3322. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 25 June 1819

3322. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 25 June 1819⁠* 

Keswick. 25 June 1819

I have the pleasure to inform you that on Wednesday last I was delivered of the H. of Brazil, & am as well as can be expected. [1] 

On Wednesday the last portion of MS. was dispatched to Rickman. The press is still four or five sheets astern, & what with additional notes, index & contents a month or five weeks will elapse before the volume is ready for deliverance. You will let Longman know, tell me how many copies you want, – I recollect those for the D. of B. [2]  Sir Charles S. [3]  & John Bell.

Two packets of notes go by this nights post. All that was supererogatory I have of course laid aside because of the size of the volume, – which is such that it must be priced at three guineas. I must soon put together two more volumes of Omniana [4]  for the sake of diminishing my overgrown collections, – in that way they will turn to some account, & prevent me from forgetting many things which I have learnt. – All that I have now to do is to draw up tables of the money, weights &c, (for which your great Memorandum-Book stands me in good stead) & to make a list of Portugueze words occurring in the text, for the use of those readers who do not understand the language. [5] Rickman advised this

I have now to bring up my Ways & Means, which like those of the nation are somewhat disordered by the unusual exertions that I have lately made. There will be time to get ready a paper for the QR before Rickman <can> summons me to Edinburgh, [6]  – & also time to proceed with the second volume of Wesley, [7]  tho not to compleat it. This however will soon be done, when I gird up my loins to the task. – But I shall from this time look upon the War [8]  as my main business, – in two years I expect to carry it thro the press, & I hope to lay by the whole sum which I am to receive for it.

My household is not as I could wish it to be. Edith still complains of her breast, – & Edith May has shooting pain in the side & back, which tho unconnected with cough or any feverishness, are yet enough to make me apprehensive of ill. – I have ailments myself about which I have written to Harry, – this northern journey is likely to brace me for a time, – such things always have that effect upon my constitution. There is yet a great deal of work before me, which I should like to finish before I go to rest. It would require ten years to do this, – & who can calculate upon ten minutes?

How is your rheumatism? – love to my Aunt & the children –

God bless you



* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Worting/ Basingstoke/ Hampshire.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 28 JU 28/ 19
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, WC 182. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), III, p. 879, bore the final date ‘Keswick, June 23d, 1819’ – the Wednesday before this letter was written. BACK

[2] John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford (1766–1839; DNB), Herbert Hill’s patron at Streatham. BACK

[3] Sir Charles Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Rothesay (1779–1845; DNB), Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Portugal 1810–1814, Ambassador to France 1815–1824, 1828–1830, Ambassador to Russia 1841–1844. BACK

[4] Southey created two manuscript volumes of ‘Collections for the History of Brazil’, no. 3154 in the sale catalogue of his library, but these were not published. BACK

[5] ‘Explanation of such Portuguese, Spanish, and other Foreign Words, as are used in the Text’ and ‘Table of Weights, Measures, and Money’, History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), III, pp. 899–900. BACK

[6] Southey visited Scotland, in the company of John Rickman and Thomas Telford, from 17 August until 1 October 1819; see Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819, ed. Charles Harold Herford (1929). BACK

[7] Southey’s The Life of Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism (1820). BACK

[8] Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

People mentioned

Rickman, John (1771–1840) (mentioned 4 times)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)
Bell, John (c. 1747–1819) (mentioned 1 time)
Hill, Catherine (1775–1848) (mentioned 1 time)
Telford, Thomas (1757–1834) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)