Printer-friendly versionSend by email

702. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 3 August 1802 ⁠* 

My dear friend

Your letter inclosing the Bills [1]  has just arrived – & I write in haste to acknowledge & thank you & Mr Coleman [2]  – for this – & a thousand other acts of kindness

I do not know where the lines [3]  you enquire about are to be found. perhaps among Butlers Remains [4]  – that is likely enough – perhaps a scrap designed for some unwritten book of Hudibras. [5]  more likely still that they may be a proverb – a common sense truism in doggerel rhyme.

Sir Francis Burdetts [6]  is indeed an important success. it was the test of public opinion in the most important part of the kingdom.

My brother Tom is onshore. he is at Taunton at present – or he would join in remembrances with Edith & myself. we are both well – & what is better – in a few weeks I have the prospect of an increase in family. [7] 

believe me

yours thankfully & truly

Robert Southey.

Tuesday August 3. 1802.

Notes

* Address: To/ Charles Biddlecombe Esqr/ Burton/ Ringwood/
Postmark: [partial] 122/ BRISTOL/ AUG
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public Library
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Money raised by the sale of the goods the Southeys had left behind in Burton. BACK

[2] Unidentified; presumably an acquaintance of Southey from his residence at Burton. BACK

[3] Biddlecombe’s letter has not survived, so the lines cannot be identified. BACK

[4] Samuel Butler (c. 1613-1680; DNB). Two volumes of his Genuine Remains appeared in 1759. BACK

[5] Butler’s Hudibras (1663-1678). BACK

[6] Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet (1770-1844; DNB), had been elected as an MP for Middlesex on 13 July 1802. He was the most outspoken radical in the House of Commons, and his election for a constituency with such a large electorate was taken as a sign of public discontent with the government. BACK

[7] Margaret Edith Southey was born on 31 August 1802. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2011