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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 1: 1791-1797, Edited By Lynda Pratt

210. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 9 April 1797 ⁠* 

Sunday April 9. 1797  [1] 

My dear Cottle

I have just received another noble order from Mr Peacock. he has had from me already sixteen copies of the Letters & twelve of the Poems. [2]  he returned last night from a journey & now wants twenty five Letters & fifty poems — which you will be good enough to send up by the next waggon directed for me here No 20. if any letters are ready for us you will of course put them in, & I think the half dozen copies of each, which may be wanted for casual calls, had better be sent then. whether the fine copies are done or not, this parcel must not be delayed.

half a dozen such friends as Mr Peacock, & you & I should be thinking in earnest of a second edition. he tells me he hopes he shall want more.

Mr Estlin has sent me his sermon [3]  — a most superb copy — tho not I have not the one he sent — for Johnsons man [4]  could not find it & so he gave me another. it is I think the best paper I ever saw. I wrote to day to thank him — & make a few remarks upon his book, freely & respectfully — therefore properly.

George Dyer gave me what he calls his “crotchet” & what I call an indifferent poem. “I could not bring in Wordsworth & Lloyd & Lamb in the poem (said he to me) but I put them in in a note —.” that man is all benevolence — he even shows it in notes to his dedication. [5] 

Your sister has finished the Nouvelle Heloise. [6]  will you therefore be good enough to send it up in the parcel, that we {may} take it with us to the seaside. by the by if — which is probable — we go into Hampshire or into that part of Sussex which is contiguous — I shall almost expect to see you there. it is an easy days ride from Bristol to Southampton — & from thence there is water conveyance — but from there I shall lay before you a correct plan of the roads when all is settled.

Hucks the Manichæan is about to publish a volume of poems from Flowers Cambridge Press. [7] 

I have seen Bayntons Book. [8]  it is vilely written. but the theory seems good, & the practise appears to have been successful. my friend Carlisle means to try it at the Westminster Hospital. I was somewhat amused at seeing a treatise on sore legs printed on wove paper & hot-pressed.

I met Townsend the Spanish traveller [9]  a few days since at Carlisles. he flattered me most unpleasantly upon Joan of Arc — my other books he seemed to know nothing of. Townsend is much taller than I am — & almost as thin. he invited me to Pewsey — & I shall perhaps breakfast with him soon. he is engaged upon a work of immense labour, upon the origins of languages. [10]  I do not like him. he is too polite to be sincere.

farewell. I am very busy. do not delay the books.

yrs affectionately

R Southey.

Ediths love to you & yours.


Notes

* Address: For/ Mr Cottle/ High Street/ Bristol
Stamped: [illegible]
Postmark: DAP/ 10/ 97
Endorsements: Southey/ April 1797; 23 (75)
MS: Columbia University Library
Previously published: Joseph Cottle, Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey (London, 1847), pp. 205–206 [in part; undated]. BACK

[1] The date is possibly in another hand. BACK

[2] Southey’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal (1797) and Poems (1797). BACK

[3] John Prior Estlin, The Nature and Causes of Atheism, Pointed Out in a Discourse, Delivered at the Chapel in Lewin’s-Mead, Bristol. To Which Are Added, Remarks on a Work, Entitled Origine de Tous Les Cultes, ou Religion Universelle. Par Dupuis, Citoyen François (1797). BACK

[4] An employee of the bookseller and publisher Joseph Johnson (1738–1809; DNB). BACK

[5] George Dyer, The Poet’s Fate, a Poetical Dialogue (London, 1797), pp. 26–28 n.32, praised Southey, alongside Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb, Charles Lloyd and William Wordsworth. The poem as published does not have a dedication, let alone any notes to one. BACK

[6] Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse (1761). BACK

[7] Joseph Hucks (1772–1800), Poems (1798) was printed by Benjamin Flower (1755–1829; DNB). BACK

[8] Thomas Baynton (1761–1820; DNB), Descriptive Account of a New Method of Treating Old Ulcers of the Legs (1797). BACK

[9] Joseph Townsend (1739–1816; DNB), geologist, author of A Journey Through Spain in the Years 1786 and 1787; with Particular Attention to the Agriculture, Manufactures, Commerce, Population, Taxes, and Revenue of that Country (1791). BACK

[10] Joseph Townsend’s Etymological Researches, Wherein Numerous Languages Apparently Discordant Have Their Affinity Traced and Their Resemblance so Manifest as to Lead to the Conclusion that All Languages are Radically One was published posthumously in 1824. BACK

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Published @ RC

March 2009