203. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 6 March 1797
203. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 6 March 1797 *
Monday. March 6th 1797.
I have received an order from Mr Peacock for twelve Poems & twelve Letters,  which as they are for country booksellers he takes of course at booksellers price. it is better to get them from Robinson than pay the expence of carriage, & I should have ordered them this morning but that the weather proved wet. he ordered at first 12 poems & only six letters, telling me he hoped on returning from his next journey to give me larger orders. I lent him my own copy of the letters, which he immediately began to read aloud in the adjoining room, so audibly that I could hear. if I may judge by the merriment it excited the Book pleased his auditors hugely, & when he had got to the Lock of Hair he came in again & desired a dozen instead of six. I then showed him my sketches — he is always in a hurry, writes me a letter to Dr Hunter — the murderer of St Pierre  — begging him to give me some information about engravers (with whom his translation of Lavater  connected him) settles it that I shall have a set of plates engraved for a splendid edition of my letters, that it will be proper to engage subscribers, & determines to make this a part of his business & take orders this journey. all this he tells me by letter last night after I was gone to bed, leaves me his direction & sets off this morning, with my Poems & Letters.
now Cottle I am not always in a hurry. he may engage names if he pleases, but I shall write to him & say, that if ever I get a series of views engraved, it will be to publish such a series of poems as I once mentioned to you. for it would be ridiculous to hold out the prospect of a better edition of a work just published; & on the contrary the poetical volume would be connected with the other.
I shall get his books from Robinson tomorrow — if dry.
I feel inclined to complain heavily of you Cottle. here am I, committing grand larceny upon my time, in writing to you & you, who might sit by your shop fire & write me huge letters, have not found time to fill even half a sheet. as you may suppose I have enough of employment. I work like an negro at law, & therefore neglect nothing else. for xx he who never wastes time has always time enough. Madoc is in a state of rapid progression. I have about thirty lines to conclude the first book. this however must be deferred till I have borrowed certain books, as those thirty lines must concenter much Bardic & historical knowledge. I shall therefore begin the second book this evening. tell Danvers his copy is compleated as far as the work has advanced, but that I shall not send him the first book till I can read the two together, because he is already well acquainted with the old one.
When will the fine copies be finished? let me have them with all convenient speed, & send, at the same time, a common interleaved one.
I have yet many of the London lions, or literati, to see. George Dyer is to take me to Mary Hayes, Miss Kristall Christall, Dr Gregory, & Taylor the Pagan  my near neighbour. you shall have my physiognomical remarks upon them. I am in daily expectation of hearing from you & receiving Foxs  books, not forgetting the profiles of himself & his family.
I hate this city more & more; — tho I see little of it. you do not know with what delight I anticipate a summer in Wales, [MS torn] & I hope to spend the summer of the next year there, [MS torn] talk Welch most gutturally. I shall see Meirion this week, whose real name is William Owen. he is the Author of the new Welch Dictionary.  a man of most uncommon erudition, & who ought to esteem me for Madocs sake. fare you well. remember me to all friends.
I shall write in a few days to Joseph Lovell, & direct the letter to be left with you. parental tyranny is a h dreadful. Ediths love to you & Robert, & your sisters &c.
God bless you.
* Address: For/ Mr Cottle/ High Street/ Bristol/
Stamped: [partial] BR
Endorsements: Southey/ March 97; 20 (76)
MS: Houghton Library, bMS Eng 265.1 (17). ALS; 4p.
Previously published: Joseph Cottle, Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey (London, 1847), p. 202 [in part]. BACK
 Southey’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal (1797) and Poems (1797). BACK
 Henry Hunter (1741–1802; DNB) had published a translation of Jacques-Henri Bernadin de St Pierre’s (1737–1814) Études de la Nature in 1796. BACK
 Johann Kasparr Lavater (1741–1801), Swiss poet and physiognomist. Hunter had published an English translation of his Essays on Physiognomy in 1792. BACK
 The writer Mary Hays (1759–1843; DNB); the poet Anne Batten Cristall (c. 1769–1848; DNB); the author and biographer of Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770; DNB), Dr George Gregory (1754–1808; DNB); and the philosopher and translator Thomas Taylor (1758–1835; DNB). BACK