1657. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 18 July 1809 *
My dear Harry
Major Chamberlain  of the 24th has written to me from Lisbon, to say that Edward was then a private in that Regiment, – that he would endeavour to get him a commission in some Portugueze battalions which he was organizing, & to which he expected to be appointed Colonel, that Colonel Drummond  of the 24th would assist him in this endeavour, & that Lord John Fitzroy  would pro furnish him with his necessary equipments. – A few days after this letter comes one from Edward himself to tell me he was a Lieutenant & Adjutant in the Port. Reg of Oliveira, & that he obtained it by his own good conduct! – not does he mention one word of these officers who raised him from the ranks, & equipped him. – The same intelligence which Major C sent me, he sent also to Dalrymple the surgeon, of Norwich,  thinking his letter might fail of finding me – I have of course written to thank him, & sent my letter to John May that it may reach him free.  When Mary writes to her father  I should be obliged to her if she would beg him to make my respects to Major Ch. (if he happens to see him) – express my thanks to him, & likewise say that I have written to express them myself, – this is a fit sort of precaution in case my letter should be as long kicking to windward as his has been. God knows what this precious youths adventures have been since he was in the Northampton Militia! He writes from Abrantes, tells me he has 8 Shillings a day, & that his regiment is to be the advanced guard of the P. army when it enters Spain. Never had man more chances for redeeming himself than he has had, – but I confess I am altogether hopeless about him. There is a species of moral derangement as well as of intellectual madness, – an idiotcy of the heart; – a deficiency of the moral sense, & this is his case.
Almost ever since my return I have had my obstinate summer catarrh upon me. Losh turned me over at Newcastle to a Mr Doubleday  to show me the town & as we were peripateticating, who should we meet but Mr Adamson, whom who may be called A-dam-son of the Muses. By his guidance we got on the old Castle. Our old acquaintance Mr Turner  dined with us. I got off at one the next day, & was well pleased with the road to Carlisle which lies thro a striking country for the greatest part of the way. On the Wednesday I walked to Heskett to breakfast & reached home about two o clock, being so fresh after my nine & twenty miles, that I should could have marched on another stage with great ease & comfort.
Danvers has been here about ten days, & we minutely expect Clarkson who is to stay here ‘one day & a half’. The Liddells  made their appearance duly & I sent them to Waswater, but I did not see the females of the party. Walsh  & his poney are not yet arrived. We have had Sharp here, & Dickinson  the Member for Somersetshire, a schoolfellow of mine whom I had not seen for seventeen years. A Cambridge fellow with his pupil has also been here, whom Charles & I met the next day in their gig & picked up a pocket full of Methodistical Tracts which they were dropping along the road, – as seed by the way side. 
I perceive that an abridgement of Francisco Alvares  is inserted in Purchas, – to reabridge it would therefore be useful useless but do you examine whether or no it be much shortened (Purchas is in the Bishops Library) – for it in that case one might advise Longman to give a full translation, & translating is of all work the easiest. – Some leisure hour I will write to you vehemently about the Crusades, – being assured that you can in no way add so materially to your present enjoyment & future happiness, as by having some work of importance in hand, & some pursuit of a higher nature than the ordinary ones of the world. You are well situated for books, – many of those which are of most importance being at hand, & you may make the whole skeleton of the work with your present stock of languages; – it will be time enough at the end to incorporate Arabian documents, if any of importance remain untranslated.
Miss Wood  informs us that Mrs Peachy by the last accounts was confined to her bed, & the physicians had desisted from giving her any thing except laudanum. No doubt she is at rest ere this. [MS obscured] am glad they were not here last summer, but in spite of the slow weening the Island will always be to me a melancholy place, & the ‘what has been’ will frequently come across me in moments of enjoyment upon yonder Lake, to sadden what is! 
God bless you
July 18. 1809. Keswick.
We are likely to have a cousin in the course of next month
 Probably William Turner (1761–1859; DNB), Unitarian minister of the Hanover Square chapel, Newcastle. Turner was a teacher and scholar, a founder of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society, and one of James Losh’s circle. BACK
 Francisco Alvarez (c. 1465–1541?) was a Portuguese missionary and explorer, who published in Lisbon in 1540 an account of his travels entitled Yerdadera Informacam das terras do Preste Joam. It was translated into English and included in part 2 of Samuel Purchas (c. 1577–1626; DNB), His Pilgrimage, or Relations of the World (1625). BACK