3286. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 24 April 1819

3286. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 24 April 1819⁠* 

Keswick. 24 April. 1819.

I have had a dismal house for the last four or five weeks. Edith was laid up with what it was supposed would prove an abscess, – & this prostrated her till the child became so much affected with a cough & cold, that she forgot her own ailments. We hope the child is better, – no fever has attended the complaint, & probably a change of weather will prove more efficacious than any medicines could do. A bitter East wind has been prevailing for the last five days. Ediths tumour is still in the same state, large as an egg & hard, but it would give her no pain were it xx not in a part which makes sitting xxx more inconvenient than any other posture. I am not the better for the uneasiness which all this has given me.

My third volume [1]  will be thicker than I could wish. The Longmen however will price it accordingly & I will not leave any thing undone which it is in my power to do. I have sent off two portions of the concluding chapter, which is a view of the whole country at the time when the history ends. [2]  It will be very long, but very interesting. Perhaps you knew the ABishop of Braga, D Fr. Caetaño Brandam, his Diario das Visitas Kastorzes when he was Bp. of Para is of great use to me. It is printed in the Jornal de Coimbra. [3]  From thence, & from your transcript of the Ouvidor Ribeiros visita, [4]  with the help of Cazals Corografia [5]  I have made out a good account of the Captaincy of Rio Negro. [6]  This chapter gives me an opportunity of inserting many things which were overlooked in their proper place. But I need not acknowledge this. – An Index Maker is at work, – one of Longmans establishment of poor authors. [7]  – I laid the work aside for the last six days to finish off a paper for the QR. [8]  – induced by the only reason which ever has, or ever will make me misemploy pen & paper for such a purpose. Pople however has still about seven sheets of manuscript in his hands, & I shall presently be ready with a fresh supply.

There is a curious blunder in Arrowsmiths great map, – St Ives for Silves. [9] 

It will vex me if I should be too late to find you at Worting, – for I should like to breathe a little Hampshire air. The work before me will occupy a full month, – so grievously has it grown under my hands. But I cannot calculate upon my movements, – as they must needs depend upon the state of Ediths health. I hope however, & begin to think, that by the time my work is done, I shall be able to leave her without anxiety

What a pleasure it will be to feel myself relieved of one burden, – tho it will only be to take up another, – almost of equal weight.

Tom was here this morning with three of his children. [10] 

Love to my Aunt & the children

God bless you


I have the 84th proof sheet on my desk. 672 pages.


* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Worting/ near/ Basingstoke/ Hampshire
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 27 AP 27/ 1819
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, WC 179. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s History of Brazil (1810–1819). The third volume grew to 950 pages and cost £3 3 shillings, while the second volume (692 pages) had cost £2 10 shillings and the first volume (622 pages) only £2 2 shillings. BACK

[2] Chapter 44, History of Brazil, 3 vols (London 1810–1819), III, pp. 696–879. BACK

[3] Caetano Da Annunciação Brandão (1740–1805), Bishop of Belem do Para (in Brazil) 1782–1790, Archbishop of Braga (in Portugal) 1790–1805. His journal of a visitation of his diocese in 1784 appeared in Jornal de Coimbra, 17 (May 1813), 19–55. BACK

[4] Francisco Xavier Ribeiro de Sampaio (1741–1814), ‘Diário da Viagem, que em Visita e Correição das Povoações da Capitania de S. José do Rio Negro fez o Ouvidor e Intendente Geral da Mesma, no ano de 1774 e 1775’, no. 3859 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. This work, by a Portuguese administrator in Brazil, was not published until 1825. BACK

[5] Manoel Aires de Casal (1754–1821), Corografia Brazilica, ou Relação Historico-Geografica do Reino do Brazil (1817), no. 3252 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[6] Chapter 44, History of Brazil, 3 vols (London 1810–1819), III, pp. 709–744. BACK

[7] Unidentified. BACK

[8] Possibly Southey’s article, ‘Cemeteries and Catacombs of Paris’, Quarterly Review, 21 (April 1819), 359–398. BACK

[9] Outlines of the Physical and Political Divisions of South America: Delineated by A. Arrowsmith Partly from Scarce and Original Documents (1811) was the basis of the map of Brazil and Paraguay that Arrowsmith had been commissioned to make for the second volume of Southey’s History of Brazil (1810–1819). Silves was at this time a village in central Brazil. BACK

[10] Tom Southey’s family consisted of Margaret Hill Southey (b. 1811), Mary Hill Southey (b. 1812), Robert Castle Southey (1813–1828), Herbert Castle Southey (1815–1864), Eleanor Thomasina Southey (1816–1835) and Sarah Louise Southey (1818–1850). Still to arrive were Nelson Castle Southey (1820–1834), Sophia Jane Southey (1822–1859) and Thomas Castle Southey (1824–1896). BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)