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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1587. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 22 February 1809 ⁠* 

Feby. 22. 1809

My dear Rickman

We must make our map hold as much as it can, [1]  – upon the scale you mention it is likely to be imperfect along the coast, but in the interior every thing may be put in. What I would have is the whole outline of South America, having all within my limits ( – that is between the Orellana & the Plata, with Paraguay in the interior) [2]  as full as possible, marking in the rest only the chief places & the natural Geography. I should like this done as soon as it conveniently can be, – that x my Uncle & myself may each have a proof at hand in which to insert whatever we may chance to discover in going thro our documents. And I think it will be best not to publish the map with the first volume, because most of our manuscript materials relate to the second, & will not be begun upon till they come in their due order, – all those who for instance which relate to the Mines & which are very numerous, & my Uncle tells me very important. [3] 

Has the Capitaneus interest enough to get a reviewal of the Cid with the Monthly? [4]  – If he can bespeak a place for one of them, Bedford shall write it. You know why I want to be praised, a favourable review is like a bank note; – intrinsically fit only paper intrinsically worthless, & fit only for base purposes, but it has a current value. There are fifty book societies in England who will order the book if the Monthly praises it, & whose law it is not to order a book that the Reviews, & that in particular, may happen to condemn.

You will see Gebir [5]  next month – Edith has been very ill, & the illness has left a wearying wearing nervous fever behind.

God bless you

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ 22 Feb. 1809
MS: Huntington Library, RS 136
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey and Rickman were discussing a map to be drawn by Aaron Arrowsmith (1750–1823; DNB) for Southey’s History of Brazil, 3 vols (1810–1819); see Southey to John Rickman, 18 January [1809] (Letter 1568) and 18 February 1809 (Letter 1582). BACK

[2] The Amazon river was initially named the Orellana. BACK

[3] Arrowsmith’s Map of Brazil and Paraguay with the Adjoining Countries was indeed published in the second volume of the History of Brazil (1817). BACK

[4] Southey’s Chronicle of the Cid (1808) was reviewed in complimentary terms in the Monthly Review, 63 (1810), 131–144. BACK

[5] Southey’s nickname for Walter Savage Landor, after his poem Gebir (1798). Southey had advised Landor to consult Rickman about his plan to demolish buildings and build a house at his newly-purchased estate, the former priory at Llanthony, which required an Act of Parliament; see Southey to Walter Savage Landor, 9 February 1809 (Letter 1579) and Southey to John Rickman, 18 January [1809] (Letter 1568). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013