2354. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 23 December 1813 *
Keswick. Dec. 23. 1813.
My dear Cottle
I should have a feeling of self-reproach if I were not immediately to write to you, not for the vain purpose of offering consolation which you will gain draw from the best – the only source, – but to assure <you> that neither distance, xx nor lapse of time will ever prevent me from taking a xxxxxxxx a deep interest in whatever concerns so old & so dear a friend. – Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord!  I am far enough myself on my journey to look often to the end of it, & to think of rejoining those who are gone before.
Remember us (I speak for Edith & myself) most kindly to your sisters & to Robert, – if, as I suppose, he be with you. This is not a time for saying more, – but I know that at such a time you will be pleased at recognizing my hand. Pray write to me as soon as you can. I shall be anxious to hear from you.
And believe me my dear Cottle
now & ever
Your old & affectionate friend