Most Excellent Sir
We certainly cannot allow this occasion to pass without
expressing to you how sensible we are of the courtesies received in Beja, as
also the great advantage which we have derived from your recommendation, having
today been very well served; and Senhor John of the Palm  has procured mules for us, and shown us the
curiosities of this place.
Another favour we still seek, and that is that the errors in
construction and in language may be forgiven.
Hoping that Your Excellency may enjoy for many years all possible
happiness, I and my friend remaining always
Your most grateful servants,
Castro. April 11. 1801
* Address: To
His Excellency the Bishop/ of/ Beja/ Whom God Preserve for Many
MS: Biblioteca Publica de Évora
Previously published: S.
George West, ‘Robert Southey, Herbert Hill and the Bishop of Beja’, in the
Ninth Annual Report of the Historical Association, Lisbon
Branch (Lisbon, 1943), p. 554 [from where this translation is taken]; Adolfo
Cabral, Southey E Portugal 1774-1801: Aspectos de Uma Biografia
Literaria (Lisbon, 1959), pp. 346-347; Adolfo Cabral (ed.),
Robert Southey: Journals of a Residence in Portugal 1800-1801 and
a Visit to France 1838 (Oxford, 1960), pp. 162-163.
the MS: The letter is written in another, unknown hand, though the signature
is probably Southey’s. The Portuguese original is to be found in Letter
 Parish priest at Castro Verde, which Southey wished to visit.
It was near the battlefield of Ourique, where the Portuguese had won a great
victory in 1139. BACK