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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1744. Robert Southey to John Murray, 9 February 1810 ⁠* 

Dear Sir

Am I to address my communications to Mr Gifford under cover as usual? I ask the questions, not knowing whether the changes in Administration have or have not displaced Mr Hammond. [1] 

Your parcel containing Capt Foots [2]  pamphlet arrived in seasonable time. Lord Nelsons Article [3]  will be ready in a few days, – nearly indeed as soon as your answer informs me how to direct it. The book, tho so carefully packed, arrived broken-back’d by its own weight. Mole ruit sua  [4]  may truly be applied to a volume so ponderous & unmanageable. [5] 

I shall be obliged to you to let me see Barrys Hist. of the Orkneys, [6]  & the Account of the Faroe Isles, [7]  – newly advertised. These books will enable me to give a better account of that upon the Zetlands. [8] 

Yrs truly & with respect

Robert Southey.

Keswick.

Feby 9. 1810.

Notes

* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E / 12 FE 12/ 1810
Endorsement: 1810 Feb[MS torn] Keswick/ Southey R –
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550
Unpublished. BACK

[1] George Hammond (1763–1853; DNB), Minister-Plenipotentiary to the United States 1791–1795, Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office 1795–1806, 1807–1809. It was at a dinner party at Hammond’s London home that Canning had first mooted the idea for the Quarterly Review. BACK

[2] Edward James Foote (1767–1833; DNB), Captain Foote’s vindication of his conduct, when captain of His Majesty’s ship Sea-horse, and senior officer in the Bay of Naples, 1799. Second edition, with observations on J. S. Clarke’s and J. M. Arthur’s Life of Lord Nelson, and a previous correspondence on that subject (1810). BACK

[3] Southey’s review of John Charnock (1756–1806; DNB), Biographical Memoirs of Lord Viscount Nelson, &c., &c., &c.; with Observations, Critical and Explanatory (1806); James Harrison (d. 1847), The Life of Lord Nelson (1806); T. O. Churchill (fl. 1800–1823), The Life of Lord Viscount Nelson, Duke of Bronté, &c (1808); and James Stanier Clarke (c. 1765–1834; DNB) and John McArthur (1755–1840; DNB), The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, K.B. from his Lordship’s Manuscripts (1809); see Quarterly Review, 3 (February 1810), 218–262. It was later expanded into a full-scale Life of Nelson (1813). BACK

[4] ‘It collapses from its own bigness’, Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65–27 BC), Odes, Book 3, Ode 4, line 65. BACK

[5] Stanier Clarke and McArthur’s Life, which, Southey estimated, weighed some twenty pounds. BACK

[6] George Barry (1748–1805; DNB), The History of the Orkney Islands (1805; revised edn 1808). BACK

[7] Jörgen Landt (c. 1753–1804), A Description of the Feroe Islands … Translated from the Danish (1810), reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 4 (November 1810), 333–342. BACK

[8] Arthur Edmondston (1776?–1841; DNB), A Review of the Ancient and Present State of the Zetland Islands (1809). Southey did not review this book in the Quarterly Review. BACK

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August 2013