441. Robert Southey to John May, 5 October
My dear friend
Yours inclosing the 20£ bill arrived
yesterday, & I acknowledge it by the first post. we set
out on Monday next for Burton, whither I shall be obliged to you to
remit the remainder. I hope your brother  may not have left
Christ Church before I have an opportunity of seeing
The circumstance of the Kiss Poem  took place previous to my having any
acquaintance <with> or ever having seen Coleridge. at Cambridge he had fallen into the
common vices of young men, he found me holding a moral
system of Stoical severity & adopted it. the origin of
that poem he told me himself, speaking of it in becoming
We are busy in packing − & I have to take
leave of many persons from whom I have received much
attention & kindness. from strangers I have never
experienced more, than at Exeter. one of these new
acquaintance has often seen my Uncle at
Porto, & at Lisbon – his name is Banfill.  he is an
accomplished & sensible man.
God bless you.
<I will write as soon as we are housed at Burton.>
Oct 5. 1799.
* Watermark: [partial] top part of
Endorsement: No. 43 1799/
Robert Southey/ Exeter 5 October/ recd: 7 do/ ansd. 18 do
Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas,
Previously published: Charles Ramos,
The Letters of Robert Southey to John May:
1797–1838 (Austin, Texas, 1976), p.
 Possibly May’s eldest
brother Joseph (1767–1830). BACK
 Coleridge’s ‘Effusion 26, On
a Kiss’ was first published in his Poems On
Various Subjects (Bristol and London, 1796),
pp. 93–94. It was possibly written in the autumn of 1794
and addressed to Sarah Fricker, despite Southey’s
 Probably Samuel Banfill (fl.
1790s–1830s). He was a partner in a woollen mill at
Exwick, near Exeter, which made a determined effort to
sell its products in Spain and Portugal. BACK