653. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, [28 January 1802] *
My dear Danvers
I did not receive your letter till yesterday evening. to George I shall immediately write, advising him, unless any situation quite to his liking should occur, to ship himself for Bristol. poor fellow – I will do what I can for him, but God knows my power is not much & I see no end to embarrassment after embarrassment. the first & most promising scheme is to tow him after that good ship the Rickman. he can certainly do the business of a comms. accomptant in a public office, & Rickman will assuredly have the inclination to serve him. If that fails (for the papers speak of a change in Irish administration)  we must either apprentice him, or look out some clerks place. It was a rare fortune that gave me this years salary from Corry. else I know not how I could have weathered it. with the year it will end – & I shall endeavour to get some birth abroad – Spain – Italy – Egypt – anywhere to be warm. I am sorry now that my Uncle is leaving Portugal. he returns too late to render his relations comfortable – & perhaps I may be settled at Lisbon when he has abandoned it.
We are well lodged. Edith still ill, with the worst of all possible colds in addition to her other complaints.  Mrs Lovell much disordered by vexation. the old man  has taken offence at my letter, which was certainly a very proper & respectful one. he has sent Robert back to his grandmothers,  & seems disposed to cast him upon chance-charity. I have written to Joseph Lovell,  who I suppose will put him to school, even if his other relations do nothing. I do not yet decide upon the old mans meaning as he is too angry to be understood. but if he be the scoundrel which I suspect him, he had better agree with Dr Bradford  by the year, for by the Lord I will fret him into a perpetual fever. he shall spend more than the 40 £ that he allowed his sons widow & child, in saline draughts.
Coleridge must certainly work for Stuart, because Stuart bears his expences & they are by no means trifling ones. Poole is with him – in spite of his own conversation, & even his own belief, he likes London. its company suits him, & you know how he wants all the stimulants that society can afford him.
George Burnett shall have the half-crown whenever we meet. did you suppose that He would have time to buy the tickets?  he was all hurry & bustle & dawdle while in London, & after all went off in a chaise – the coaches went at 6 & 1/2 past ten in the morning.
Maurices  bill is more moderate than expected. thank him for me when you pay it. If no unforeseen demand come upon me I shall be able to clear off my Bristol debts in April. doubtless my mothers bill for medicine there will be sent to me – but I cannot pay all – my Uncle will do what he can I well know. God bless him – he is an excellent good man, who has all his life been drained in this way by his relations.
* MS: British Library, Add MS 47890. ALS; 4p.
Dating note: Dated by reference to the preceding and succeeding letters to Danvers of 26 January 1802 (Letter 652) and [started before and continued on] 6 February  (Letter 654). BACK
 Probably the brother of Robert Lovell (Southey’s late brother-in-law) and therefore the uncle of the child Robert Lovell, whom Southey was attempting to persuade the Lovells to provide for (see Lovell family). BACK