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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Adamson, 12 August 1808

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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“Aug. 12. 1808.
“Dear Sir,

“I thank you for your translation, and will, by the first carrier, send off the plays of Ferreira and Quita, and the Saudades.

“You have mistaken the meaning of Xarifalte. Portuguese orthography is very loose in any but modern authors, and it is sometimes necessary to hunt a word through every possible mutation of labial or guttural letters. Under gérafalte it is to be found, which is the ger-falcon of our ancestors.

“The story of Iñez is, in any point of view, sufficiently atrocious, but the poets have not been true to history. It is expressly asserted by Fernan Lopez, that Pedro denied his marriage during his father’s life, and never affirmed it till some years afterwards: what is still worse, that Affonso repeatedly asked him
Ætat. 34. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 161
if she were his wife, and said that if she were he would acknowledge her as such. I am myself decidedly of opinion that she was not. The arguments against the fact of the marriage which Joam das Regas used at the election of
King Joam I., are to me as satisfactory as those which he brought against its legality, if the fact had been proved, would have been in these days. I am sorry, also, to disbelieve the coronation of the dead body: there is not a word of it in the Chronicler, though he fully describes its removal from Coimbra, and the Portuguese nobles were not men who would have submitted to such a ceremony.

“If your play be of modern date, Nicola Luiz is probably a modern author, and that removes all difficulty concerning him. There was a tragedy upon the same subject, published by Dr. Simmonds about ten years ago, which obtained considerable praise.

“Your translation, I dare say, does justice to the original; had it been still unprinted, I would have noticed a few instances in which the proper names are mis-accented. What pleases me best in the play, is to perceive that the author has avoided the fault of Camoens, and not made his heroine talk about Hyrcanian tigers, and such other commonplaces which pass current for passion and for poetry.”

“I have seen the Fonte das Lagrimas; Link omits to mention that two beautiful cedars brush its surface with their boughs. I have also seen the tombs of Iñez and Pedro; they are covered with bas-relief, which ought to be accurately copied and engraved.


“There is a shocking story of one of the children of Iñez,—the Infant D. Joam, who murdered his wife; it is a worse story than even the murder of his mother. If at any time chance should bring you this way, I shall have great pleasure in showing you all those facts of Portuguese history relating to your subject, which have occurred to me in the course of long and laborious employment upon the history and literature of Portugal.

I am, Sir,
Yours respectfully,
Robert Southey.”