644. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 27 December 1801 *Sunday 27. Dec. 1801 –
My dear Danvers
My Mother is in a wretched state. today a little better – yet still so diseased in her bowels that thex possibility of recovery is very small – & so weak that Carlisle thinks she if she lives – she will always be an invalid. she has been delirious – that symptom is gone – she now keeps her bed – rising only to have it made – & unable to rise without assistance. for my own part I do not expect her recovery – it seems to me so little like miracle as x not to be within reach of hope – . & Edith also is very unwell – miserably unwell – & in a state of miserable depression. Of course I now go out as little as possible – & at home I have no other comfort but what my good old folios afford me, & the totally forgetfulness of all present circumstances.
I do little – a mere nothing – my mornings are fiddle-faddled away with Mr Corry in sheer idleness – at home I am up & down to my mothers room – & as often as I can sit down – someone interrupts me. still my reading goes on – & some little I contrive to historianize.  the tree grows so slow that it ought to be an oak.
Forget not when George returns to send the catalogue.
One quarter of my engagement with Corry is expired – to a second year it is impossible that I should extend – I waver in my plans where to think of settling – for beauty & for oeconomy Keswick pleases & suits me – but it is a long way off! – to Bristol you are my only tie – something depends upon my Uncle – his library will be a loadstone from which I must not stray too far. –
In May I suppose we move for Ireland – I shall try to make a holyday month & see you at Bristol on my way. In one way I like the prospect before me – inasmuch as there appears little danger of a second condemnation to imprisonment in London.
Our love to Mrs Danvers. I have great hopes of a mild winter – she will feel its benefit – & I am feeling it –
God bless you.
I had nearly again forgotten. – if you have not got rid of that yellow waistcoat of which we bought one each the night before I left Bristol for Lisbon – keep it for me. mine is gone at the pockets – but Edith says if she has yours she can make mine new again.
Miss Barker has made me a black velvet cap to keep my poor ears warm.