2583. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 7 April 1815

2583. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 7 April 1815 ⁠* 

7 April 1815 Keswick

My dear Harry

I have an opportunity of sending a portion of Brazilian MSS. [1]  by Mr Senhouse, who will leave it xx convey it to you, – do you transfer it to Streatham. I am getting on stoutly with this opus magnum & am now in one of the most interesting parts of it – that which relates to the Jesuits of Paraguay.

You misunderstood me about Jeffrey. It was never my intention to engage in controversy with him, or enter into any defence of myself against him. But to take his reviewal of Wordsworths Excursion [2]  as the debateable ground, & upon that text, expose his contradictions & his consummate ignorance of the subject upon which he writes, & his rascalities of misrepresentation &c – & this not in the tone of a controversialist, but of one who is exposing & chastising a pretender. At present the newspapers have something of more consequence to fill their columns. [3] 

I shall now finish my Inscriptions [4]  forthwith, & publish them, as seasonable things. There can be no peace for Europe till the French army is destroyed: it becomes therefore highly proper that that army should be represented in its true & proper colours. When shall I visit London? I cannot tell. For the next six weeks I must be employed tooth & nail upon some Quarterly ways & means. After that time I shall be free, but not willing to move at such a season from this country. I heard from Tom that if that my Uncle has added a Viscount to his House of Peers.

We are all barking with coughs here, except myself. But the fine weather is come –

God bless you



* Address: To/ Dr Southey/ 28. Queen Anne Street/ Cavendish Square
MS: Bodleian Library, Don. d. 3. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] History of Brazil (1810–1819). Volume 2 was published in 1817. BACK

[2] For Jeffrey’s review of Wordsworth’s The Excursion (1814), see Edinburgh Review, 24 (November 1814), [1]-30. It began: ‘This will never do’ ([1]). BACK

[3] Southey had considered publishing an attack on Jeffrey in the newspapers; see, for example, Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 8 February 1815, Letter 2550. BACK

[4] Southey’s series of Inscriptions on the Peninsular War. Only 18 of the projected 30 poems were completed and they were not collected together until they were published in Poetical Works, 10 vols (London, 1837–1838), III, pp. 122–156. BACK

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