Robert Southey (1774-1843). Robert SOUTHEY.
Robert Southey (1774-1843)

Robert Southey (1774-1843)

1813. 22.5cm x 18.5cm. Unbound. English Writer and Poet (1774-1843). Double-sided hand-written letter 22.5 x18.5 cm, recipient unknown, signed by Robert Southey. Dated 'Streatham, Surry Sept.23 1813'. Written in the year that he was appointed Poet Laureate. The letter is foxed and repaired on the folding creases. At the time, Southey was working, amongst other things, on a history of Portugal. The letter refers to both an involvement in writing on Spanish history, and what looks like an unfulfilled promise to provide new poems. Transcript: My Dear Sir If I were at home, I would set my shoulder to the wheel and help you: but here I am three hundred miles from my books and papers, - involved in business and overwhelmed with engagement; and it will be five or six weeks before I can by any possibility extricate myself. My portfolio would supply little, for of the 'vine of my youth' such as are not in print have been long since in the fire. With regard to the future fate of the Register, my apprehensions coincide with yours. Without wishing in any way to exaggerate the value I have written for it, I my say that no person can succeed to the task who is equally prepared for it by the previous knowledge which it requires & that it is hardly to be expected that anyone will again devote himself so entirely to it as I have done. If it would mince the proprietors to repurchase my share I would carry on the affairs of Spain, being that portion of the history for which I am most exclusively qualified and which has given it chief value to the work: this I would do as long as our armies continue there, at a price proportioned to its relative extent and also the affairs of Spanish America. I wish I could reply to Mr Thomson in a manner that would be satisfactory to him and to myself. More than once have I attempted to fulfil and provide into what he led me against my inclination & against my judgement. I have not been able to fulfil it. It will hardly behove me when I protest that I should much more easily undertake to produce another from the Kehama, than I wrote a single song, & that I could even do it sooner, to satisfy myself. Most assuredly I feel myself in his debt, - & the feeling is sufficiently uncomfortable to make me exceedingly desirous of discharging it. I will discharge it however if it is in my power: & if he knew me he would give me extra credit when I [appraise] him that it is from want of power that the delay proceeds, & not from want of inclination. Believe me my dear Sir, Yrs very truly, Robert Southey. Fair. Item #016305

Price: $1,852.50 NZD

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