805. Robert Southey to Thomas
Southey, 13 July 1803
Wednesday 13 July 1803.
I have no doubt that Rickman will get Edward
an appointment & if it does not soon arrive by that means I will seek out
some other – but what think you of the Whelp having already worn his uniform? I
shall heartily rejoice when he is off for every thing I see or hear of him only
serves to vex and provoke me.
Your Amadis  must be at
Portsmouth, but I know not where there. it was to be directed to you. H.M.S.
Galatea. you will doubtless recover it by sending to the different inns where
the London Coaches arrive.
Well Tom I have settled every thing with Longman & am to manage a
Bibliotecha Britannica of which this is the design. to give an account
chronologically arranged of all the Books in all the British languages – with
biography, criticism, & connecting chapters, so as to form a connected
history of English Literature. each volume 800 pages in quarto. each page 40
lines. terms 150£ per volume to me as Editor & Manager in chief &
absolute director. four guineas per sheet for what is written. five where the
subject-author has written in Saxon Welch or xxx
Latin. the work will be published in half-volumes like the Cyclopædia,  & we talk of having the first part out by Xmas
1804.  So far is settled, & somewhat
farther for I have got the refusal of a house at Richmond which will be vacant
in November, & have arranged with Longman & Rees that they
shall advance me 150£ to furnish it. & still farther than this I have got
half a dozen helpmates already. Turner for the Welsh & Saxon. Carlisle for the Surgery. Captain Burney for the voyages. Rickman for Roger Bacon  & what
else he may like. Duppa for books
of art. Every body likes the scheme, which is the most important that has ever
been undertaken in this country. I calculate upon writing a quarter part of each
volume upon the average – & thus clearing 250£ by each.
I met Pace  in London. he is looking
for employment & cannot get it.
& I returned. you may suppose I am busy enough what with letter writing
&c – & now this Bibliotheca business makes it necessary that I should
write to several persons whom I never wrote to before. tis a huge work but I
like it – & can live upon it while I finish my History,  & get credit by it into the bargain.
If you can command a boat you can get at Biddlecombe & home by
night if the weather be fixed & fair. it would be better a month hence when
Rickman will be there. are you
to board the ship for the purpose of pressing men? if so that is at any rate
better than lying at Spithead.
God bless you – you shall have a large letter next time – but I
must into town. all well. Margery has three teeth.
the Annual Review  will be out by the end of the
* Address: To/ Lieutenant Southey/ H.M.S.
Galatea/ Yarmouth/ Isle of Wight/ Single
Postmark: BRISTOL/ JUL 13
MS: British Library, Add MS 30927
Previously published: John
Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert
Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), I, pp. 219-220 [in
translation of Amadis of Gaul (1803). BACK
 The Cyclopaedia: or An Universal
Dictionary of Arts and Sciences was an encyclopaedia, first
published in 1728, and much expanded and republished throughout the
eighteenth century, especially by Abraham Rees (1743-1825;
DNB), The New Cyclopaedia, 45 vols
 The project was abandoned by
Longman and Rees in August 1803. BACK
 Roger Bacon (c. 1214-c. 1292;
DNB), philosopher and Franciscan friar. BACK
possibly an old shipmate of Tom Southey’s. BACK
 Southey’s unfinished ‘History of
for 1802, 1 (1803). BACK