1040. Robert Southey to John King, 28 February 1805

1040. Robert Southey to John King, 28 February 1805 ⁠* 

I am proceeding steadily with history [1]  & have done a world of good with as much pleasure as it is possible to receive from a favourite pursuit. The forthcoming of the first volume depends upon Bonaparte; if he will drive my Uncle from <to> England, I may go to Press in the winter; if he will let me cross to Portugal a delay of some years may intervene. As I grow older & feel that I have less of life to spare the wish of travelling lessens, & the comforts of a settled habitation within reach of the friends I love increases upon me in estimation. My health is good, & I have ceased to fear the climate – tho not to dislike it. well-varied studies & a well-governed mind keep the nervous system in order, & that I take to be my weak part; & fear that I have transmitted an over-busy brain to my children. Were you to see a register of such dreams as are worth repeating which I have kept for the last three months you would see how restless an imagination my xxx xxx to has fallen to my share. I wish I had done this ten years ago. They are as wild as Thalaba, [2]  – tho not a waking thought or image has been added. If I do not vary my studies in the course of a day, my sleep is disturbed, – so I neutralize one with another. I see your owl & motto: for my own I mean to take In labore quies  [3]  – borrowed from Garibay, [4]  one of my predecessors in Spanish History.

Keswick Feby 28 1805


* Address: To/ John King Esqr/ Dowry Square/ Hot Wells/ Bristol/ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ MAR 4/ 1805
MS: British Library, Add MS 47891. AL; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The common name for mercury chloride, which was taken for various ailments. BACK

[2] Southey’s poem Thalaba the Destroyer (1801). BACK

[3] Meaning ‘in labour, rest’. BACK

[4] Esteban de Garibay and Zamalloa (1533–1600), author of Illustraciones Genealogicas de los Catholicos Reyes de las Espanas (1596) and Compendio Historial de las Chronicas y Universal Historia de todos los Reynos de Espana (1628), both of which Southey owned. They were nos 3389 and 3390 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

People mentioned

Hill, Herbert (c. 1749–1828) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)