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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1329. Robert Southey to Charles Danvers, 3 June 1807 ⁠* 

My dear Danvers

You are perfectly right in supposing I meant a sandwich tray. 36/s was the price {what} we paid at Rings for my Uncles, – the difference of price therefore surprizes me. However we have no friend whom we can trouble at Liverpool, & perhaps Mrs C. speaks of what was the price there three years ago.

You are right too in concluding that if I had received any letters from Mr Smith I should have answered them. One letter he wrote to me let me know his sister had arrived at Lisbon, & no other has ever reached me, – her return I learnt only from you, & accidentally from Edinburgh by way of Harry. this, on my part, I also thought odd, when I thought about it – but now the mystery is explained, & I will without delay write to him. [1]  It is a rule with me to answer every letter which I receive. We may perhaps contrive to go to Bownham together, – that I shall make my journey is as certain as any thing can be, for my next book (the Cid) . [2]  cannot go to the press {be compleated} till I have got at some books in the Museum [3]  & in Ld Hollands library, [4]  & published it must be as soon as it can for cogent reasons. so early in the winter I go to London to do this, & will thence go to Taunton, & take Bristol on my way home

Espriella should be kept generally secret in the hope of passing unknown by the Reviewers. [5]  when that has been effected I shall acknowledge it: but if it be talked of in any private circle, these things soon get wind. I am so little known in prose, except by my immediate friends, that there seems little reason to think that the book will be imputed to me. I have just corrected the eleventh sheet of the last volume; – four, or five more at farthest compleat it. Your copy shall be sent. I wish it were published, & wish also it may have a good sale, not only for a substantial reason which need not be explained, but also because three volumes do not hold half of what I had to say, & I should be very glad to have encouragement to say it all. Rickman, who sees the proofs, says it will be a famous common-sense book.

Revisit Keswick you must. I will enter into a sort of commercial treaty of visits with you, & whenever I go to London, which is to be every other year, take Bristol either going or returning. It is only because this is such a little island that we who count distance by miles, think it a long way between Bristol & Keswick. nearly 300 miles has a long sound – call it 70 leagues & it does not appear so bad. On the continent it would be thought nothing.

The Islanders [6]  are expected this month. my son improves greatly, & my daughter is as much a favourite as ever. – I write in haste not to lose a post –

God bless you

RS.

June 3. 1807.


Notes

* Address: To/ Charles Danvers Esqr/ Bristol
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: British Library, Add MS 30928
Unpublished. BACK

[1] See Southey to Thomas Smith, 25 June 1807, Letter 1334. BACK

[2] Southey’s edition Chronicle of the Cid, from the Spanish was published by Longmans in 1808. It comprised translations from the Crónica particular del Cid (1593), with additions from the Crónica de España of Alphonso the Wise (1541) and Romancero e Historia del Cid (1632). BACK

[3] The British Museum. BACK

[4] The library of Spanish books assembled at Holland House by Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland (1773–1840; DNB). BACK

[5] Letters from England by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella. Translated from the Spanish (1807). Southey wanted to preserve his anonymity as the author, because he believed negative reviews of his work by his enemies affected their sales. BACK

[6] William Peachey and his family. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013