274. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 19 November 1797

274. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 19 November 1797 ⁠* 

Sunday. 19 November. 97.

My dear Cottle

Tomorrow we leave Bath. I hope never again to enter this house, when my Mother is released from it & comfortably settled, I shall <have> no cause for disquietude.

Why have I had no proof [1]  since Wednesday? examine the weight well, & if a sheet be too heavy, print in half sheets. the direction is C W Williams Wynn Esqr No 5 Stone Buildings. Lincolns Inn. there is no need of a direction to me — as tho I leave you the second book. you shall have the rest in time — but at the rate the printers go on, Another will not soon be wanted.

Robert Hancock [2]  has finished my likeness. it is a fine drawing, but wants the sedition of my countenance. he will take Edith & Lloyd in London. this is not his profession. I wish very much to serve him. — & for these likenesses he will receive nothing. might we not have the print of Joan of Arc engraved? [3]  the expence would be 5 or 6 guineas — I enquired. I would again borrow Ld Carysforts book, [4]  & get a face of better physiognomy from the print there. the book does not want such aid — but it would be serving a young man of merit, who wants assistance.

We were surprized at seeing Mrs Coleridge last night. they think of leaving Stowey.

this week has past unpleasantly — I have done little except write letters. my eyes are weak — indeed useless after candle light begins.

so God bless you. you shall have my direction as soon as I have one to send you. remember me to Robert & your sisters, & Edith

yrs affectionately

R Southey.


* Address: To/ Mr Cottle / High Street/ Bristol
Endorsements: R. Southey/ Nov 19 — 1797; 37 88
MS: Cornell University Library. ALS; 3p. (c).
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Proof sheets of the second edition of Southey’s Joan of Arc, published in 1798. BACK

[2] Robert Hancock (c. 1731–1817; DNB), engraver. Between 1796 and 1798, he produced pencil and chalk drawings of Southey and other members of his circle, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb and William Wordsworth. Commissioned by Joseph Cottle, the portraits are now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. However, Southey’s reference, later in this paragraph, to a ‘young man’ suggests that he might also be talking about Hancock’s son, Robert Hancock Junior (dates unknown), a drawing-master and painter of miniatures. BACK

[3] Robert Hancock’s engraving of Joan of Arc appeared as a frontispiece to the second edition of 1798. BACK

[4] Probably not a book by Carysfort, but one Southey had borrowed from his library. BACK

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