1887. Robert Southey to John Murray, 22 March 1811

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

1887. Robert Southey to John Murray, 22 March 1811 ⁠* 

March 22. 1811.

Dear Sir

I hope these corrections will reach you in time. They were sent me the very day the Parl. Papers appeared from which these former statement is corrected, – unluckily they arrived last night, – when there is no post to London. [1] 

P.37. Dele from “At the close – to – 569,000 – & in its place insert – At the close of the year 1810, we had 27,391 Regular Cavalry, to which 2739 may be added for Commissioned Officers & Serjeants, who are not reckoned among the Effectives, – & who average at Four commissioned officers & six serjeants to every 100 men, that is Ten per Cent: total Regular Cavalry therefore 30,131. Regular Infantry 183,768, add one Tenth as before, 202,144: Artillery Horse & Foot 24,304, add for commissioned officers (for in this branch of our force only these are reckoned seperately) 941, in all 25,245. Marines 31,400, add one Tenth, 34,520. Total Regular Cavalry & Infantry 291,940, or in round numbers 290,000. And this number is now about to be augmented largely from the Old Militia which amounts to 84,300 men, & adding the Tenth, 92,730, so that we maintain 384,670 men, entirely dedicated to military pursuits, in the Army.

The Sailors voted by Parliament this year (exclusive of Marines) are 113,600, but it is understood rather more are on the ships books. Add 4,600 <4,400> Commissioned Naval Officers (the last Navy List enumerates 4,661) the aggregate is then 118,000 men employed in the British Navy; & the permanent martial force of the country is then 502,670, or in round numbers half a million of men; a force as we have already observed more than double &c –

P. 38. line 5. After “privates.” But supposing the English Militia abolished, regular &c.,

Do – 11. for “had lived” – read – would have experienced what it is to live &

Do – 20. after “accordingly.” Indeed we may reasonably hope at present that Government begin to see the propriety of reducing the Old Militia Regiments. as <the British Militia> they are to be gradually lowered from 81,300 <58,869> (the present effective Return) to 49,000, the proper Quota as fixed in 1802. The xxx regular army will give an increase

Do – 26. for 300,000 &c – read – above 290,000 Regular Soldiers; & by transforming the Old Militia with Regulars, & turning the expence of the Irregulars to the same object we might maintain 140,000 more without additional expence, a tremendous force of 430,000 such men as those &c –

P 39. L91. for : In our 300,000 there are at least – read – In our 290,000 Regulars, there are about &c –

P.40. Note – for “This” – read The expence of Congreve Rockets hitherto manufactured would be &c –

P 48. 34.& 5 – for 300,000 read 290,000, & for 130,000 &c read 140,000, might be added & maintained.

Last page but two – last line – “Hindoo Devotee” will be more generally understood than Yoguee. [2] 

Yrs very truly



* Address: To / Mr Murray / Fleet Street
Watermark: Crest/ T.W. & B.B./ 1808
MS: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Robert Southey Papers A.S727. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The corrections are to the proofs of Southey’s review of Charles Pasley (1780–1861; DNB), Essay on the Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire (1810). Deeply concerned by its ‘incorrect and dangerous’ views, Murray ensured that it was greatly amended by Croker, before final publication in the Quarterly Review, 5 (May 1811), 403–437; see Jonathan Cutmore, The Quarterly Review Archive. BACK

[2] ‘the Hindoo devotee, who sits with his hands before him in the same position of devotion for weeks and months together, husbands his muscles till he loses the use of them!’ (p. 436). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013

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