2378. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 8 February 1814 *
Keswick. Feby 8. 1814.
My dear Tom
I was glad to learn by Sarahs letter that the parcel had arrived.  By this time you are conversant enough with original writers to excuse Du Tertres  prolixity for the sake of his facts, & to enjoy the native liveliness of a style like Lygons.  Perhaps you never knew the relations between maidservants and pork till you saw it stated in his history. 
Here we are in the midst of tempests, but all well thank God. You must not be in a hurry about Roderick, – he is carrying easy sail, & will finish his voyage in due time. The fourth proof came this evening, & I have desired to have only one a week till I can afford to have more. Last night I began the 14th book, the probable extent will be twenty. 
I had no business in the Carmen to touch upon Moscow or Leipsic both of which are of that description <nature> that I would rather describe them in historical narrative than in verse.  My object was to produce a xx triumphant xxxxxxxx xxxx xxx. It is our fashion to have a poem on such occasions, – the Greeks who knew better would have had an oration, – & I who agree very much with Akenside  in my poetical creed, endeavoured to produce an oration in verse. I coud only touch upon great events without entering into detail, & <was bound> to press dwell preferably upon those victories which we ourselves had won. To have particularized would have led me on to an immeasurable length. I growled at finding xx xxxxxx xx xxx that xxxx it was there could be any reason why I should not speak fairly out in the Carmen, – little accustomed as I have been to lay myself under any restraint of this kind, but I am well-contented now, – for both each of the poems is better than the Carmen was when they were both in one, – the alterations & additions have improved them, & each has more unity of plan & purpose. 
A Northumberland man who knows your neighbours dined with me yesterday. He travels about forming Bible Societies, – in which I see great good, tho I am no Bibliolater. Bates his name is, of Hallon Castle,  – I liked the cut of his jib, & am only afraid he will take me for an Evangelical, – tho God knows I was guilty of no hypocrisy. He wanted me to go a meeting, take the chair & make a speech, – honours which I begged leave to decline, – but I declared myself friendly to his object & ready to become a subscriber, & I urged him very strongly to form a missionary society, associated with the Church-Mission, in preference, – or to any other if that could not be: – he was willing enough, but I suspect that he is one of those men who cannot think of two things at once.
The Register  has not reached me yet. I do not know who wrote the Life of Windham.  You would find some home arguments upon the Catholic question. The spirit is at this time moving me very strongly to exhibit some of the tenets of that mythology & its consequent manners & morals in a few Catholic Eclogues. Did you ever see one which I wrote some fifteen years ago, between xxxx of which the Devil & St Anthony were the speakers?  This with some needful corrections <alterations> would be one, & then xx the commencement of another has been lying by me as long. Their keen satire & their originality might be likely enough to attract notice, & I could soon run thro them when once fairly in the vein.
Love to Sarah & a kiss to the young ones.
God bless you
 The missionary and botanist Jean-Baptiste du Tertre (1610–1687), Histoire Generale des Antiles habitées par les François (1667). Southey’s copy was no. 2828 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK
 Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados (London, 1657), p. 59: ‘There was a Planter in the Iland that came to his neighbour and said to him: Neighbour I hear you have lately bought good store of servants, out of the last ship that came from England, and I heare withall, that you want provisions, I have great want of a woman servant and would be glad to make an exchange; If you will let me have some of your womans flesh, you shall have some of my hoggs flesh; so the price was a set a groat a pound for the hogges flesh, and sixe pence for the Womans flesh. The scales were set up, and the Planter had a Maid that was extreame fat, lasie, and good for nothing. Her name was Honor; The man brought a great fat sow, and put it in one scale: and Honor was put in the other, but when he saw how much the Maid outwayed his Sow: he broke off the bargaine’. BACK
 Southey’s first Laureate ode Carmen Triumphale, published, after much revision, in a quarto of 30 pages on 1 January 1814. It did not touch on the French occupation of Moscow in September 1812, or the Battle of Leipzig (16–19 October 1813), a crucial defeat for the French. BACK
 Thomas Bates (1775–1849; DNB), a famously combative breeder of cattle, particularly shorthorns. He leased the Halton Castle estate from 1800–1818. Bates was a member of the Tindale Ward and Its Vicinity Auxiliary Society, an adjunct of the British and Foreign Bible Society. BACK
 ‘A Review of the Life and Genius of the Late Right Hon. William Windham’, Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1811, 4.2 (1813), xi–xxl. This was a life of the politician William Windham (1750–1810; DNB). BACK