860. Robert Southey to Thomas
Southey, 2 December 1803
Friday Dec. 2. 1803
There Tom is a true story for you – or else Dom Pedro who was the
Bastard son of King Diniz tells lies.  you shall have another as fast as it can be copied.
Yesterday I received a most provoking letter from Edward. his Aunt he says has persuaded him
to quit the Suffisante,  where he had been very kindly treated. he keeps her letters
to justify himself. since then she has abused & beat him, & he knows not
what he should have done if he had not found a friend in Mr
Barham  of Exeter who has invited him to pass his Xmas there. he now
writes to me (mark you the first letter since he went aboard!) to tell me this
pretty story – to say he will do what I chuse – & to ask for money. Of
course I have said he must go to sea again – to which he says he has no
objection, tho he should prefer the army – & I have written to Rickman & John May to set him afloat once more – if
you have any friends at Plymouth who can do it the more applicants the better –
his address is with John Forster Barham Esqr Exeter. Is not
this cruelly vexatious! it is enough to fret ones very guts to fiddlestrings to
be so pestered.
I wish I had seen your storms & your northern lights.
streamers we call them here & the name is a good one. I saw some two nights
ago very vivid & exquisitely beautiful. they spread like a fan from a dark
cloud, now brightening & now fading, the colour a pale glow-worm green but
these are nothing to what you must have seen – Iceland is a very interesting
place – I would actually go there if the voyage were not so terrible.
I must hasten to finish this that there may be no post lost – for
your letter arrived this evening. we go on as usual – & I am still reviewing
– historifying  & proceeding with Madoc.  I will send you off as much as we can
contrive to copy beginning after Madocs arrival at his resting place – as you
saw all that precedes at Bristol – the former books may be sent when there is
nothing newer. you shall hear again in a few days. Ediths love –
God bless you –
Our house is pretty near in as much danger in this high wind
as ever the Galatea can have been in the Northern Seas.
My Uncle says he wishes you
were at Lisbon to take your charts of Spanish America.
In my review of Capt
Burneys Book  I have
inserted this vile epigram upon Francis Drake,  wondering that it should have escaped his
notice – tho it would have been xxx xxxx
wonderful indeed if it had not – for I made it upon the occasion –
O Nature to Old England still
Continue these mistakes!
Give us for Kings such Queens 
And for our Dux such Drakes.
Dux is Latin for a Commander. – I have a History of the Methodists 
to review. a matter-of-fact book by one of the breed. I shall sketch out
from it the Rise & Progress of the “United Methodists,” point out the
mischievous tendency of their institutions & blow the trumpet of
alarm  as loud as I can blow it.
* Address: To/ Lieutenant Southey/
H. M. S. Galatea./ Cove of Cork./ Single.
MS: British Library, Add MS
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of
Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp.
poem enclosed with this letter has not survived, but it was probably ‘King
Ramiro’, Morning Post, 9 September 1803, as Southey derived
this from the source he names here, Juan Bautista Lavana (c. 1550-1624),
Nobiliario de D. Pedro, Conde de Bracelos (1640), no.
3571 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Pedro, Count of Barcelos
(1287-1357), was the illegitimate son of Diniz (1261-1325, King of Portugal
 The brig-sloop
HMS Suffisante, on which Edward Southey had been found
a place. BACK
 John Barham Foster-Barham
(1763-1822), a wealthy merchant in the West India trade and partner in
Plummer, Barham & Co. How Edward Southey had made his acquaintance is
 Southey’s unfinished
‘History of Portugal’. BACK
 Southey had completed a version of
Madoc in 1797-1799 and was revising it for publication.
It did not appear until 1805. BACK
 James Burney,
A Chronological History of the Voyages and Discoveries in the
South Sea or Pacific Ocean (1803). Southey reviewed this in
the Annual Review for 1803, 2 (1804), 3-12. BACK
 Francis Drake (c. 1540-1596; DNB),
explorer and sailor. BACK
 Elizabeth I (1533-1603; reigned 1558-1603;
 William Myles (1756-1828), A
Chronological History of the People Called Methodists
(1803), Annual Review for 1803, 2 (1804), 201-213. BACK
1: 16, ‘A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and
against high towers’. BACK