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

1867. Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 7 February 1811 ⁠* 

My dear Tom

Reckon upon 50 £ from me whenever you want it –

What is the proportion of commissioned officers to the men in the navy per cent? three? – I want this ascertained for an account of our whole military force (in every other point compleat) which Rickman has supplied me with for the review of Pasley’s book. [1]  The result will surprize you. Regular {marines} & Militia we have 420,000 – Irregular i-e- Local Militia & Volunteers 300,000. The regular force {with the sailors} is double that of the Roman Empire under Augustus. [2]  With this you will see that Pasley is no dreamer when he says that we ought to begin a system of conquest on the Continent.

Love to Sarah

God bless you

RS.

Feby. 7. 1811


Notes

* Address: To/ Lieutenant Southey/ Durham
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: British Library, Add MS 30927
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey was reviewing Sir Charles William Pasley (1780–1861; DNB), Essay on the Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire (1810). Rickman provided him with information and briefing notes. Southey’s article was deemed by Gifford to be ‘perfectly incorrect and dangerous’ with the result that the version published in the Quarterly Review, 5 (May 1811), 403–457, was much altered by Croker, in consultation with Gifford and Murray; see Jonathan Cutmore, The Quarterly Review Archive. BACK

[2] Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (63 BC–AD 19, Emperor of Rome 30 BC–AD 19). BACK

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August 2013