227. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, [c. 25 June 1797]

227. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, [c. 25 June 1797] ⁠* 

My dear Cottle

You mistake me concerning the wine. I want only the great hamper & the carpet. there is wine in the hamper & I shall not want the two dozen till we return to town. you directed to London & your letter followed me here.

I have found Chapelain [1]  by the industry & kindness of John May — a pupil of Coleridges brother whom I became acquainted with at Lisbon, & who at every meeting rises higher & higher in my esteem & love. strong terms for one who knows enough of mankind to distrust & despise them. I found a valuable Spanish book likewise in town which will be inestimable in my new edition. Dr Aikin tells me my poems are gone in London. I must now write up to give directions for sending Chapelain & shall then immediately set seriously to thoroughly correct my Joan of Arc & make it a work worthy of myself & of her.

When you come (& the sooner the better) I shall be obliged to you to bring me a little box of books from my mothers. the Salisbury Coach by which you will come passes thro Bath — xxxx for my xxxxxx xxx the box is not a large one — & unluckily has my interleaved Joan in it.

I met your ci-devant minister Mr Hughes [2]  in London.

We will make you as comfortable here as we can. you will not mind an ugly bedroom a-la-mode Espagnol in conveniences. it is by Ediths desire I say this — for judging of you by myself, I feel that you will be satisfied & happy with seeing me.

Do you know my brother Tom’s adventures? Phillips [3]  has requested me to get a particular account of them for the Magazine. [4]  “The Rhedycenian Barbers” [5]  is Grosvenor Bedfords — & a most incomparable parody it is.

A long walk on the beach has made me horribly hungry — dinner is ready — & I hope the Post will call for my letter. apropos. direct

at Mrs Barnes’s [6] 

Burton near Ringwood


yrs affectionately

R Southey.



* Address: Mr Cottle/ High Street/ Bristol
Endorsements: Robt. Southey June 1797; 30 (82)
MS: Columbia University Library. ALS; 4p. (c).
Dating note: Dated from internal evidence, in particular Southey’s reference to his intention to request that John May send him the copy of Chapelain he had located; see Southey to May, 26 June 1797 (Letter 228). BACK

[1] Jean Chapelain (1595–1674), La Pucelle ou la France Délivrée (1656). Southey included a summary of it in the second edition of Joan of Arc, published in 1798. BACK

[2] Joseph Hughes (1769–1833; DNB), a Baptist minister, who in the early to mid 1790s worked as a teacher and assistant pastor at the Baptist Academy and Broadmead Baptist Church in Bristol. During his time there he met Joseph Cottle and moved in literary circles. He took up a post in Battersea, London in July 1796 and remained there until his death. In 1799 he was involved in the formation of the Religious Tract Society. BACK

[3] Sir Richard Phillips (1767–1840; DNB), proprietor of the Monthly Magazine. BACK

[4] For an account of Thomas Southey’s ‘adventures’, see Southey’s letter to the editor of the Monthly Magazine 4 (August 1797) (Letter 241). BACK

[5] Grosvenor Charles Bedford’s poem was published in the Monthly Magazine, 3 (May 1797), 382 under the signature ‘P.H.’ (‘Peter the Hermit’, a signature Bedford had used during his schooldays). BACK

[6] Mrs Barnes (first name and dates unknown) was Southey’s landlady at Burton in 1797. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Burton (mentioned 1 time)