743. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 19 December 1802

743. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 19 December 1802 ⁠* 

Dear Cottle

Hearing from your sister [1]  that you will be here next week I write to beg you will bring with you Smiths [2]  copy of Rowley [3]  xxxxxxx, which I left with the other Chattertoniana. You will probably bring the Chatterton [4]  also for I suppose it must be ready. I shall be obliged to you also for the sheets of Amadis [5]  that are printed. My eyes have been so weak that I have lost a full month & was not sorry Mr Biggs travelled so slowly on his part. now I trust they are recovered, & once more I am escaped the curse of idleness.

I shall have something to shew you when we meet. Amadis takes up too much of my time – I made my agreement without the documents – stipulating to abridge English – & have found it necessary to use black letter Spanish instead. thus has the job altered from what any body could have done, to what scarcely any one but myself can do. I have history [6]  to shew you. some little Madoc [7]  – & part of another romance, [8]  building upon the base of Hindoo belief. we are all tolerably well – Madam Margaret grows bravely & sprawls so like a frog that I verily think she could swim.

farewell –

God bless you

yrs affectionately

R Southey.

Sunday 19 Dec. 1802.


* Address: To/ Mr Cottle/ Crane Court/ Fleet Street/ London/ Single
Postmark: B/ DEC 20/ 1802
Watermark: crown with initials KG
Endorsements: Decr 1802; 167 67
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public Library. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Joseph Cottle had three living sisters in 1800: Mary (c. 1772-1839), Ann (c. 1780-1855) and Sarah (d. 1834). BACK

[2] Possibly Thomas Woodroffe Smith (c. 1747-1811), a wealthy Quaker merchant, who lived at Stockwell Park, Surrey, near the Bedfords. In 1789 he married, as his second wife, Anne Reynolds (dates unknown) of Carshalton. BACK

[3] Probably Thomas Tyrwhitt (1730-1786; DNB), Poems, Supposed to have been Written at Bristol, by Thomas Rowley and Others, in the Fifteenth Century (1777). BACK

[4] Southey and Joseph Cottle, The Works of Thomas Chatterton (1803). BACK

[5] Southey’s translation of Amadis of Gaul (1803). BACK

[6] Southey’s unfinished ‘History of Portugal’. BACK

[7] Southey had finished a fifteen-book version of Madoc in 1797-1799. He was revising it for publication, but it did not appear until 1805. BACK

[8] The Curse of Kehama (1810). BACK

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