The Lilly Library, Indiana
 The budget of December 1798 had introduced income tax for the first
 Possibly the writer
William Combe (1742–1823; DNB) who was arrested and
imprisoned for debt in May 1799. BACK