1810. Robert Southey to John Mitford, 30 September 1810 

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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1810. Robert Southey to John Mitford, 30 September 1810 ⁠* 

Keswick. Sept. 30. 1810.

Sir

I should be very glad if any opinion of mine could be useful to a man of letters in any way; – to any friend of Mr Heber  [1]  I am happy to have an opportunity of shewing my sense of the civilities which I have received from him, – but one poet needs no introduction to another. When Hesiod says

φθονεει και αοιδος αοιδιο [2] 

he only means ballad singers.

Mr Longman will transmit your MS. [3]  to Keswick, & you shall receive an xxxx honest opinion upon it, – whatever it may be in other respects. But there is little encouragement for poetry in these days.

I am Sir

Yrs with respect

Robert Southey


Notes

* Address: To/ The Reverend John Mitford/ Benhall Parsonage/ Saxmundham/ Suffolk/ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial] 4 OC 4/ 1810
Seal: Red wax; design illegible
MS: Beinecke Library, Osborn C18th Bound MSS, Osborn fc 76, vol 2, item 151
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Reginald Heber and Mitford had been close friends since their time at Oxford University. However, Mitford was also a ‘friend’ of his brother, Richard Heber (see Southey to Heber, 9 April 1811, Letter 1900), so Southey is probably referring to Richard Heber, who had lent him so many books. BACK

[2] Hesiod, Works and Days, line 26: ‘minstrel envies minstrel’. BACK

[3] Mitford’s Agnes, the Indian Captive, a Poem in Four Cantos, with other Poems (1811). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013