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818. Robert Southey to Mary Hays, 7 August 1803 ⁠* 

Dear Madam

I had unluckily forgotten to put the Ollivier [1]  in my pocket when I went towards the city – before {however} before I left town I gave it to George Dyer who promised to leave it for you at Johnsons. [2]  Upon mentioning it to Longman & Rees & also that you had some thought of translating it I was sorry to perceive that they did not encourage the idea. the book however is very short & would employ but very little time.

In the latter volumes of the Bibliotheca [3]  there will be many subjects on which I shall be very happy to receive assistance from you. but it can only be in the latter part, for the arrangement is designed to be chronological, & all the early volumes will require great labour & perseverance of research. We do not think of getting a first half-volume ready before the Xmas of 1804.

I should have written sooner but for many employments & some domestic sickness which has disquieted me. in the winter I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again as I am about to settle in the neighbourhood of London.

believe me

yours very truly

R Southey.


Sunday Aug. 7. 1803.

Notes

* Endorsements: To Miss Mary Hays; August/ 1803
MS: University of Kentucky Library
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Jacques Cazotte (1719-1792), Ollivier (1762). BACK

[2] Joseph Johnson (1738-1809; DNB), publisher. BACK

[3] Southey’s plan for a ‘Bibliotheca Britannica’, a chronological account of all literature published in Britain. Longman and Rees abandoned the project in August 1803. BACK

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August 2011