201. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, [c. 17 February 1797]
201. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, [c. 17 February 1797] *
|P.||369. line 2. after “the lives of men” add <insert> “from various dangers”|
|370 — 10. after. considers — insert — that.|
|374. in the 5th line of the Spanish for Cuijas — read — cujas.|
|377. 6 — for She’s — She is.|
|—— 14 — for Zaydo — Zayda|
|— last but one — for troche — trochee|
|378 — 20 — after letra place a comma for a full stop.|
|—— 22 — for signem — siguen.|
|380 — last but 3. for Azargue — Azarque.|
|382 — 12 — for careel — carcel |
A tolerable list of blunders from a single sheet, of which two leaves have already been cancelled! I have only to beg you will correct it carefully, send one fine copy to Danvers & the rest to me. have you sent the letters & poems to George Burnett?
My dear friend my correspondence with you will not for the future be filled with corrections & directions. I am now entered on a new way of life, which will lead me to independance. you know that I neither lightly undertake any scheme, or lightly abandon what I have undertaken. I am happy because I have no want, & because the independance which I labor to attain, & of attaining which my expectations can hardly be disappointed, will leave me nothing to wish.
I am indebted to you Cottle for the comforts of my latter time. in my present situation I feel pleasure in saying thus much
As to my literary pursuits, after some consideration, I have resolved to postpone every other till I have concluded Madoc. this must be the greatest of all my works; the structure is compleat in my mind, & my mind is stored likewise with appropriate images. should I delay it, these images may become fainter — & perhaps — age does not improve the Poet. thank God Edith comes on Monday next — I say thank God — for I have never (since my return) been absent from her so long before, & sincerely hope & intend never to be <so> again. on Tuesday we shall be settled — [MS torn] Wednesday my legal studies begin in the morning, & I shall begin with Madoc in the evening. of this, it is needless to caution you to say nothing — as I must have the character of a Lawyer — & tho I can & will unite the two pursuits no one would credit the possibility of the union. in two years the poem shall be finished; & the many years it must lie by will afford ample time for correction.
Mary has been in the Oracle.  some of my sonnets in the Telegraph, with most outrageous commendations. 
You know I suppose that we are to lodge at Mr Peacocks. I am very glad he could receive us, because it is pleasant to be with persons who will not impose upon us, & because the situation secures me from intruding visitors. I have declined being member of a literary club, which meets weekly, & of which I had been pre-elected a member. surely a man does not do his duty, who leaves his wife to evenings of solitude; & I feel duty & happiness to be inseperable. I am happier at home than any other society can possibly make me. with Edith I am alike secure from the wearisomeness of solitude, & the disgust which I cannot help feeling at the contemplation of mankind, & which I do not wish to suppress.
Do you know that Muir has made his escape from Botany Bay.  Hamilton Rowan  at the expence of 500 pounds procured an American Ship bound to China to call there, a[MS torn] tho driven by stress of weather. the intelligence comes in a[MS torn] letter from Margarott to Hardy,  & is certain. I [MS torn] not seen it in the newspapers.
I have cause of complaint against you for writing me so very short a letter. were you doing as you would be done by? I shall have no correspondents in your part of the world but you & Danvers. I have promised to send him Madoc, book by book, as it is compleated. he will lend it you, & there its circulation stops.
Here is a great deal about myself, & nothing about those whom I have seen in London & of whom we have all heard in the country. I will make a report upon them in my next letter. remember me kindly to your sisters & family.
I do not forget Old Bristol — & look forward with pleasure to the distant period when I may visit you, & Mr Fox & Mrs Fox, & the dog & the parrot  & the rest of my acquaintance
God bless you
* Address: For/ Mr Cottle/ High Street/ Bristol./ Single
Stamped: [partial] GE St/ Westminster
Postmark: FE/ 17/ 97
Endorsements: Southey/ Novr 1796; 12 (65)
MS: Hispanic Society of America, New York. ALS; 4p. (c).
Previously published: Joseph Cottle, Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey (London, 1847), pp. 199–200 [in part, and misdated ‘November 1796’]; Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), I, pp. 303–304 [in part, where it is dated February 1797]; Catalogue of the Collection of Autograph Letters and Historical Documents formed between 1865 and 1882 by Alfred Morrison, 6 vols (London, 1883–92), VI, pp. 157–158 [in full, but misdated ‘17 November 1797’]. BACK
 The proofing corrections are for Southey’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal, published by Joseph Cottle in 1797. BACK
 Southey’s ballad, ‘Mary’, was published in the Oracle, a London newspaper, on 11 February 1797. BACK
 A number of Southey’s poems, including some sonnets and a variant version of ‘The Race of Banquo’, appeared in the London daily newspaper the Telegraph (1794–1797) in early 1797. It is very possible that Southey contributed to the paper on a regular basis, but it is impossible to estimate the true extent of his contributions, as few issues of the Telegraph survive. BACK
 The political reformer Thomas Muir (1765–1799; DNB) had escaped from Botany Bay in February 1796. He eventually made his way to France. BACK
 Archibald Hamilton Rowan (1751–1834; DNB), Irish nationalist and landowner, whose involvement in radical politics led to a two-year prison sentence in January 1794. He escaped from Newgate jail, Dublin, a few months later, eventually settling in America. He was permitted to return to Ireland in 1806. BACK
 The political reformer Maurice Margarot (1745–1815; DNB), who was transported to Australia in 1794, and Thomas Hardy (1752–1832; DNB), the founder of the London Corresponding Society. BACK