1384. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 30 November 1807

1384. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 30 November 1807 ⁠* 

My dear Uncle

You have sent me the wrong letter, – one written to Falmouth concerning your portmanteau &c. This however will not occasion any delay in forwarding those things to you as the direction which you give is left imperfect, & would have been of no use.

I am far too joyful to feel much disappointment as this baulk – as it may be called. Our weather has been dreadful, & we have been looking daily for news of the convoy with great anxiety. – Harry I trust is in was in the convoy with you, – yet I expected he would take his passage in a Liverpool ship.

How long do you stay in town, x where do you go when you leave it? My journey to London must be determined by your plans. I did not think of setting out till after Ediths confinement, which will be some time in January, [1]  – yet if it suited you I could start at once, & return before it. My home will be at Rickmans, as usual, & he is ready to receive me at any time.

I have half a volume of Brazilian history which requires little more than transcription to be ready for the press. [2]  There is evidently no time to be lost, & as evidently no reason why we should not secure the whole profits of a book on which nothing is risqued. I can borrow money for printing it. My bookseller is now making search for Thevet [3]  & Claude d’Abbeville, [4]  – & if they should not be procurable in London I will send to Paris for them. I am more at a loss for materials concerning Paraguay after Cabeça de Vace [5]  & Schmidel [6]  leave off.

If you xx are inclined to see how the Cid [7]  comes on, you have only to write a note to my printer – Mr Pople – Old Boswell Court – Strand, & he will send you the sheets. The introduction cannot be put together till I <have> looked thro Cesiri; [8] – & I wish also to read that book of Pastorets upon Mahomet Zoroaster & Confucius, [9]  which is still in London.

Tom is here, drea sadly annoyed by hӕmorrhoids, which he has to a dreadful degree, – but not otherwise an invalid –  [10] 

God bless you


Nov. 30. 1807.


* Address: To/ Rev. Herbert Hill/ with Wm Burn Esqr/ 9. Saville Row/ London/ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial] E/ DEC 3
MS: MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Emma, Southey’s third daughter, was born on 9 February 1808. BACK

[2] The first volume of Southey’s History of Brazil was published by Longman in 1810. BACK

[3] André Thevet (1516?-1592), Singularitez de la France Antarctique (1557). BACK

[4] Claude d’Abbeville (dates unknown), a French Franciscan missionary to Brazil, and author of Histoire de la Mission des Pères Capucins en l’isle de Maragnan et Terres Circonvoisins (1614). BACK

[5] Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (c. 1488/1490-c. 1557/1559), explorer of South America, whose account of his travels was first published in 1541 as Relacion; in later editions it became known by the title Naufragios. BACK

[6] Ulrich Schmiedel (?1510–1579?), a German mercenary in the service of Spanish conquistadors who travelled up the river Plate from Buenos Aires into the interior of Peru and Bolivia. Schmiedel was the author of Viaje al Río de la Plata (1534–1554). BACK

[7] Southey’s Chronicle of the Cid, from the Spanish (1808) comprised translations from the Crónica particular del Cid (1593), with additions from the Crónica de España of Alphonso the Wise (1541) and Romancero e Historia del Cid (1632). BACK

[8] In his translation of the Chronicle of the Cid, from the Spanish (London, 1808), p. x, Southey referred thus to this book: ‘Van anadidos muchos nunca vistos, compuestos por un Cavallero Cesario, cuyo nombre se guarda para mayores cosas. Anvers, 1566. This volume contains forty-one ballads of the Cid, scattered through it without any regular order’. BACK

[9] Claude-Emmanuel Joseph Pierre, Marquis de Pastoret (1755–1840), Zoroastre, Confucius et Mahomet Comparés (1787). BACK

[10] Thomas Southey had been forced to leave his ship as a result of his health; see Southey to John May, 12 August 1807, Letter 1352. BACK

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