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483. Robert Southey to Thomas Poole, 30 January 1800 ⁠* 

My dear Sir

I thank you for the laver, the jar was broken in carriage, but it was so well packed that little was lost in consequence. [1]  have the goodness to send me one more such quantity, which will about last me while I remain at Bristol. perhaps you may journey here yourself in March – in that case I hope you will give me an opportunity of thanking – & paying you in person. or if you will inform me to whom I can pay the cost, or how I can lay it out for you, the commission shall punctually be observed.

From Coleridge you have probably as late intelligence as I could give you. something of his labours I see in the Morning Post, & if the leading paragraphs there were permanently to discover the same ability I should almost be even yet sanguine enough to expect some good might be wrought upon the public.

My health is materially amended since my return to Bristol, partly owing to medicine, partly to more stimulant diet, & something to the mildness of the season. I meditate a visit to the continent, to winter somewhere southward. Thomas Wedgewood has obtained the English passport to go to France. I also have it at my option; the want of a female companion for Edith upon the journey alone prevents me from immediately determining when & where to go. a companion for myself would be pleasant – but I can do without one. Coleridge I believe would wish to go – but he is clogged by the life of Lessing. [2] 

My present employments are editing the second Anthology, [3]  & finishing Thalaba the Destroyer. [4]  I am also likely to undertake a work upon the situation of females in society & the possibility of better rendering them more useful & less dependant. [5]  in this I shall have the assistance of the friend who has pressed the subject upon me, a man of uncommon acquisitions & accuracy. I have the hope & prospect of some practical good from our plans.

This would xxxxxxxxxxxx your xxxxxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxx xxx xxxx.

Edith desires to be remembered. believe me

yours with respect

Robert Southey.

Thursday – Jany 30. 1800.

Kingsdown Parade.


Notes

* Address: To/ Mr Thomas Poole/ Stowey/ near Bridgewater
Postmark: Bristol/ JAN 30 1800
Endorsement: Jany 30th 1800/ fr Southey –
MS: British Library, MS Add 35344
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 219–220. BACK

[1] This was not the first consignment of laver, a type of edible seaweed, that Poole had sent Southey; see Robert Southey to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, [started before and continued on] 1 January 1800, Letter 472. BACK

[2] Coleridge’s unfinished ‘Life’ of the German poet Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781). BACK

[3] Annual Anthology (1800). BACK

[4] The Islamic romance published in 1801. BACK

[5] A reference to Rickman’s scheme for a system of ‘beguinages’, modelled on lay Catholic communities of women in the Low Countries, in which poor, single women could work and live together. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2011