413. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 25 May  *
London. Saturday 25 May.
My dear friend
Your letter has followed me here & reachd me only this evening. I thank you truly for the trouble you have taken. I remember the house you point out, it is if my memory does not deceive me near the cross, & opposite the pond where the road bends like the letter S. from your account it seems to suit us perfectly, & if there be bed rooms for a servant, my mother, ourselves, & a spare room for a friend, I think there can be no hesitation about it. this appears to be the case, as xx it is divided into two tenements you say, & of course the sitting room of one can hold a bed in case of need.
It gives me great pleasure that there is this prospect of our settling near you. we shall always spend the summer months there & as much more as we can. I feel attached to the country & shall look upon it as my home.
I am term-keeping but leave town tomorrow night & hope to be home on Monday. from your letter I guess that you must be in town now, if I knew where or how to trace you. as this is impossible my only way is to direct to Burton.
I should prefer taking it from year to year to having a term. but this you must regulate according to circumstances.
It gives me great pleasure to hear your little girl  continues well, doubly dear as she must be to you. if we be not disappointed in this business I shall see her at Midsummer.
believe me yours thankfully & truly
If I were at home the paper should not travel so empty. but I am visiting & thoroughly fatigued with a compleat days labour in London.
* Address: To/ Charles Biddlecombe Esqr / Burton/ near Ringwood/
Postmark: C.M.A./ 27/ 99
Watermarks: 1794; [partial] crown
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public Library. ALS; 3p.