3071. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 28 January 1818*
28 Jany. 1818
My dear Tom
What surprizes me is that L. should sell the B. Pilot  at that price, – not that they should be worth no more. But when the sale of a book is decidedly over, they think it better to sell the remaining copies for waste-paper than to give them warehouse room, – & in reality it is necessary to do this. Nevertheless I think your consent should have been asked before they went so very low.
As for coming to you it is quite impossible. It is no exaggeration to say that I have more to do than any other three writers ever undertook in one time, – & loss of time with me is loss of every thing, for I have no crops growing while I keep holyday. In the course of a week I will send you 25£, – which indeed I should have done if your xxxxxx letter had not arrived. Would that I could mend your affairs in any more permanent way than by xxxx such supplies from time to time – You may be assured that I have tried more than I ever should have done for myself. While this resource is sufficient all is well, & while it lasts, – but depending as it must do not on my life alone, – but on my health, – & on my chances in the lottery of literature I am fully sensible how precarious it is.
You can do nothing with your West Indies  till you <have> worked at it for some weeks in London. I am sure that a series of extracts illustrative of the history of manners &c in this country would be exceedingly likely to have a good sale, – & I think it likely when my third volume  is compleated that you might make a volume of translations from my manuscriptx travels &c. For the former you can lay a foundation from the stores in the dark-library, & if you will come here I can set you to work from morning to night. – These are more than straws to clutch at, – both if I mistake not, good planks.
I have so much to read as well as write, that it is hardly credible how little time I have for letter-writing, – & heavy arrears upon my hands. M. Arthur has been on its way to you this week,  in a dress much uglier than boards, but which has xx the advantage of being stronger.
God bless you. My spirits are not very good, & never again will be. They are just equal to the ordinary demand upon them, but with nothing to spare. The least part of them used to be seen; now they are like a Dublin tradesmans stock, – all in the shop window.
Love to Sarah
 Longmans had remaindered The Brazil Pilot; Or, a Description of the Coast of Brazil (1809), a work written by Manuel Pimentel (1650–1719) and translated and augmented by Herbert Hill and Thomas Southey. It had originally been sold for one guinea. BACK