3506. Robert Southey to Edward Moor, 4 July 1820 *
Keswick. 4 July. 1820.
I take the first opportunity after my return home to thank you for the very interesting & valuable papers with which you have entrusted me;  & to assure you that I will take use them with that discretion which it is equally my duty & my desire to observe. Indeed you will readily perceive that in using private materials it would be at once useless & improper to refer to them as my authorities, – useless because the reader who should be desirous of comparing my statement with those authorities can have no opportunity of doing it; – improper because it might seem like a wish of transferring to others that responsibility which ought to rest wholly upon myself. I shall therefore acknowledge in the preface whatever favours of this kind I have received, but in no instance specify in the body of the work, the specific documents from which it has been drawn, except where those documents are before the public. 
After a long absence, & so hurried & restless a course of life (continually moving from one place to another) that I had not at any time after I received your packet leisure to acknowledge & thank you for it, as I ought to have done, I am now just returned to the quiet of my own home.  My work will now be sent immediately to press, & I shall not leave home till it is fairly compleated, unless any unforeseen accident should call me away.
With many thanks for your obliging & important communication
I have the honour to remain
with much respect
yours truly & thankfully
 Southey’s recognition of his sources was less specific than he suggests here: ‘For the private sources of information which have been open to him, the author must content himself here with making a general acknowledgement’, History of the Peninsular War, 3 vols (London, 1823–1832), I, p. vi. BACK