820. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 12 August 1803 *
My Bibliopolæ  have taught me a lesson which ought to have been beat into my numbskull long ago. – that in dealings between man & man there ought always to be writings & proper legal suspicion. they are frightened by the stagnation of their trade during this panic & write to desire that I will not “incur any expences on the Bibliotheca.”  All this would be very well if I had not a week ago returned a definite answer about the house at Richmond. which is probably now actually upon my hands. Cursing & swearing however are against the third commandment  & it would be a fools trick to fret my guts to fiddle-strings, musical as they are already. I am in a hobble & must get out how I can. it will be no very great exertion to fit Madoc  for the press by Xmas. meantime I will try & procure subscribers privately not by printed proposals. if I can get off an edition of 500 in 4to thus at 25/ I shall clear about 250£. if that fails, at any rate I can raise the 150£ upon the poem which Longman & Rees were to have advanced me for furniture. this spider-trade has at least one advantage – fall which way I may I have still a thread to hang by.
Tis fortunate that since my return I have given but little time to this poor Bibliotheca, & stuck close to history  instead, so close that another fortnight will bring me to the end of my materials. please to send me the Chronica do Principe D Joaõ.  Chr. d El Rey D Joaõ 2.  & also Chro. d El Rey D. Manuel.  they are all bound alike, small 4tos. & stand in that bookcase next to the side board. a sheet of brown paper lined with Acts of Parliament will be sufficient package. I am half thro Joam the Second  reign in another chronicle.
Burneys book  & Clarkes  are before my tribunal. Clarke is a wretched dog. he talks of the village Aldea in Africa – not knowing that Aldea is Portugueze for a village.  as this man promises to write six more such quartos at £3 - 8 – each, I think I am in duty bound to use the scourge.
Burnett – George II I should say – sets out for London next week. I wrote to Carlisle about him, & he who does good to every body that falls in his way has promised to make him a surgeon as far as the Hospital  goes without expence. he shall bring the books for C Burney. the treatise for navigation  is by some Martin Cortes – the second that was ever published – if the old Cyclopædia  says true. it must doubtless be curious.
Poor Margaret is very unwell. so feverish that we get no sleep anights, & very little rest by day. Altogether I feel so very well inclined to be out of temper that I am sure I am out of spirits.
Tom is off at last for the Cove of Cork. thank God!
August 12. 1803. I am 29 this day.