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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 17 April 1801

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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“Faro, April 17. 1801.

“By the luckiest opportunity, my dear Edith, I am enabled to write and ease myself of a load of uneasiness. An express is about to leave Faro, otherwise till Tuesday next there would have been no conveyance. We are at Mr. Lempriere’s, hospitably and kindly received, and for the first time resting after ten days’ very hard labour. At Cassillas our letter to Kirwan was of no use, as he was absent. For mules they asked too much, and we mounted burros to Azectâo; there no supply was to be found, and the same beasts carried us to Setubal, which we did not reach till night. The house to which we had an introduction was deserted, and we lost nothing by going to an excellent estalagem. Next day it rained till noon, when we embarked, and sailed through dull and objectless shores to Alcacere: mules to Evora, the distance nine leagues; at the end

* The Rev. Derwent Coleridge, Principal of St. Mark’s College, Chelsea.

Ætat. 26. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 141
of the first it set in a severe rain, and the coldest north wind we ever experienced: the road was one infinite charreca, a wilderness of gum-cistus. We would have stopped anywhere; about six in the evening we begged charity at a peasant’s house, at the Monte dos Moneros, three leagues short of Evora, dripping wet and deadly cold, dreading darkness, and the effects of so severe a wetting, and the cold wind; we got admittance, and all possible kindness; dried ourselves and baggage, which was wet also; supped upon the little round curd cheeses of the country, olives, and milk; and slept in comfort. The morning was fine, but the same wind continued till yesterday, and has plagued us cruelly by day and by night.

“At Evora we remained half a day; there our night sufferings began; from thence till we reached Faro we have never slept in one ceiled room; all tiled so loosely, that an astrologer would find them no bad observatories; and by no possible means could we keep ourselves warm. Waterhouse I taught, indeed, by Niebuhr’s example in Arabia, to lie with his face under the sheets, but it suffocated me. From Evora we took burros to Beja,—a day and a half; we slept at Villa Ruina: from Viana to that little town is a lovely track of country, and, except that little island of cultivation, we have seen nothing but charrecas till we reached Tavira. The bishop gave us cheese and incomparable wine, and a letter to Father John of the Palm at Castro: to Castro a day’s journey: on the road there was a monumental cross, where a man had been eat by the wolves. John
of the Palm is a very blackguard priest, but he was useful. We had a curious party there of his friends, drinking wine with us in the room, or rather between th6 four walls where we were pounded, not housed, for the night; a deputy judge, with a great sword, old as the Portuguese monarchy, smoking, and handing round his cigar out of his own mouth to the rest of the company; our muleteer, that was to be, hand and glove with the priest and the magistrate; and another pot companion. Next day across the, field of Ourique, and seven long leagues of wilderness; there was no estalagem; in fact, we were in the wilds of Alentejo, where hardly any traveller has penetrated; we were again thrown on charity, and kindly received: this was Tuesday. On Wednesday we crossed the mountains to Tavira, seven leagues,—in the bishop’s language,—long leagues, terrible leagues,—infinite leagues: the road would be utterly impassable were it not that the Host is carried on horseback in these wilds, and therefore the way must be kept open. As we passed one ugly spot, the guide told us a man broke his neck there lately. This day’s journey, however, was quite new; wherever we looked was mountain,—waving, swelling, breasting, exactly like the sea-like prints of the Holy Land which you see in old Travels. At last the sea appeared, and the Guadiana, and the frontier towns Azamonte and Castro Marini; we descended, and entered the garden, the Paradise of Algarve here our troubles and labour were to end; we were out of the wilderness. Milk and honey, indeed, we did not expect in this land of promise, but we ex-
Ætat. 26. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 143
pected every thing else. The sound of a drum alarmed us, and we found Tavira full of soldiers; the governor examined our pass, and I could not but smile at the way in which he eyed
Roberto Southey, the negociente, of ordinary stature, thin and long face, a dark complexion, &c., and squinted at Waterhouse’s lame legs. For a man in power he was civil, and sent us to the Corrigidor, to get our beasts secured; this second inspection over, we were in the streets of Tavira, to beg a night’s lodging,—and beg hard we did for some hours; at last, induced by the muleteer, whom she knew, and by the petition of some dozen honest people, whom our situation had drawn about us, a woman, who had one room unoccupied by the soldiers, turned the key with doubt and delay, for her husband was absent, and we wanted nothing but a ceiling. Yesterday we reached Faro; and to-day remain here to rest. . . . .

“Our faces are skinned by the cutting wind and sun: my nose has been roasted by a slow fire—burnt alive by sunbeams; ’tis a great comfort that Waterhouse has no reason to laugh at it; and even Bento’s* is of a fine carbuncle colour. Thank God you were not with us; one room is the utmost these hovels contain; the walls of stone, immortared, and the roofs what I have described them.

“Yet we are well repaid, and have never faltered either in health or spirits. At Evora, at Beja, at the Ourique field, was much to interest; and here we are in a lovely country, to us a little heaven. . .

* His servant.

. . I have hurried over our way that you may know simply where we have been, and where we are; the full account would be a week’s work. You will be amused with the adventures of two Irish, and one Scotch, officers, who came from Gibraltar to Lagos, with a fortnight’s leave of absence, to amuse themselves; they brought a Genoese interpreter, and understood from him that it was eleven leagues to Faro, and a good turnpike road. I write their own unexaggerated account:—they determined to ride there to dinner, and they were three days on the way, begging, threatening, drawing their swords to get lodged at night,—all in vain; the first night they slept in the fields; afterwards they learnt a humbler tone, and got, between four of them, a shelter, but no beds; here they waited six weeks for an opportunity of getting back; and one of them was paymaster at Gibraltar; they were utterly miserable for want of something to do—billiards eternally—they even bought birds, a cat, a dog, a fox, for playthings; yesterday embarked, after spending a hundred pieces here in six weeks, neither they nor any one else knowing how, except that they gave six testoons apiece for all the Port wine in the place. . . . .

“God bless you! I have a thousand things to tell you on my return, my dear Edith.

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”