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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1062. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 27 April [1805] ⁠* 

Dear Harry

I have some reasons for not writing to John May just at present – write to him yourself & state that as you will pass the summer with me that will afford you time to fetch up your lea way, & enable you to start for the next winter with unparalleled resources.

If the Censuria Literaria [1]  be to be had at Edinburgh bring me the first number, – for if it be done tolerably & is not there be enough for the money I should like to take it in.

Wordsworths child (little Dora) [2]  has the croupe, which has continued now for 12 days – tho very slightly of late – the General [3]  is about to sell the lease of his house for which the Bellygerent [4]  is in treaty – of course they come no more to Keswick. Come who will we shall not get better neighbours. Of the Colonel we know nothing. Mr Bunbury [5]  is expected the 20th of May. & Kenyon [6]  still holds his intention of returning here. We have been obliged to sell John, [7]  being unable to keep him at home because the gates were thrown wilfully open every night, – & equally unable to keep any where else – the boys breaking down every kind of fence to get at him, & using him with the greatest cruelty: Spedding [8]  bought him for his wifes riding – & I hear has been xxx xxx obliged to convert him into – Signor Giovanni. [9]  How the operation agrees with him I have not heard, & I am inclined to doubt its effect at so advanced an age. No news from Lisbon Lisbon – I conclude that there will be letters by Lord Holland. [10]  none from the W Indies. [11] 

yrs affectionately

RS.

Saturday, April 27.


Notes

* Address: For/ H. H. Southey Esqr/ Mr Guthrie – Bookseller/ Nicholson Street/ Edinburgh/ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [illegible]
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Don. D3
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Censura Literaria: Containing Titles, Abstracts, and Opinions of Old English Books, with Original Disquisitions, Articles of Biography, and other Literary Antiquities (1805–1809), ed. Samuel Egerton Brydges, (1762–1837; DNB). BACK

[2] Dora Wordsworth (1804–1847). BACK

[3] John Peche (dates unknown), who had served in the East India Company’s army, gazetted as Colonel in 1796 and Major-General in 1798. BACK

[4] The aggressive and corpulent Keswick resident Mr White (dates unknown), who had hoped to buy Greta Hall in 1804. BACK

[5] The artist Henry William Bunbury (1750–1811; DNB), father of Southey’s schoolfriend Charles John Bunbury. BACK

[6] John Kenyon (1784–1856), poet and philanthropist, would become a close friend of Southey’s in later years. BACK

[7] Southey’s ass. BACK

[8] John Spedding (1770–1851) of Mirehouse, near Keswick. A boyhood friend of Wordsworth, he became a close friend of the Southey family. BACK

[9] Implying that John had become a c-ass-trato. The last great operatic castrato was Giovanni Battista Velluti (1781–1861). BACK

[10] Meaning letters from Southey’s uncle Herbert Hill, in Lisbon, conveyed by Lord Holland , the Whig patron and Hispanophile, whose library Southey would later use when working on his History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

[11] i.e. from Thomas Southey. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013