3743. Robert Southey to Antoine André Bruguière, Baron de Sorsum, 30 October 1821*
Keswick. 30 Oct. 1821
My knowledge of the French language is not such as would justify me in forming any opinion of a translation into that language, except as far as regards fidelity. In looking at your version, with that of Mr le Ch. d’A…  I perceive that each has occasionally preserved some images and expressions which in the other are either altered, or omitted. Hence I conclude that as what has appeared too minute, or too strong to Mr le Ch… has not appeared so to you, and vice versâ, the difference in our national taste is less than is commonly represented.
It cannot but be gratifying to me that this poem should have obtained notice in your country, and have been thus by two versions nearly in the same time, introduced to so wide a public. – In the first ages of our literature we drew largely from France; and if my wishes and example might avail, men of letters in both countries would treat each other with courtesy, and cherish, as far as they are able, those feelings of mutual respect and good-will, which ought to exist between two such nations, for the honour of both, and for the good of mankind.
I have the honour to remain,
with much respect,
your obliged and obedient servant
* Address: A Monsieur/ M. Bon de Sorsum/ Caen/ France
Postmark: E/ PAID/ 2 NO 2/ 1821
Seal: red wax; arm raising aloft cross of Lorraine
MS: MS untraced; text taken from Voir A. Chérel, ‘Autour de Bruguière de Sorsum’, Revue de Littérature Comparée, 7 (1927)
Previously published: Voir A. Chérel, ‘Autour de Bruguière de Sorsum’, Revue de Littérature Comparée, 7 (1927), 157–158. BACK
 Antoine André Brugière, Baron de Sorsum, Roderick, le Dernier des Goths (1820), a translation of Southey’s Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814); no. 2697 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK