1406. Robert Southey to William Taylor, [December 1807] *
My dear William Taylor
I have long looked to hear from you, & more than once designed to write, when proof sheets, or letters which required reply have taken up the letter-writing hours which. And now I am too highly excited by the news from Portugal which involves so many of my friends some in distress & others in ruin, – to be able to write on any thing but business. To the point then. Reviewing books lie round about for which I have now no appetite & which would materially delay me in getting ready my History of Brazil.  As it is that book will be outstripped by a swarm of catch penny compilations which will half surfeit the public, – still the less delay the better. Will you lighten me of Nightingale’s Portraiture of Methodism,  – Burnetts Specimens,  – the new edition of Holinshed,  & the two blank translations of the Inferno by Howard & Cary,  – the last a very meritorious one. None of these are within Harrys compass, to whom I have turned over all that are. The travels I have done, & retain two or three other books which are half-reviewed, & Wordsworth’s Poems, which I am bound to do myself. 
John May loses 15,000 £. the whole of his property. He does not lose the good heart & good spirit which will enable him perhaps to make a new fortune, certainly to be happy without one.
Espriella sells well, & will by the sale of one more <a second> edition  set me just on the right side of Longmans books, & leave me Palmerin the Cid, & the small edition of Madoc  to look unto for next years ways & means. The first Brazilian volume, if it I can continue to sell publish it on my own account will discharge a debt due John May, which has been incurred for Harry. – of course I promise Harry no assistance, but shall do my very most earnest endeavours to offer him some; which I shall be able to do by the next years labours, if the three books to which I look for my own support do not fail me.
Let me know if you can do these books, & I will return them to King Arthur. – It is likely that you can procure them at Norwich.
God bless you
Edith expects to be confined towards the close of February. as soon as that takes place I start for London. Is there a chance of seeing you there?
* Address: To/ William Taylor Junr Esq/ Surry Street/
Endorsement: Ansd 30 Dec
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: Huntington Library, HM 4876. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: J. W. Robberds (ed.), A Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Late William Taylor of Norwich, 2 vols (London, 1843), II, pp. 213–214.
Dating note: dating from endorsement and internal evidence; Southey writes to Herbert Hill, 2 January 1808 (Letter 1409) stating that he has offered some of the books he had been asked to review to Taylor. BACK
 A review of Joseph Nightingale (1775–1824), A Portraiture of Methodism; being an impartial View of the Rise, Progress, Doctrines, Discipline, and Manners of the Wesleyan Methodists. In a Series of Letters, addressed to a Lady (1807) appeared in the Annual Review for 1807, 6 (1808), 200–206. BACK
 A review of George Burnett, Specimens of English Prose Writers, from the Earliest Times to the Close of the Seventeenth Century (1807) appeared in the Annual Review for 1807, 6 (1808), 618–631. BACK
 No review of Henry Francis Cary (1772–1844; DNB), The Inferno of Dante Alighieri: Canto I.-XVII (XVIII-XXXIV). With a translation in English blank verse, notes, and a life of the author (1805) or of Nathaniel Howard (c. 1780–1832), The Inferno ... translated into English blank-verse, with notes, historical, classical and explanatory, and a life of the author (1807) appeared in the Annual Review for 1807, 6 (1808). BACK