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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Messrs. Longman and Co., 29 June 1807

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“June 29. 1807.
“Dear Sirs,

“I have been told by persons most capable of judging, that the old translation of Don Quixote is very beautiful. The book has never fallen in my way. If it be well translated, the language of Elizabeth’s reign must needs accord better with the style of Cervantes than more modern English would do; and I should think it very probable that it would be better to correct this, than to translate the work anew. As for my undertaking any translation, or indeed any revision, which might lead to the labour, or half the labour, which Palmerin cost me, it is out of the question; but if Mr. Heber can lend you this translation, I will give you my opinion upon it: and I will do for you, if you want it, what you would find much difficulty in getting done by any other person,—add to a Life of Cervantes an account of all his other writings, and likewise of the books in Don Quixote’s library, as far as my own stores will reach, and those which we may find access to; and make such notes upon the whole book as my knowledge of the history and literature of Spain can supply. I believe a new translation has been announced by Mr. ——, whose translation of Yriarte proved that either he did not understand the original, or that of all translators he is the most impudent. Such preliminaries as these which I propose might fill half a volume, or extend to a whole one, just as might
Ætat. 33. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 105
be judged most expedient. It gives me very greats pleasure to hear that you have engaged for a genuine version of the
Arabian Nights,—which I consider as one of the greatest desideratums in modern Oriental literature. We have a number of imitations in our language, which I am still boy enough to delight in; and were you, as the French have done, to publish a complete collection of them, I, for one, should be glad of the opportunity of buying them. If you published them volume by volume, with good prints, like your Theatre, school-boys would take off half an edition.

“As the new Joinville is, beyond all comparison, the most unreasonably dear book I ever saw, so is your Holinshed the cheapest; and I shall keep the copy you have sent accordingly. Dear books may not deter the rich from purchasing, but here is proof for you that cheap ones tempt the poor.

“To-morrow I will make up my parcel for the Athenæum. At Dr. Aikin’s request I have undertaken (long since) the Spanish and Portuguese literary part of his Biography. Some articles appeared in the last volume, and, few as they are, I suppose they entitle me to it. Will you ask Dr. A. if this be the case?

Yours truly,
R. Southey.”