702. Robert Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 3 August 1802 *
My dear friend
I do not know where the lines  you enquire about are to be found. perhaps among Butlers Remains  – that is likely enough – perhaps a scrap designed for some unwritten book of Hudibras.  more likely still that they may be a proverb – a common sense truism in doggerel rhyme.
Sir Francis Burdetts  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. 
yours thankfully & truly
Robert Southey.Tuesday August 3. 1802.
 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