1390. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 5 December [1807]

1390. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 5 December [1807] ⁠* 

My dear Uncle

The best way of sending books from London here is to ship them for Newcastle, – but it is not advisable to risk them at this time of year, for never a week passes during the winter without some wreck upon that deadly coast. By the time Edith is in bed, which will probably be towards the close of January, [1]  it will be expedient that I should go to town & compleat the introduction to the Cid; [2]  – the body of the work will be printed off by that time, – I desired Pople to send you the sheets. Lady Holland wrote me a note last week announcing some volume of Spanish plays – as on their road to me, & claiming a promise that Holland House was to be my home, – a promise which I took especial care explicitly to avoid. My home will be where it always is at Rickmans. To H. House I shall go for something less than a week; – as much less as possible; – it being a place from whence I cannot go to see my friends, & where they cannot come to see me.

Lady H. is very gracious. She asks me about Espriella. [3]  That book is likely to put my accounts with Longman on a good footing. The first edition will soon be gone. A second will clear me with him, & leave me the profits of the small edition of Madoc, of Palmerin & of the Cid [4]  to look on to, besides every thing <else> which I have in contemplation.

Thevet [5]  may possibly be in De Bry, [6]  tho I rather think not. Claude d’Abbeville [7]  is a xxxx of later date. I will search London thro for them.

When I go to town if it should not suit you to meet me there (tho my going might be regulated by your convenience) – it would be no great elbow out of my way to join you in Herefordshire, – if it were not that I have xxx no place to go to there, since poor Thomas’s death. I halt at Penkridge on my way with Miss Barker. from thence you will see that is it no great distance. I wish we may so arrange it as that you can return here with me – you will see the only place in this world which rivals Cintra for beauty – It is very desirable that you should be with me when I prepare my materials for the press. I have materials also for a volume of travels in Portugal about which I wish to talk with you. They would unquestionably sell & perhaps at this time to a considerable extent –. Indeed I have much to say to you. The time seems to be coming when my labour will be better paid, & after a good deal of up-hill work I believe I am up the hill at last.

God bless you


Dec. 5

I have heard nothing of Harry. here letters of idleness I am as little fond of receiving as he can be of writing, – but I should be glad to know where he is & what his plans are, – He knows that Rickman can at any time get his letters franked.


* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ with William Burn Esqr/ 9. Saville Row/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ DEC 8/ 1807
Seal: [illegible]
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Emma, Southey’s third daughter, was born on 9 February 1808. BACK

[2] Southey’s Chronicle of the Cid, from the Spanish was published by Longmans in 1808. It comprised translations from the Crónica particular del Cid (1593), with additions from the Crónica de España of Alphonso the Wise (1541) and Romancero e Historia del Cid (1632). BACK

[3] Letters from England by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella. Translated from the Spanish (1807). A second edition was published in 1808. BACK

[4] The second, duodecimo edition of Madoc (1807), Palmerin of England; by Francisco de Moraes. Corrected by Robert Southey from the Original Portugueze (1807) and Southey’s edition of the Chronicle of the Cid (1808). BACK

[5] André Thevet (1516?-1592), Singularitez de la France Antarctique (1557). BACK

[6] The collection of travel narratives published by Johan Theodor and Johann Israel De Bry, Peregrinationes (1598–1613). De Bry borrowed illustrations from Thevet’s works, but did not reproduce the texts. BACK

[7] Claude d’Abbeville (dates unknown), a French Franciscan missionary to Brazil, and author of Histoire de la Mission des Pères Capucins en l’Isle de Maragnan et Terres Circonvoisins (1614). BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Holland House (mentioned 2 times)
Teddesley (mentioned 1 time)
Cintra [Sintra] (mentioned 1 time)