7 August 1803
Robert Southey to Mary Hays, 7 August 1803.1
I had unluckily forgotten to put the Ollivier2 in my pocket when I went towards the city –
before ^however^ before I left town I gave it to George Dyer who promised to leave it for you at Johnsons. Upon mentioning it to Longman & Rees & also that you had some thought of translating it I was sorry to perceive that they did not encourage the idea. [T]he book however is very short & would employ but very little time.
In the latter volumes of the Bibliotheca3 there will be many subjects on which I shall be very happy to receive assistance from you. but it can only be in the latter part, for the arrangement is designed to be chronological, & all the early volumes will require great labour & perseverance of research. We do not think of getting a first half-volume ready before the Xmas of 1804.
I should have written sooner but for many employments & some domestic sickness which has disquieted me. [I]n the winter I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again as I am about to settle in the neighbourhood of London.
yours very truly
Sunday Aug. 7. 1803.
Address: To Miss Mary Hays
1 MS. ALS; 2p. (c), University of Kentucky Library, Lexington, Kentucky; see also The Collected Letters of Robert Southey (Romantic Circles edition), gen ed. Lynda Pratt, Tim Fulford, and Ian Packer; not in Brooks.
2 See note on this work in earlier letter of Southey to Hays, 23 May 1803.
3 Longman became involved at this time in creating a new literary endeavor, Bibliotheca Brittanica. He was aided by the efforts of Southey and Thomas Park (1759-1834), one of the early editors. The work finally appeared in four volumes in Edinburgh in 1824, edited by Robert Watt, who had died just prior to the publication of the work. Whether Hays contributed entries to the volumes is not known.