3058. Robert Southey to [Robert Eyres Landor], 27 December 1817

3058. Robert Southey to [Robert Eyres Landor], 27 December 1817⁠* 

Keswick 27 Dec. 1817

Dear Sir

Immediately upon receiving your letter, I have by this nights post written to Messrs Longman; – if they are willing to publish the book [1]  (& I can see no reason why they should not) you will most probably receive an answer from themselves.

I had a letter from your brother three days ago, – he is more out of humour with the Ambrosian Library, [2]  – or rather <with> the Librarians than I was; – perhaps this may be because Becker [3]  who complained to him of his treatment there was a German, & therefore less likely to be treated with attention at Milan than an Englishman would be. – It would not surprize me if the amusements of Como were to be brought forward ere long for public discussion, – & the Scudiere the Knight & the assassin to enjoy their deserved celebrity in this enlightened country, [4]  & become as popular as Buonaparte & Mr Hone! [5] 

Believe me Sir

faithfully & respectfully yours

Robert Southey.


* MS: National Art Library, MS Forster 48 D.32 MS 49. ALS; 1p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Landor’s Idyllia Nova Quinque Heroum atque Heroidum (1815). He was dissatisfied with the edition produced by Joseph Munday (c. 1773–1844). Longmans, however, did not publish the book. BACK

[2] The Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the main library in Milan, opened in 1609. Southey had visited on 14 June 1817 on his continental tour. BACK

[3] Possibly Albert Gerhard Becker (1770–1843), German classical scholar. He had complained to Landor about the difficulty of using the Biblioteca Ambrosiana’s collections and that the library even lacked a catalogue. BACK

[4] Landor had given Southey a rather confused account of the scandal concerning another expatriate resident of Como, the estranged wife of the Prince Regent, Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1768–1821; DNB), detailing the insolent behaviour of Bartolomeo Pergami (1783/4–1842), her major domo, whom Caroline claimed had been made a Knight of the Order of Jerusalem in 1816 and with whom she was rumoured to be having an affair. The Princess’s behaviour was the subject of much gossip and in 1820 the government unsuccessfully introduced a Bill of Pains and Penalties to dissolve her marriage. BACK

[5] Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821; Emperor of the French 1804–1814, 1815); and William Hone, who was acquitted of blasphemous libel after three trials held 18–20 December 1817. Southey coupled these two men with Princess Caroline as heroes of the radical opponents of the government. BACK

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Keswick (mentioned 1 time)