591. Robert Southey to John May, 11 July
My dear friend
We reached this place yesterday, & my
first business is to write to you. my Mother I
have not yet seen, for she is visiting a friend at Bath. my
Margaret I find yet living – it was her wish to
live long enough to see me, – a fatality seems to hang upon
my foreign expeditions. at my last return I met the news of
death – & now I am arrived to the death bed of one whom
I dearly dearly love.  I am afraid that you have but too
much reason to understand my feelings by your own.
I am anxious to know my account with you. it
will leave me deeply in your debt. my spirits are heavily
depressed – nothing but ill tidings greet me. I have
purchased health by running in debt – the
my Aunt is
more insane than ever, – my Mother
made wretched by her & half infected by her, – perhaps
the fogs & rains physically help to dishearten me. – Yet
my own prospects have a sunshine upon them. Wynn has
proposed to me to go as Secretary with Drummond  to Palermo first – then to Constantinople.
if Edith can go
with me I joyfully accept the offer – & wait to know.
this hurried me from Lisbon where I should else have
remained in conformity to my Uncles
wishes & to my own. He highly approves the scheme. its
immediate advantage is little – but it carries me prudently to a good climate, &
affords a possibility of advancement.
My plans for the present I will write to you
more at large when the tumult of return has a little
is well & desires her remembrance. we left all well in
Lisbon. write to me & believe me
yours with affection
Direct to Danvers’s.
* Endorsement: No 61.
1801/ Robert Southey/ Bristol 11th
July/ recd. 13th
MS: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center,
University of Texas, Austin
Charles Ramos, The Letters of Robert Southey to
John May: 1797–1838 (Austin, Texas, 1976),
p. 62. BACK
 Sir William Drummond (c.
1770-1828; DNB), classical scholar, poet
and diplomat; Charge d’Affaires in Denmark 1800-1801,
Minister-Plenipotentiary in Naples 1801-1803 and
1807-1808, and Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in