2072. Robert Southey to John May, 4 April 1812
2072. Robert Southey to John May, 4 April 1812 *
Keswick. April 4. 1812
My dear friend
I am perfectly ashamed xx at finding it possible that in a matter of business I should have committed such a blunder, – forgotten it I had not, but had supposed April was the month for payment instead of March.  Thank you for this kindness among many others – I shall be able to replace the sum, & also to remit you 100£ toward the discharge of my debt, from the Register  of this year, – which is more than half printed, & will probably appear in June, – th at least if it be delayed beyond that time it will not be by me.
A Memoir of Mr Walpole  will be in time, – if no time be lost about it. – but as it must appear as a Memoir (for the Chronicle is printed, & the list of deaths is a mere list, it should contain something more than an account of his private merits: how far the history of his public conduct may be divulged, you best know. All I can say is that in remembrance of some civilities receivd from him & Mrs W.  – as well as from that kind of feeling concerning Lisbon, which now begins to be a melancholy one, & which you can very well understand, I should not only be willing but gratified by showing him this mark of respect to his memory. the politics of his time form precisely that part of the hist: of Portugal with which I am least acquainted. But with respect to one matter which was of considerable importance at the time, & must always be so while we have factories in Catholic countries, (that of the attempt to admit xx Catholics into the factory)  I possess my Uncle’s papers. – I should take this opportunity of making the funeral oration of the factory,  – will you therefore have the goodness to transcribe for me that dedication of Tindals which you once pointed out to me in a volume of his Rapin.  – You may perceive that in the act of replying to your proposal, the xxx sketch has formed itself in my mind. –
My volume for 1810  will be rich in Spanish history. It employs me closely. Remember me to Mrs May
Yrs ever affectionately
Coleridge has left us, & is I suppose by this time in town where he will soon commence a course of lectures at the West end. 
* Endorsement: No. 157. 1812/ Robert Southey/ Keswick 4th April/ recd. 7 do/ ansd. 13 do
MS: Brotherton Library, University of Leeds. ALS; 2p.
 John May had given Southey advice on insurance policies, so possibly Southey had forgotten to pay the premium due on his policy. BACK
 Robert Walpole (1736–1810), Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Portugal, 1771–1800. Southey had been asked to write his life. It was not published. BACK
 British merchants who were Catholics were not allowed to join the British Factory in Lisbon – a subject which caused some controversy in the 1780s and 1790s. BACK
 The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1810 had formally abolished the British Factory at Lisbon, but it was not finally wound up until 1825. BACK
 Nicholas Tindal (1687–1774; DNB), historical writer and translator. He produced a fifteen volume translation of Rapin de Thoyras’s (1661–1725) History of England (1725–1731) and a Continuation of Mr. Rapin’s History of England (1744–1745). The ‘dedication’ might be a reference to Tindal’s address to Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707–1751; DNB), in volume 2 of the second edition of the History (1732). This was reprinted in Gentleman’s Magazine, 3 (1733), 356–357, where it was commended for not ‘offering the false Incense of Adulation’, but expressing itself in ‘Plainness and Truth, which is becoming a Freeman and an Englishman.’ The Prince rewarded Tindal with 40 guineas and a gold medal. BACK