536. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, 8 July  *
I write a few lines by you. so few that only the opportunity of a private hand could excuse them.
You will find at Congreve a copy of Joan of Arc  which will arrive as soon as you can do. It will be an earlier remembrancer than the Packet could bring you. &, when you see Thalaba, it will serve like a bad drawing – to show improvement.  I am not however ashamed of it.
If you go thro Plymouth & the fleet be there I have a brother on board the Bellona who will show you what is to be seen. Lieutenant Thomas Southey: he is better than the breed of Sailors in general. only send to him in my name, & he will have brains enough in two minutes to see that you are not a mere Lisbon acquaintance.
Tuesday July 8.
Do not fail – or delay – to inform us of your arrival. I will watch all the seeding flowers – & send you my Wall & the Cork Tree  in most accurate painting.
[The first letter I ever received from dear Southey MSlade
nee Barker] 
* Address: To/Miss Barker
MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Robert Galloway Kirkpatrick Jnr, ‘The Letters of Robert Southey to Mary Barker From 1800 to 1826’ (unpublished PhD, Harvard, 1967), pp. 1–2
Previously published: H. Spencer Scott, ‘Some Southey Letters’, Atlantic Monthly, 89 (1902), 36 [in part]. BACK