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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1258. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 13 January 1807 ⁠* 

My dear Charles

There is either one or two (two I am almost certain) more volumes of Portugueze MS.S. – the small folio size & in foreign binding. Both the other books are there, – & I am sorry to say, both essentially necessary to me at this time. The full title of the one is thus

Vida do Veneravel Padre Joseph de Anchieta, da companhia de Jesu, Taumaturgo do Nouo Mundo, na Provincia do Brazil, composta pello P. Simam de Vasconcellos, da mesma companhia –  [1] 

It is just the size of the Life of Vieyra, [2]  which you have found, & much in the same condition. It is certainly there. So is the Mauritias which you will find among the larger folios perhaps, lettered by Tom in uncouth black letters longitudinally, – & not to be mistaken being bound in vellum, & almost square in form, each sheet x mounted as the phrase is, in order to avoid doubling the prints. It is a Latin Poem, & its title Mauritiados Libre XII [3]  &c –. There is a collection of Voyages & Travels – in six large folios, – of these I shall be glad of that volume which contains Nieuhoffs Travels. [4] 

On reexamining my catalogue I find that there are two more M.S.S. volumes – besides the one you have found, & the Memorias Antiguas. [5]  – I cannot be mistaken about the books, having a catalogue of them as sent either to London or Bristol, & none have been removed from Bristol except such as are here. Possibly they may be among those which were left loose with you. These with what you have foundx & those mentioned in my last are all the books relating to South America at Bristol, which my catalogue enumerates or my memory can call to mind. I have a huge box full on the way from London & it would do you good if you knew how hungry I am at the thought of falling to upon them, – which I shall assuredly begin to do upon the first of February. Espriella will certainly by that time be finished, if Wesley & Whitfield arrive. [6]  – I hope you catch Mr Bugg, [7]  indeed he is not likely to have been disturbed in his hole.

Don Manuel is nearly at his journeys end. [8]  there are about five miscellaneous letters to write, besides his journal of the road from Bath to Falmouth, thro Bristol & Plymouth. – I must for want of room omit which much of what I had designed to say, & with which another volume might easily have been filled: but for them there is no time; & there will be enough for the world perhaps tho not for me. Should the Book have good success, – of which I am not in any expectation – he may visit England a second time at a more convenient season. [9]  The book will bring back many recollections to your mind, & I think, on the whole, you will be well pleased with it.

I rather think on farther recollection that one of the MS.S. is in marble-paper boards.

About insuring the books, – by all means do it, if you think them in any greater danger than they were. It is difficult to guess at their value, my catalogue extending only to my Uncles books & not to my own. It must however be certainly be underrating them to say 250£. many of them being very expensive ones. & to that amount, in case of their destruction, I should not scruple xxx could safely make oath.

I shall not see Bristol so soon as if my plans had not received this direction toward Brazil: nor in all probability stir from Keswick till I take up the first volume to put it to press, – which God willing will be before the autumn is over. – The Count goes on better than could be expected, tho with frequent fits. He took much such a freak with Pople  [10]  as he once did with me, & poor Pople not knowing him so well as I had done, took a freak in his head about it too, & wrote me a long letter to justify himself. However the Count has got his second volume in the Press, & is in treaty with Phillips  [11]  for other things, – so that if he will work he can live with respectability & comfort. Do you think that I deserve some credit for having invented a book which the Count could make & for making him do it? a thing which certainly might have been classed with squaring the circle & doubling the cube as one of the three impossibilities.

We have nothing to do here with the Miseries of Human Life here – except indeed Mrs Coleridge – who threw a glass of water over the table cloth one day at dinner, when it was not quite summer weather with her, & groaned out to herself in an audible whisper – ‘nothing but misery’ – an exclamation of which I have not failed often to remind her. – A good answer to Malthus has been published by a Dr Jarrold, [12]  which it would be well to set afloat in your society. But the most interesting book which I have seen for many years is the Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson –  [13] 

As I cannot come to Bristol – is it quite impossible that you should come here, & use the cork-jacket, & try our new boat; I should be sorry to insult you concerning Esk-dale, & the Great Yew, & Cockermouth Castle, &c &c &c – It will certainly be the last summer that I shall be here, – & nothing would make me pass it so pleasantly as if you were here.

God bless you


Tuesday Jany 13. 1807.


* Address: To/ Charles Danvers Esqr/ Bristol./ Single
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ JAN16/ 1807
Endorsement: Pocket Books
MS: British Library, Add MS 30928
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Published at Lisbon, 1672; no. 3799 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. The first part of this letter concerns books Southey wanted for his history of Brazil. BACK

[2] André de Barros (1675–1754), Vida do Apostolico Padre Antonio Vieyra da Companhia de Jesus, Chamado por Grande (1746). This book was no. 3313 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[3] Franciscus Plante (1613–1690), Mauritiados Libri XII (1647). No. 2159 of the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[4] The travel narrative of Jan Nieuhoff (1618–1672) was translated into English under the title Voyages and Travels into Brasil and the East-Indies, and formed a volume in Awnsham Churchill (1658–1728; DNB), A Collection of Voyages and Travels in Various Parts of the World, with the Harleian Collection of Voyages and Travels of Authentic Writers in our own Tongue (1744–1745). It is listed as no. 695 of the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[5] Antonio de Capmany y de Montaplau (1742–1813), Memorias Historicas sobre la Marina Comercio y Artes de la Antigua de Barcelona (1779–1792); no. 3244 of the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[6] Discussions of the Methodist movement of John Wesley (1703–1791; DNB) and George Whitefield (1714–1770; DNB) formed Letter 53 of Letters from England by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella. Translated from the Spanish (1807). BACK

[7] Southey was in search of this book for materials for Letters from England: Francis Bugg (1640–1727; DNB), The Pilgrim’s Progress, from Quakerism to Christianity ... Together with a Remedy Proposed for the Cure of Quakerism. To Which is Added an Appendix: Shewing, Wherein there is a ... Plot Contrived and Carrying on by New-Rome ... Against the Reformed Religion (1698). See Southey to Charles Danvers, [12 December 1806], Letter 1242. BACK

[8] The putative hero of Southey’s Letters from England by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella; Translated from the Spanish (1807). BACK

[9] A follow up was not published. BACK

[10] Pople printed Burnett’s View of the Present State of Poland (1807) and Specimens of English Prose Writers (1807). BACK

[11] The essays collected in View of the Present State of Poland (1807) first appeared in Phillips’s The Monthly Magazine. BACK

[12] Thomas Jarrold (1770–1853; DNB), Dissertations on Man, Philosophical, Physiological, and Political; In Answer to Mr. Malthus’s ‘Essay on the Principle of Population’ (1806). BACK

[13] Lucy Hutchinson (1620–1681; DNB), Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson (1806), a posthumously published memoir by the widow of Colonel John Hutchinson (1615–1664; DNB), a Puritan commander in the English civil war and a signatory of the death warrant of King Charles I (1600–1649, King of England 1625–1649; DNB). BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013