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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1007. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 24 December [1804] ⁠* 

Mr President, Sir, [1] 

The name is Duarte Pacheco, i.e. Edward [2]  & ch is pronounced as sh. Barros’s work is called Decades of Asia, [3]  it is better to call him Joam de Barros than plain B. frenchifying the J & nasalizing the am into ong.

Your letter came a day after the proof – in consequence of it I send off a bundle of copy this night, instead of waiting a few days to send the whole as I told Mr B. I wish to see the proofs – & I wish not to delay the book & the last is most important – if you can make out the names distinctly I must not mind xxx faults of language only send me the note with the Spanish.

I have heard from Tom & not very pleasantly. he has been brought to a Court Martial by his Captain [4]  found guilty of ‘contempt’ & been dismissed the Ship – the charges of disobedience & neglect were not proved – the contempt was that when accused of these things in certain specific points he replied – ‘I beg your pardon Sir – I must contradict you.’ he was in hope of another appointment from Commodore Hood [5]  who had encouraged him to wait in expectation of one, if the minutes of his trial should not make against him which they will not. The English of the business is that Tom has a high spirit & his Captain is a rascal. & the consolation is a very effectual one, – being under arrest he could not go to cut out the Lilly, & the Lieutenant who went in his place fell. [6]  I do not wonder that sailors are predestinarians. Write to him & direct at Nathan Jacksons Esqr Barbadoes. [7] 

When you come to a note about the Floating Gardens in the VI section [8]  add to it what is written on the opposite page, if not too late. it will save the printer time if you give him this, instead of waiting for the proof to insert it.

The Edithling is vaccinated [9]  – today the tenth day.

To your Aubrey I have added the story of Georgris most loyally told. [10]  – the British Critics I hear praise Amadis [11]  – translation if decent is sure of praise because it excites no mans envy – if the praise should sell the book it would be worth something – for I must drudge like a negro this {next} summer, & Esplandian would be the easiest way – [12] 

I have told Tom to draw on me for thirty pounds [13]  as he will be in want of money while out of employ. My reviewing for the year falls very short in quantity & the deficiency must be made up by some other means. the scheme I think will make a curious & amusing book & mind is in too healthy a state to dislike the work because I am driven to it by necessity.

God bless you

RS.

Monday Dec 24.

The notes go to night & I shall write on the cover with speed.


Notes

* Address: For/ H. H. Southey Esq[MS torn]/ to the care of Mr G[MS torn]/ Nicholso[MS torn]/ Edi[MS torn]
Postmark: DE/ 1804/ 28
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. D3
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Harry had been elected President of the Medical Society in Edinburgh; see Southey to Joseph Cottle, 16 December 1804, Letter 1003. BACK

[2] Duarte Pacheco Pereira (1460–1533), the sea captain who extended Portuguese conquests in India and Africa. BACK

[3] Southey is advising Harry on how to check the proofs of the notes to Madoc. Barros’s work was Joao de Barros (1496–1570) and Diogo de Couto (c. 1542–1616), Decadas da Asia dos Feitos, que os Portuguezes Fizeram na Conquista, e Descubrimento das Terras, e Mares do Oriente (1778–1788). BACK

[4] Captain (later Admiral) Henry Heathcote (1777–1851), in command of HMS Galatea 1803–1805. BACK

[5] Commodore (later Vice-Admiral) Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet (1762–1814; DNB), in command of the fleet in which Thomas Southey served. BACK

[6] On 14 August 1804, the boats of Thomas Southey’s ship HMS Galatea made an unsuccessful attempt to cut out the French privateer General Ernouf (formerly the British sloop of war Lilly) lying at the Saintes near Guadeloupe. Of the 90 men sent on the mission 65 were killed or wounded. Southey had suspected that his brother was among the dead, having read in the newspapers that the first lieutenant had been killed. Thomas had been placed under arrest, and it was his replacement on the raid, Lieutenant Charles Hayman, who died. BACK

[7] Unidentified. BACK

[8] Southey appends a note on floating islets on the lake of Mexico to Madoc, Part 1, Book 6, line 132. See Robert Southey: Poetical Works 1793–1810, gen. ed. Lynda Pratt, 5 vols (London, 2004), II, p. 286. BACK

[9] Against smallpox, using cowpox serum; a method popularised by Edward Jenner (1749–1823; DNB) in An Inquiry Into the Causes and Effects of the Variolæ Vaccinæ (1798). BACK

[10] Southey and his brother Harry were reviewing Robert Charles Dallas (1754–1824), Aubrey: a Novel (1804) for the Annual Review. The review included Southey’s anecdote about Causey Pike in the Newlands valley, south of Keswick and visible from Greta Hall. Seen from Derwentwater, it displays a prominent bump on the ridge line near the summit and was named ‘Georgris’ because the bump made it resemble George III (1738–1820, King of Great Britain 1760–1820; DNB) in profile; see Southey to John Rickman, 15 October 1804, Letter 983. Though a review of Aubrey did appear (in the Annual Review for 1804, 3 (1805), 551–553) it does not seem to have been by Southey according to letter 1093 of this edition which states that his article was suppressed. BACK

[11] The favourable review of Southey’s translation of Amadis of Gaul (1803) appeared in the British Critic, 24 (1804), 471–481. BACK

[12] Las Sergas de Esplandián, (1510) one of a series of Spanish chivalric romances by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo (1450–1504) of which Amadis of Gaul is the first. BACK

[13] Southey did this in his next letter to Tom, 26 December 1804, Letter 1008. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013