1430. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, [mid-March 1808] *
My dear Tom
If you knew or could conceive the endless succession of hard work, hard walking & engagements to which I am subject in this detestable city, you would rather wonder at my writing at all than that what I write should be so short, so hurried & so unsatisfactory. It seems as if I had been years in London, every minute has been so busy.
I shall escape about this day fortnight by Gods blessing. There is luckily no occasion for going to HHouse, my Uncle having brought over all the books I wanted,  except one, which will probably be found at the Museum.  – The maps are in Arrowsmiths  hands, I have gutted nine volumes of the Peruvian Mercury,  & packed up thirteen tea chests of books. six or eight more will compleat that labour, & I begin to see an end to my work.
This place as usual gave me a severe cough, which however is now wearing off. Among my other occupations is that of sitting for my picture. I had not the conscience to return without telling Edith that there was a miniature painted for her at last. 
My Uncle will probably be at Bristol before me. I shall let you know when I leave town, & also when I set my face towards Bristol, – but pray let me have the earliest news of your goings-on. Remember me to Danvers, – I can stay but three days at Bristol, & instead of abusing me for xx so short a visit he ought to consider it as a proof how highly I value it – when I go so far for it.
God bless you
 Aaron Arrowsmith (1750–1823; DNB), cartographer of Soho Square, London, renowned for his 1790 large chart of the world. Among Arrowsmith’s other productions were A Map Exhibiting All the New Discoveries in the Interior Parts of North America (1795 rev. 1801, 1802, 1804), Chart of the South Pacific (1798), A New Map of Africa (1802). BACK