1591. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 1 March [1809]

1591. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 1 March [1809] ⁠* 

My dear Rickman

The Printer has sent me a proof xxxx xxxx straight thro the post against all fitness, & I inclose it to you because it belongs to the most amusing chapter in the volume, [1]  – if you see any needful amendment make it, & put it unpaid, into the Twopenny Post, directed to Mr Pople <Printer>, Old Boswell Court – Strand. This & the chapter immediately following, (on which I am now at work) will contain every thing that is known concerning the most numerous of the old Brazilian tribes. As I was about to write to you on the subject of the map I thought it worth while to put the sheet in, not for the sake of franking it (for they all go back under cover to Longman the M P. – )

There will be so much to alter & so much to add that I do not think this map ought to serve. [2]  Do you think it is best to cut off the xxxxx knuckle of the shoulder of mutton, just below the Plata ([MS torn] of which I have no business) for the sake of increasing the scale? – I will correct as many of these names as I can, & the return of the map, – thxx xxx that they may be inserted in my outline; – it will xx be easier then to add the rest. But it must travel to my Uncle, for his mss. maps will enable him to correct many which more than I can do. – The different tribes must be marked in their situations – how will it be best to distinguish them? a + will be the fit mark for a Missionary settlement. Maps of the several Captainships x xxx <had better> not be given, unless I could give xxxxxx all – & how many my Uncle has I do not know. If he writes a statistic account of Brazil that will be a fitter place for them.

We gain nearly a third by cutting off the knuckle. There is no occasion to fear any thing more than the few principal towns N. & E. of Brazil & Paraguay, – with the rivers & mountains.

I have written to Bedford to review the Cid, [3]  – he xx will do it quite as well as it would otherwise be done, – & as for any points of Spanish information he may apply to his in that respect – better. – Do if it be possible let Aaron hunt out Dobrizhoffer, [4]  he says he has corrected many errors on his maps, – & he is to be believed for the confession which immediately follows – that very likely; his own may in other points require correction also. But I think he is more to be relied upon than most his brethren, being a far abler man.


Wednesday. March 1st? – or Feby 29?. –


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ 1 Mar 1809
MS: Huntington Library, RS 138. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: date from JR’s endorsement; dated in RS’s hand ‘March 1st or Feby 29th’ BACK

[1] Of the first volume of Southey’s History of Brazil (1810). BACK

[2] Southey was designing a map of Brazil; the finished map was included in the second volume of his History of Brazil (1817). BACK

[3] For this letter, see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 28 February 1809, Letter 1590. BACK

[4] Martin Dobrizhoffer (1717–1791), Historia de Abiponibus, Equestri, Bellicosaque Paraquariæ (1784). Southey eventually owned a copy of this work, no. 843 in the sale catalogue of his library. It was translated by Sara Coleridge (with Southey’s encouragement), as An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay (1822). BACK

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