285. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, [19 January 1798]

285. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, [19 January 1798] ⁠* 

If there were room here, or if I had time at present, I should reply somewhat fully to the first part of your letter. I can however sincerely congratulate you on the intelligence it gave me.

I have never told you how very unhandsome I think the conduct of Wordsworth & his sister to Charles Lloyd, respecting the passage which he has omitted, I never heard of so mean & overbearing an act of vanity. [1] 

You say nothing of Rose [2]  & the 2nd Volume. [3]  the second half she[MS torn] from <this> [MS torn] begin the poem. I wish to let the 2nd Vol. be begun by another printer, if it were only to let Biggs know that I think he has behaved very ill to us.

I have not received the Hurri[MS torn] [4]  because I mean to apply for Lloyds novel, [5]  & it is not well to make many of those applica[Ms torn]

[MS torn] have writt[MS torn] some lines to my Cousin Margaret at Bath, which I think you would like. in my next volume of poems, a large department will be under the title of Metrical Letters. [6]  & I have planned several which I much wish to begin. at present the analysing Lope de Vegas most famous, & indeed best, poem takes up some time. [7]  it is in 20 huge books – but I see land. this book is from the Redcross Library. [8] 

The books I have reviewed are The Minister. [9]  xTrifles in Verse & xCritical Trifles by Stewart. Christs Hospital. First Flights. Vales of Wever. xWilliam & Ellen. Scath of France. Trans. of Catullus. of the Kisses of Bonefonius. Cheethams Poems. xThe Church. Trip to Portsmouth. [10]  & Britains Genius. [11]  with two selections The Leaser, & the Temple of Apollo. [12]  I have x marked those already printed last month. God bless you.

yrs affectionately

R Southey.



* Address: To/ Mr Cottle/ High Street/ Bristol/ Single
Postmark: D.J.A./ 19/ 98
Endorsement: (101) 117
MS: Letter is written on corrected proof sheets of Southey’s Joan of Arc, 2nd edition, 2 vols (Bristol and London, 1798), I, pp. 57–64. Bristol Reference Library, B20873. ALS; 2p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 158–159. BACK

[1] The meaning of this passage is obscure. It possibly refers to something in Lloyd’s novel, Edmund Oliver (1798). BACK

[2] The Bristol printer and bookseller John Rose (fl. 1781–1803). BACK

[3] Southey was working on the two-volume edition of his Poems published in 1799. Volume 1 was a third, revised edition of the collection originally published in 1797; volume 2 was a new addition, and contained poems written since 1797. BACK

[4] William Gilbert, The Hurricane: A Theosophical and Western Eclogue (1796). BACK

[5] Charles Lloyd, Edmund Oliver (1798). BACK

[6] Poems, 2 vols (Bristol, 1799), II, pp. 85–88 contained one ‘Metrical Letter, Written from London’. It was addressed to Southey’s ‘Cousin Margaret’. BACK

[7] Probably Jerusalem Conquistada (1609) by Lope Felix de Vega Carpio (1562–1635). BACK

[8] Southey had been using Dr Williams’s Library, London, established by a bequest from Daniel Williams (c.1643–1716; DNB). BACK

[9] Southey’s review of Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805), The Minister: a Tragedy. In Five Acts. Translated from the German ... by M. G. Lewis (1797) appeared in Critical Review, 22 (January 1798), 103–104. BACK

[10] Southey’s reviews of the following appeared in Critical Review, 21 (December 1797): Charles Edward Stewart (c. 1751–1819), A Collection of Trifles in Verse (1797) and Critical Trifles, in a Familiar Epistle to John Fisher (1797), 463; Eaglesfield Smith (c. 1770–1838; DNB), William and Ellen, A Tale, (1796), 463–464; John Sharpe (1769–1859), The Church, A Poem (1797), 460–463. His reviews of the following were published in Critical Review, 22 (January 1798): Eaglesfield Smith, The Scath of France: or, The Death of St. Just and His Son, A Poem. To Which is Added, Sir Mordac and Balma, &c. (1797), 101; Thomas Skinner Surr (c. 1770–1847; DNB), Christ’s Hospital, A Poem, (1797), 102; John Gisborne (1770–1851; DNB), The Vales of Wever, a Loco-Descriptive Poem (1797), 100–101; A Trip to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight from London, in Rambling Verses (1797), 103; Belinda; or, the Kisses of Joannes Bonefonius of Auvergne (1797), 103; John Heyrick Jnr (d. 1797), First Flights, containing Pieces in Verse on Various Occasions (1797), 102–103; The Poems of Caius Valerius Catullus, in English Verse (1795), 65–67; Robert Farren Cheetham (1777/8–1801), Odes and Miscellanies (1796), 84–86. BACK

[11] Christopher Anstey (1724–1805; DNB), Britain’s Genius; a Song: to the Tune of ‘Come and Listen to My Ditty.’ – Occasioned by the Late Mutiny on Board His Majesty’s Ships at The Nore (1797), reviewed by Southey in Critical Review, 22 (March 1798), 354. BACK

[12] Southey’s reviews of the following appeared in Critical Review, 22 (February 1798): The Leaser, being a Selection of the Best Poetic Effusions and Translations of that Immortal Bard, Alexander Pope (1797), 231; William Hodgson (1745–1851; DNB), The Temple of Apollo: being a Selection of the Best Poems, from the Most Esteemed Authors (1797), 231. BACK