306. To Robert Southey MS. Lord Latymer, Pub. with omis. Letters, i. 328. No 21 Buckingham Street -- Saturday. [ 28 December 1799] 1 My dear Southey I will see Longman on Tuesday at the farthest; but I pray you, send me up what you have done, if you can, as I will read it to him; unless he will take my word for it. But we cannot expect that he will treat finally without seeing a considerable Specimen. Send it by the Coach; and be assured that it will be as safe as in your own Escritoire -- & I will remit it the very day Longman or any Bookseller has treated for it satisfactorily. Less than 200£ I would not take. -- Have you tried warm Bathing in a high Temperature? ----- As to your Travelling, your first Business must of course be to settle. The Greek Islands & Turkey in General are one continued Hounslow Heath, only that the Highwaymen there have ____________________ 1 This letter was written in answer to one from Southey, dated 27 Dec. 1799 (see Life and Correa. ii. 85); and it was answered by Southey on 1 Jan. 1800. (See National Review, 1892, p. 704.) -553- an awkward Habit of murdering People. As to Poland and Hungarym -- the detestable Roads & Inns of them both, & the severity of the Climate in the former render travelling there little suited to your state of Health. -- O for Peace & the South of France! -- What a detestable Villainy is not this new Constitution? I have written all that relates to it which has appeared in the Morning Post -- and not without strength or elegance. But the French are Children. -- 'Tis an infirmity to hope or fear concerning them -- I wish they had a King again, if it were only that Sieyes & Bonaparte might be hung. Guillotining is too a republican a death for such Reptiles! ----- You'll write another Quarter for Stewart? you will torture yourself for 12 or 13 guineas? I pray you, do not do so! -- You might get without the exertion and with but little more expenditure of time from 50 to an 100£. -- Thus, for instance -- Bring together on your table or skim over successively -- Brucker, Lardner's History of Heretics, Russel's Modern Europe, and Andrews' History of England 1 -- & write a History of Levellers and the Levelling Principle under some goodly Title, neither praising or abusing them. Lacedaemon, Crete, and the attempts at agrarian Laws in Rome -- all these you have by heart. ----- Plato & Zeno are I believe nearly all that relates to the purpose in Brucker -- Lardner's is a most amusing Book to read -Write only a sheet of Letter Paper a day, which you can do easily in an hour, and in 12 weeks you will have produced (without any toil of Brains, observing none but chronological arrangement, & giving your[self] little more than the trouble of Transcription) 24 Sheets Octavo -- I will gladly write a philosophical Introduction that shall enlighten without offending, & therein state the rise of Property &c. -- For this you might secure 60 or 70 guineas -- and receive half the money on producing the first 8 Sheets -- in a month from your first Commencement of the work. ----- Many other works occur to me; but I mention this, because it might be doing great good -- in[asmuch] as Boys & Youths would read it with far different Impressions from their Fathers & Godfathers -& yet the latter find nothing alarming in the nature of the Work, it being purely Historical. -- If I am not deceived by the recency of their date, my ode to the Dutchess, & my Xtmas Carol will do for your Anthology. -- I have therefore transcribed them for you. But I need not ask you for God's sake to use your own Judgment without spare. ____________________ 1 Nathaniel Lardner, The History of the Heretics of the Two First Centuries after Christ, 1780; William Russell, The History of Modern Europe, 5 vols., 1786; J. P. Andrews, The History of Great Britain from the Death of Henry VIII to the Accession of James V1 of Scotland, 1796. -554- Xtmas Carol 1 1 The Shepherds went their hasty way And found the lowly Stable shed, Where the Virgin Mother lay. And now they check'd their eager Tread, For to the Babe, that at her Bosom clung, A Mother's Song the Virgin Mother sung! 2 They told her, how a glorious Light Streaming from an heavenly Throng Around them shone, suspending Night! While sweeter, than a Mother's Song, Blest Angels heralded the Saviour's Birth, Glory to God on high! and PEACE ON EARTH! 3 She listen'd to the Tale divine And closer still the Babe she prest; And while she cry'd, 'The Babe is mine!['] The Milk rush'd faster to her Breast. Joy rose within her, like a Summer's Morn: 'PEACE, PEACE ON EARTH! The Prince of Peace is born!['] 4 Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace, Poor, simple, and of low estate! That Strife should vanish, Battle cease, O why does this thy soul elate? Sweet music's loudest note, the Poet's Story, Didst thou ne'er love to hear of Fame & Glory. 5 And is not WAR a youthful King, A stately Hero clad in Mail? Beneath his footsteps Laurels spring, Him Earth's majestic Monarchs hail Their Friend, their Playmate! And his bold bright Eye Compels the Maiden's love-confessing Sigh! [Remainder of manuscript is missing.] ____________________ 1 Poems, i. 333. -555-