1437. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, [March 1808] *
The plain truth is that I have no time to write a longer letter than this note-sheet will hold. You will wonder not to hear of me, & I am wondering in my turn at your silence.
My Uncle is a grown older in his appearance, – but materially better than when he first arrived in England. Yesterday I dined with him at Ld Hollands, where to my surprize we met the the Rehoboam  of Taxation Ld Henry Petty,  Windham  & a round table full of the same party. All the morning I had been unpacking & sorting his books, of which there is a prodigious collection for me, & a good many for you. He dines here to day, & I have scarcely time to dress before he will knock at the door.
This morning I went to look for Neville White, & found only his brother James, – a very fine lad with whom I am exceedingly pleased. No man could have behaved more naturally or better, – All the edition is sold. 
I have been interrupted, & some of the little time left which I had been able to xxx lay by for the purpose taken from me. You know not, – indeed tongue can hardly tell nor heart of man conceive the fatigue which I undergo in this place – My uncle will soon go to Bristol.
God bless you
 Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780–1863; DNB), cousin of Lord Holland, former Chancellor of the Exchequer in the ministry of 1806–1807, in which post he increased taxes and launched an economy drive to pay for the war. BACK