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

2186. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 30 November 1812 ⁠* 

Keswick. Nov 30. 1812.

My dear Harry

I thought I had written you an account of your new niece’s arrival. her name is Isabel, – a name of especial fitness, seeing that Dr Bell is her godfather. Your service we shall be glad of next time, – as for it you know I hope for many happy returns, being still nine short of the perfect number.

Duppa lives in Great Marlborough Street, No 51. I forget what name is on the door – Woodford or some such. There however you will find him, in a room which is as well worth a shilling to see, as half the shilling sights in London.

I hope to see you at the end of April, but you will not get a bed for me, for while I am in town I shall be expected to take up my abode at my old quarters. Rickmans house has been my London-home for ten years; it is a very convenient one, – there is Bedford next door, franking in regular order of the day, & the river close at hand for water conveyance to the city. I feel perfectly at home there, & most of those persons with whom I am int familiarly intimate frequent the house.

The Omniana [1]  should have been sent to you at Gooch’s. If they sell I shall publish two more volumes without delay, having abundant materials: but the xxx success of any book is too much matter of accident ever to calculate upon. I am getting on with the Register, [2]  – with the Life of Nelson [3]  which is half thro the press, – & with my poem. [4]  Bedford has three books of this, & will have the rest as they are transcribed (alternately) for the printer. I have desired him when he has compleatly done with them to consign them over to you: thinking your Lordship may xxxxxx peradventure find it convenient sometime to make yourself agreabeau by showing a portion to some Lady who “smit with the love of song,” [5] xxxx more so if she should be smit There are more ways of being agreabeau in London, than there are in xxxxx Durham. An odour of literature will be of more use there than an odour of fox-hunting; & you will find a little manuscript-poetry like stolen waters [6]  among the Blue-stockings. Indeed a man who aspires to the height of reputation should never submit his verse to the filthy fingers of a printer; he should let them be transcribed by fair Ladies, & circulated as a favour from hand to hand.

Papagaio [7]  is well, & has taken up his abode at the Senhoras. The rascal has never let me hear him scream.

I shall remember you in my readings. – If you wish to see Coleridge, he is in your neighbourhood – 71. Berners Street. [8]  It is your business to see all persons who are talk-about-able , & so you should call upon him upon that score. When I come to London I will take you to some of my Thousand & One friends acquaintance.

God bless you

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ Dr Southey./ 28. Queen Anne Street/ Cavendish Square/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 3 DEC 3/ 1812
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, 1996.5.89
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Omniana, or Horae Otiosiores (1812). BACK

[2] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1811 (1813). BACK

[3] Southey’s Life of Nelson (1813). BACK

[4] Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[5] John Milton (1608–1674; DNB), Paradise Lost (1667), Book 3, line 29: ‘Smit with the love of sacred song’. BACK

[6] Proverbs, 9:17, ‘Stolen waters are sweet, and bread in secret is pleasant’. BACK

[7] The Portuguese word for ‘parrot’. BACK

[8] Home of John James Morgan. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013