2492. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 22[–23] October 1814

2492. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 22[–23] October 1814 ⁠* 

Keswick. 22 Oct. 1814.

My dear Harry

I was wishing to hear from you, & am well pleased at what I hear, – better indeed in my deliberate & settled judgement than if a higher fortune had fallen to your lot. [1]  – But you may give my love both to Mrs Gonne & Louisa & tell them that I am an enemy to delay in the affairs of this kind: – loss of time is loss of happiness, which of all things in this world is what we can least afford to lose.

You will get a parcel from me by my neighbour Mrs Crothers Dr Stangers [2]  sister. It contains Ld Hollands books which William [3]  may deliver for me some day when he is going to Richmond; & some duplicates which came by mistake in my last parcel from Lisbon, but which my Uncle will not be sorry to possess.

I am busy dens et unguis  [4]  upon Brazil, & also in finishing an article for the Quarterly upon the English Poets, of some length & elaboration. [5]  I have also begun, & but just begun, the introduction to my Tale of Paraguay. [6]  Your opus I shall take in hand in a few days. [7]  In the Rio de Janeiro magazine [8]  I have found something which bears upon it, & will look well in the review, & be introduced with a proper eulogium upon the extensive reviewal of the very learned Doctissimus Doctor.

We staid eight days with Wordsworth very pleasantly, & had one delightful day with Lady Olivia [9]  & Lord Calthorpe, [10]  when we visited Blea Tarn & both Langdales. W. was guide, Edith the Senhora & Lady Olivia & her daughter [11]  were driven in W’s car <converts in tandem)> by John Calthorpe (a sailor); [12]  & Lord C rode rode postilion & for he I was running footman. We went thro roads which never other carriage than carts travelled before, & had a cold dinner in the great kitchen at Elter-Hall.

The Dane whose account of the battle of Copenhagen I quoted, & used to great advantage, is about to translate my life of Nelson into Danish. [13] 



I do not finish this letter so chearfully as I began it. Isabel is very unwell with a bilious attack, & this is now the third evening. – These things almost incapacitate me for any employment.

God bless you



* Address: To/ Dr Southey/ Queen Anne Street/ Cavendish Square/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 26 OC 26/ 1814
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. d. 3. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Henry Herbert Southey was engaged to Louisa Gonne. BACK

[2] The physician Christopher Stanger (1759–1834; DNB). He was a member of a family that owned estates near Keswick. BACK

[3] A servant employed by Henry Herbert Southey. BACK

[4] i.e. ‘tooth and nail’; a contraction of ‘dentibus et unguis’. BACK

[5] The second volume of the History of Brazil (1810–1819), published in 1817: and a review of Alexander Chalmers (1759–1834; DNB), The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper (1810), Quarterly Review, 11 (July 1814), 480–504; and Quarterly Review, 12 (October 1814), 60–90. BACK

[6] A Tale of Paraguay (1825). BACK

[7] Henry Herbert Southey’s Observations on Pulmonary Consumption (1814). Southey’s review did not appear in the Quarterly. BACK

[8] O Patriota, Jornal Litterario, Politico, Mercantil &c do Rio de Janeiro (1813–1814), no. 3641 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[9] Lady Olivia Sparrow (c. 1778–1863), daughter of the Irish peer Arthur Acheson, 1st Earl of Gosford (c. 1745–1807). She married Robert Sparrow (1773–1805) on 14 March 1797. (Sparrow had bullied Southey during their time at Wesminster School.) The marriage produced three children. A religious woman, Lady Olivia was also interested in the education and welfare of the poor. In the 1830s she established schools and encouraged mission work on her estates, helped by the Revd Ridley Herschell (1807–1864; DNB). BACK

[10] George Gough-Calthorpe, 3rd Baron Calthorpe (1787–1851). BACK

[11] Probably Millicent Sparrow (1798–1848). She married George Montagu, 6th Duke of Manchester (1799–1855) in 1822. BACK

[12] John Calthorpe (1793–1816), a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and one of Lord Calthorpe’s younger brothers. He was killed in a riot in Jamaica. BACK

[13] Andreas Andersen Feldborg, A Tour in Zealand, the Year 1802; with an Historical Sketch of the Battle of Copenhagen (1805), which had supplied details for Southey’s Life of Nelson (1813); see Southey to Thomas Southey, 24 December 1812 (Letter 2192) and Southey to John Murray, 19 October 1814 (Letter 2489). Feldborg’s translation does not seem to have been published. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)