113. Robert Southey and Margaret Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 6 November [1794]

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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 1: 1791-1797, Edited By Lynda Pratt

113. Robert Southey and Margaret Southey to Thomas Southey [brother], 6 November [1794] ⁠* 

[section by Margaret Southey begins]

My Dear Child

I received your last the day after you wrote it and should have answered it before could I have said any thing to the purpose Robert was then in Bristol and I was in hopes he would have had some money if so he would have sent you some — how ever I must let you draw on me for 2 or 3 Guineas more then that I cannot answer I wish I could but I am my self much embarased — I suppose you got your Brs last letter in which he told you of his departure from your aunts all to gather it is a fine kettle of fish I have got Hary Harry at home now she is as you may suppose very angry — I wish we were all safe in America for I am heartily tired of my present situation — My House [1]  is tolerable full at present but I shall soon lose part of them — your letter distresst me very much was I in a situation you should not want money but you know how I am embarased R is now with me and is hurt it is not in his power to do something for you —

you will not Exceed 3 Guineas and let it be at seven days sight I hope this will Come in time for you to get your things washed — your aunt Mary has been with me near a fortnight she is looking out for a situation — let me hear from you as soon as you get this — your aunt M and Peggy join with me in Love

yours affectionately

M Southey

Bath Novbr ye 6th

[section by Margaret Southey ends]

Would we were in America! we shall form a most delectable society!

poor Shad leads a fine time in the Green. I am a great monster a bad man & an ugly Christian there. Tom I feel the full conviction of rectitude & pity those who execrate me.

Dear Tom — I am unable to send you any cash yet. am in hopes ere long.

Hardy [2]  has been tried for high treason — his trial lasted eight days & he was acquitted.

our American <scheme> goes on right well. Burnett is with me & sends fraternity.

[MS torn]ald [3]  Holcroft & Godwin [4]  the three first [MS torn]n in England perhaps in the world highly approve our plan.

I am writing a tragedy on my Uncle Wat Tyler [5]  who knockd out a tax gatherers brains & then rose in rebellion.

our toast to day was

May there never be wanting a Wat Tyler whilst there is a Tax gatherer.

Fare thee well.


* Address: [in Margaret Southey’s hand] Mr Southey/ Aquilon Frigate/ Torbay/ post paid
Stamped: BATH
MS: British Library, Add MS 47890. AL; 4p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 85–86 [in part; Southey’s section only reproduced]. BACK

[1] Margaret Southey ran a boarding house at 8 Westgate Buildings, Bath. BACK

[2] Thomas Hardy (1752–1832; DNB). BACK

[3] Probably Joseph Gerrald (1763–1796; DNB). BACK

[4] Thomas Holcroft (1745–1809; DNB) and William Godwin (1756–1836; DNB). Robert Lovell probably met one or both of them during his visit to London in autumn 1794. BACK

[5] Southey liked to joke that he was a collateral descendant of Wat Tyler (d. 1381; DNB), one of the leaders of the Peasant’s Revolt. Southey’s play Wat Tyler was written in summer–autumn 1794, but not published until it appeared without his consent in 1817. BACK

Published @ RC

March 2009

Places mentioned

College Green, Bristol (mentioned 1 time)