776. Robert Southey to Barbara Seton [fragment], [28 April 1803]

776. Robert Southey to Barbara Seton [fragment], [28 April 1803] ⁠* 

Throughout the winter I had a complaint of my eyes, which I may fairly estimate at a hundred pounds loss. This was an evil – spring is come & the complaint is better. I have pored over Chronicles till they have made me ten times more in love with Portugal than ever, & I often push on another page that I may the sooner have occasion to return there. This will be in the winter of next year. My Uncle, I hope, is fixed there. He does not at least talk of removing, & the factory have at last raised his salary, which they ought to have done ten years ago. When once I set foot upon Portuguese ground again, I do not soon quit it.         .         .         It would be hard to say how much of my history [1]  is done, so many parts are begun at once & so much miscellaneous matter collected – but I think the full labour of two quartoes is gone thro, tho not one in a straight forward course. I could show you some passages of such fine & noble incident as would make the tears start. God Almighty what a people they were – & what they are come to! Fernam Lopez [2]  the Chronicler whom I am now at work with, is I think a more delightful writer than Froissart [3]         .         .         .        


* MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Ifan Kyrle Fletcher, ‘Robert Southey and Miss Seton’, Times Literary Supplement (1937). Southey’s letters to Seton were advertised for sale in Kyrle Fletcher’s catalogue no. 57 (1936), Item 332. Their purchaser and current location is unknown.
Previously published: Kyrle Fletcher, ‘Robert Southey and Miss Seton’, Times Literary Supplement, no. 1868 (20 November 1937), 896. BACK

[1] Southey’s unfinished ‘History of Portugal’. He did not return to Portugal. BACK

[2] Fernao Lopes (c. 1385-after 1459), Cronica del Rei Dom Fernando o Noveno Rei de Portugal, no. 3829 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[3] Jean Froissart (c. 1337-c. 1405), Chronicles (1373-1400). BACK

People mentioned

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