2572. Robert Southey to [John Murray], 14 March 1815

2572. Robert Southey to [John Murray], 14 March 1815 ⁠* 

14 March. 1815.

My dear Sir

I have this moment received your parcel & am not a little mortified at the contents of your postscript. I wrote to Mr Frere immediately upon the receipt of his letter to express my admiration of his epitaph, & to thank him for it. [1]  He had given me no address, & therefore I inclosed my reply to Mr Gifford, that he might direct it for me. On my part I have been wondering meantime at not having heard from Mr Frere for in this ill fated letter I told him that I had procured a copy of the Poema del Ferr Poem of Ferran Gonzalez [2]  (which I heard him in 1808 regret that he had neglected to do) – & added that if he had not seen yet seen it, I would send my copy, thro you. I am truly vexed that the miscarriage of this letter should have made me appear guilty of great rudeness in a quarter where I am truly desirous of showing the respect which I feel.

Whether the letter was lost on its way to Mr Gifford, or after he forwarded it I know not. Possibly it may have been mislaid by him & forgotten – In that case an inquiry may recall it to his mind. And I should rather the old letter were recovered, – because its date would show how with what promptness I acknowledged what I felt to be an honour.

You shall hear from me as soon as possible on other matters-

believe me my dear Sir

yrs very truly

Robert Southey.


* MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, KESMG 1996.5.189. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Frere had sent an epitaph to be annexed to a future edition of Southey’s Life of Nelson. It was not attached to the third edition of 1825. For Southey’s reply; see Southey to John Hookham Frere, 16 January 1815, Letter 2545. BACK

[2] The ‘Poem of Fernan Gonzalez’, a 13th-century account of the life of Fernando Gonzalez, Count of Castile 931–970. The poem survived in one 15th-century manuscipt in the royal archive at Escurial. A copy was sent to Southey by Manuel Abella; see Southey to John Rickman, 9 October 1814, Letter 2484. BACK

People mentioned

Frere, John Hookham (1769–1846) (mentioned 2 times)
Gifford, William (1756–1826) (mentioned 2 times)