922. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 9 April 1804

922. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 9 April 1804 ⁠* 

Dear Rickman

I trouble you with a letter from Mrs Coleridge to George. you shall of course receive due notice of my coming, which if all goes well, will be by the end of this month.

Thank the Captain for his Letters – the book which he did not send for he is not to consider as his own. It is my Uncles, who lends it, thinking it may perhaps be useful.

I have more in hand than Bonaparte or Marquis Wellesley. digesting Gothic Law, [1]  gleaning moral history from monkish legends & conquering India, or rather Asia, with Alboquerque [2]  – filling up the chinks of the day by hunting in Jesuit-Chronicles, [3]  & compiling Collectanea Hispanica & Gothica. meantime Madoc sleeps [4]  – & my Lucre-of-gain Compilation [5]  goes on at night when I am fairly obliged to lay history aside, [6]  because it perplexes me in my dreams. Tis a vile thing to be pestered in sleep with all the books I have been reading in the day jostled together.

God bless you.


Monday April 9. 1804


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ April 9: 1804.
MS: Huntington Library, RS 55. ALS; 2p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), II, pp. 280–281 [in part]. BACK

[1] No. 3463 of the sale catalogue of Southey’s library was J. A. Llorente (dates unknown), Leyes del Fuero-Juzgo ó Recopilacion de las Leyes de los Wisi-Godos Españoles (1792). BACK

[2] Afonso de Albuquerque (1453–1515): naval officer and second governor of Portuguese colonies in India, which he greatly expanded by conquest and fortification. His feats were celebrated in the epic poem The Lusiads (1572), by Luís Vaz de Camões (1524–1580), of which Southey owned several editions. He also owned an edition of the collection of Albuquerque’s papers and letters, Commentarios do Grande Affonso d’Alboquerque (1774), no. 3165 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[3] The sale catalogue of Southey’s library shows that, at his death, he owned both Balthazar Tellez (1596–1675), Chronica da Companhia de Jesu na Provinca de Portugal (1645–1647) and Simao de Vasconcellos (1596–1671), Chronica de Companhia de Jesu do Estado do Brasil (1663), which were listed as nos 3796 and 3798 respectively. BACK

[4] The poem Madoc, which Southey had written in 1797–1799 and was revising for publication. It was published in 1805. BACK

[5] Southey’s anthology, jointly edited with Grosvenor Charles Bedford, and published with Longman, in 1807, as Specimens of the Later English Poets. BACK

[6] Southey’s projected ‘History of Portugal’, which he never completed. BACK