753. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 19 January 1803 *
I have hardly askd for one cargo of books before I want another – & this is the reason. Longman & Rees have sent me certain Spanish Elegant Extracts to execute for their Annual Review,  they want a long article – & I am paid by the yard. now will you ship me off these xxxxxxxx raw materials.
Quevedo.  three small 4tos. there is another edition in 6 – but this has my land-marks thro it. Vicente Espinel.  one small parchment, black-lettered on the back. the Austriada.  one thick parchment 12.mo with red leaves. Gongora.  Francisco de Borja Principe de Esquilache,  each one 4to & bound much alike, the one an admirably printed book by Foppens of Brussels – the other from the Plantain Press. Viaje de Parnasso, a very thin little parchment volume by Cervantes.  A Fenis Renascida  – 5 small volumes bound in ugly Portugueze. Garcilaso de la Vega,  a little volume in marbled-paper. Iglesias,  two volumes in marbled paper. Alonso de Ledesma  a very small volume, bound & old, a small 4to, of Priory-Garden-Wall Spanish Ballads. 
O Feliz Independente.  3 vol decently bound. a prose book. fill up the box with any others as may suit best. these gentlemen will pay their own carriage. – a little prose bound volume of ‘Cartas Varias.’  a bound 4to of Pellicers Commentary on Gongora.  Luis de Leons poems  – one decently bound volume Castle-Rackrent-size.  Arte Poetica.  4to parchment – & black-lettered on the back. if these leave any room put in Spaniards & Portugueze to fill it. I shall make about a five-guinea-job of this which will be a good one, for all the materials will be woven in elsewhere hereafter. – If the next appendix to the Critical lie in your way look for the ‘Count de Noroñas Poems.’  you will see some oceans of inanity. & something good as well. some good mock-heroic satire. Mischief goes to a Palace to look for Care, xxxxx but he finds it is the home of Indolence.
From the Poets I have collected a good deal to paint manners, & character the common feeling of their country. for instance – what I found this morning. the daughter of the Emperor Alonso  was murdered by her husband in a fit of groundless jealousy. the story is exactly like that of Genevra in Ariosto,  & told with some affecting circumstances by Count Pedro  the oldest Portugueze historian. Well, Sir – a poet  of Philip 3rd time  represents this husband as looking at his wifes wounds in heaven, & jesting with her upon his jealousy. I read very oeconomically. these gentlemen serve me while breakfast is preparing – & after supper – & always lie at hand for the five & ten minute xxxxx <fractions> of time that would else be waste. x xxxxxxxxx I have another class of books – popish books of Elizabeths  reign – & the little ugly stall-keepers – what I call my ducks – dirty but good – these are for "necessary reading" my "studies at ease." 
My eyes have suffered sadly from the frost. I am about my first chapter on monachism – a favourite subject. Xxxx it came not exactly like the house of Hanover  – but due east. & xxx xxxxx <was grafted on> the radical Manicheism of Xtianity. at the period when my history begins, it had ripened into a good comfortable college sort of system. S. Bernard  (oh well remembered put him in the box, a huge folio without a title.) he was a great man & not over honest – but xx I like him for the Crusades. S Bernard gave a sort of Jesuitical unity to the monks, & taught wise men to renounce the world if they chose to govern it. of course this called out new fanaticism & the same process of decay went on a second time. till the spread of heresy alarmed & indeed shook the Romish hierarchy. then begins a third period with Francisco & Domingo  – the formers life I have written, & a most curious & important life it is. the fourth period is that of Loyola & Luther.  the Catholics have no fifth – but we shall have from John Wesley,  mark you that Posterity! & put me down for a prophet.
Longman & Rees have blabbed my name  after an anonymous bargain – very inconsiderately. I am trying to make the best of a bad matter & get what I can for poor “Robert Southey.” Did you xx ever <see> the picture in Quarles Emblems  of a soul with wings trying to fly & chained by the leg? – Zounds – tis to flutter flutter & never rise! Often I am a good journeyman – but by God I go about such work as you may have <seen> a turnspit when the cook maid calls him at noon. Paciencia!  – tis better than Law & Physic – but I sometimes wish the old Ministry had had my conscience divided among them – & I had a good living.
God bless you. if London were but half the distance I would come sometimes & eat x sheeps hearts with you.
Jany. 19. 1803.
12. St James’s Place. Kingsdown.
Still houseless – but with a house in view.
* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr / S. Stephens Court/ New Palace
Yard/ Westminster/ Single
Postmark: B/ JAN 20/ 1803
Endorsement: RS/ Jany 19th/ 1803
MS: Huntington Library, RS 30. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 302-304. BACK
 Stephanie ‘the Unfortunate’ (1148-1180), an illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VII (1105-1157; reigned 1111-1157), King of Galicia, Leon and Castille, and Emperor of all the Spains. She was murdered by her jealous husband Fernan Ruiz de Castro (1125-1185). BACK
 St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), founder of the Cistercian Order. He was instrumental in preaching the Second Crusade of 1146-1149. The untitled work by St Bernard (n.d.) is no. 247 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK