708. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, [started before and continued on] 19 August 1802 *
That sort of owl light when one <I> can neither see to transcribe a fair page, nor to compile a rough one – does well for a letter where it all dribbles as John Bunyan calls it thro the pen, – straight from the old moveable at the left breast.  – I wish you dear Tom – to feel that while you are onshore your home is with me – & I am mistaken if you will find not soon find pursuits enough & amusements enough to make all you lose all feeling of idleness. Of Cumberland I think very seriously – & have almost indeed decided to go there. if the climate should affect me – it is only going to Lisbon two years earlier than my history  would call me there – & the passage from Liverpool is a good one. As for friends I have but one here who is indeed worth a post.  but the Lakes resemble Bath in that – you see some of your friends or other unexpectedly every season. beauty of country – is something with me – & expence with every body. now I can have as much as I want – furnished – in a good house & well furnished – for twenty guineas a year, with a large study – & a spare bed-room. this is not all – the difference of provisions is very great. even in my expenditure so great that were I so disposed I might keep a horse with the saving. now Tom what say you – with a boat on the Lake – & a fowling piece for idler hours – books – bottles & backgammon for wet weather – & a mountain-poney for the sunny days – what say you to the mountains?
Thursday 19 August. 1802.
I have been prevented from finishing the letter by the unexpected appearance of a friend from London – Duppa, who has taken up my time right pleasantly. last night he went to be the guest of another house & I take a half hours leisure this morning before I set out to carry him to Leigh Woods.
____ The verbs are all underlined. 
You will not I think be much puzzled with the ballad. with the help of my underlining the grammar will stand you in better stead than the dictionary.
In about three weeks I shall know how to dispose of myself – & x trust to be able to set off with you for Wales. think you if you think the proposal will be civilly answered – before I leave this place finally – I will offer to visit your Uncle. I see no reason why it should be misunderstood or refused. meantime give my respects again.
All well in whom you are concerned – that – is myself – Edith – Danvers – & Mrs D – Mary & Bella  & Joe  & the Cat. Smut  is discarded, her unhappy beauty the cause – as all the dogs in the neighbourhood thoug[MS obscured by binding]proper to lift up their legs against Danvers’s door. We dine at Kings (that is Duppa & I) on Saturday. huzza for a bag full of happiness  I forgot to say – that I have bought a whole lot of books – about fifty in all – for sixpence a piece. fine dung for manure. A Dios! hermaño m[MS obscured by binding] 
* Address: To/ Thomas Southey Esqr/ with John Southey Esqr/ Cottage/ Taunton
Postmark: [partial] STOL/ AUG 20
MS: British Library, Add MS 30927. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 281-282 [in part; verses omitted; dated [August 19 1802]]. BACK
 Southey had already published his translation of the poem in the Morning Post, 21 July 1798, as ‘From the Spanish. Closely Translated, and in the Metre of the Original’:
 i.e. nitrous oxide, or ‘laughing gas’. Its effects on Southey had been described in Thomas Beddoes, Notice of Some Observations Made at the Medical Pneumatic Institution (Bristol, 1799), p. 11; and Humphry Davy, Researches, Chemical and Philosophical, Chiefly Concerning Nitrous Oxide, or Dephlogisticated Nitrous Air, and Its Respiration (London, 1800), pp. 507–509. BACK