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

2360. Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 5 January 1814 ⁠* 

Keswick. Jany. 5. 1814

The books from Lisbon arrived this morning, by way of Liverpool I conclude from the cost of carriage & from the manner of {the} direction. They came in a box curiously packed with patterns of printed cottons, enough in quantity to make a patch-work quilt. I neither know who forwarded them to me, nor to whom I am to make payment.

I wish you were here to overhaul this cargo. Here are five portions of a Collecçaõ de Noticias para a Historia e Geografia das Nações Ultramarinas que vivem nos Dominios Portuguezes, ou Iles suo visinhas. [1]  This collection consists in great part of translations from Ramusio, [2]  but has some very valuable original articles: it contains an Epistle of Anchietas “quamplurimarum rerum naturalium quæ S Vicentes (nunc S Pauli) provinciam incolunt, sistens descriptionem. [3]  Another portion contains Jornada do Maranhaõ fecta o anno de 1614. [4]  This is the Journal of which Berredo has given the substance in his history [5]  & which in a note (p. 424) I have ascribed to Diogo de Campos. [6]  The Portugueze Editor confirms my judgement. The last of these original documents is the Livro de Duarte Barbosa, – of which a manuscript has at last come to light. [7] 

I am rejoiced to see how the Academy [8]  flourishes in its labours, – tho the appearance of their books is by no means improved by the frequent apparition of a stamp upon the margin, with causa publica on the top & 5, 10, or 20 {or 40} reis at the bottom. It seems to be occur upon every sheet, & disfigures the books as much as it enhances the price.

I have nearly read thro one of the volumes of the Hist. of the French Invasion & the Restoration by Jose Accursio das Neves. [9]  So far as I have proceeded, which is to the Emigration, it is as good a book as it possibly could be having been written & published in Portugal, – perhaps I may not think as favourably of the author when he comes to relate the prowess of his countrymen. But thus far the manner & matter are both exceedingly good, & I shall no doubt find the whole exceedingly useful.

Your neighbour Antonio Ribeiro [10]  is a large contributor to the 7th vol. of the Memorias de Litterature, & has supplied the whole first part of the 8th, – all which is yet published. [11]  – The Jornal de Coimbra [12]  will enable me to make out another list, now that you have found out a way of getting such commissions executed.

Here seems to be an exceedingly valuable work in three volumes – Dissertações sobre a Historia e Jurisprudencia Ecclesiastica & Civil de Portugal, by Joam Pedro Ribeiro. [13]  This is one of the Academys publications, & about half consists of Provas. Indeed the Academy is as active as xxxx in its best days.

Some of the smaller works on the list have not made their appearance, – of those which have the only blank is the Segredo Revelado [14]  which turns out to be a compilation from Barruels book. [15]  But the Sebastianistas by the same author, Jose Agostinho de Macedo will prove a prize. [16]  This is a subject upon which I have a great deal of curious matter, & it will form one of the most original chapters in my history. [17] 

Our December has been beautiful so as to exceed the memory of the oldest people in this country. Not a speck of snow upon the mountains till the new year commenced, & the weather so little cold, tho perfectly clear, that it only wanted foliage to appear perfectly like summer. But winter is come upon us now in all its bitterness, frost, snow, & cutting winds.

Remember me to my Aunt & to the three Bears. [18] 

RS.

The Post {has} just brought me a letter from Koster announcing the books.


Notes

* Address: To/ The Reverend Herbert Hill/ Streatham/ Surry
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 3 JAN 3/ 1812; [partial] 10 o’Clock/ 1812
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Vols 1 and 2 of Collecçaõ de Noticias para a Historia e Geografia das Nações Ultramarinas que vivem nos Dominios Portuguezes (1812–1813); no. 3273 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[2] Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1485–1557), Navigationi et Viaggi (1550–1559). Southey owned an early edition (3 vols, 1588, 1583 and 1556), no. 2382 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[3] José de Anchieta (1534–1597), Epistola Quamplurimarum Rerum Naturalium Quæ S Vicentis (nunc S Pauli) Provinciam Incolunt, Sistens Descriptionem (‘Of many natural things which are native to the province of St Vicentes (now St Paul), defying description’), in Collecçaõ de Noticias para a Historia e Geografia das Nações Ultramarinas que vivem nos Dominios Portuguezes, 2 vols (Lisbon, 1812–1813), I, no. III , pp. [127]–178. BACK

[4] ‘Jornada do Maranhaõ, Por Ordem de Sua Majestade Feita O Ano de 1614’, in Collecçaõ de Noticias para a Historia e Geografia das Nações Ultramarinas que vivem nos Dominios Portuguezes, 2 vols (Lisbon, 1812–1813), I, no. IV. BACK

[5] Bernardo Pereira de Berredo e Castro (d. 1748), Annaes Historicos do Estado do Maranhao (1749). Southey’s copy was no. 3613 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[6] The Portuguese soldier Diogo de Campos Moreno (1566?-1617?); Southey correctly ascribed the authorship of the journal to him in The History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), I, pp. 424–425 n. BACK

[7] Duarte Barbosa (d. 1521) interpreter in India c. 1501–1516, whose ‘Livro de Duarte Barbosa’, written c. 1516, is one of the earliest examples of travel writing in Portuguese. A MS of the ‘Livro’ was discovered in the early nineteenth century and published in 1813 in Collecçaõ de Noticias para a Historia e Geografia das Nações Ultramarinas que vivem nos Dominios Portuguezes, 2 vols (Lisbon, 1812–1813), II, no. VII. BACK

[8] The Portuguese Royal Academy of Sciences, founded in 1779. BACK

[9] José Accursio das Neves (1766–1834), whose four volume Historia Geral da Invasão dos Francezes em Portugal, e da Restauração deste Reino was published in Lisbon in 1810; no. 3164 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[10] Antonio Ribeiro dos Santos (1745–1818), librarian, bibliographer and man of letters. BACK

[11] Memorias de Litteratura Portugueza (1792–1796), published by the Academia Real das Sciencias, Lisbon; no. 3532 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[12] Southey eventually acquired an eight-volume set of the Jornal de Coimbra (1812–1820), no. 3498 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[13] João Pedro Ribeiro (1758–1839), Dissertaçoẽs Sobre a Historia e Jurisprudencia Ecclesiastica e Civil de Portugal, Publicadas por Ordem da Academia Real (1798–1810); no. 3713 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[14] José Agostinho de Macedo (1761–1831), Segredo Revelado, ou Manifestação do Systema des Pedreiros Livres, e Illuminados, e sua Influencia na fatal Revoluçao Franceza (1809); no. 3420 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[15] Abbé Augustin Barruel (1741–1820), the French Jesuit priest whose 1797 Mémoires pour servir à l’Histoire du Jacobinisme blamed the French Revolution on an international religious conspiracy. BACK

[16] José Agostinho de Macedo, Os Sebastianistas (1810); Southey eventually acquired a copy, no. 3420 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[17] Southey’s unfinished ‘History of Portugal’. BACK

[18] Hill’s sons, Edward, Herbert and Erroll. BACK

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August 2013